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Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Steve McQueen win at Palm Springs Gala

Jan. 5, 2014 at 11:26 AM   |   Comments

PALM SPRINGS, Calif., Jan. 5 (UPI) -- More than 2,100 people showed up for the Palm Springs Gala in California to see Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and others receive awards.

The event, which took place Saturday at the Palm Springs Convention Center, brought an end to the 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Hollywood Reporter reported.

Streep was honored with the Icon Award, which has only been handed out one other time -- to Michael Douglas in 2011.

"I feel like I'm an example now in my dotage that you can't put those old gals out to pasture -- we've got a lot to say," the "August: Osage County" actress said.

Roberts, who took home the Spotlight Award, credited her success to casts and crews she has worked with throughout her career.

"I learned in high school ... it is a scientific fact that all birds fly finer and faster in formation than any bird that flies alone," she said.

Roberts introduced Hanks, who received the Chairman's Award. During his speech, Hanks, who starred in both "Saving Mr. Banks" and "Captain Phillips" this past year, said: I think it's fascinating that so many of the films you've chosen to honor are based on a true story," naming his own films, "12 Years a Slave" and "Dallas Buyers Club" as examples.

Steve McQueen won the director of the year award for his film "12 Years a Slave."

"What's been most important about the cast and crew is that we made this film out of love," McQueen said.

This year was the first year a band was honored at the event; U2 took home an award for its song "Ordinary Love," which was dedicated to Nelson Mandela and on the soundtrack of film "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom."

During his acceptance speech, Bono said Mandela was a huge force in the campaign against AIDS in Africa.

"Our one simple belief is that where you live should not decide whether you live," he said, adding: "We are within reach of declaring the first AIDS-free generation."

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