The organizers of the Palm Springs International Film Festival Friday announced “The Trial of the Chicago 7” as the winner of the Vanguard Award, a group honor recognizing the director and cast for “collective work on an exceptional film project.”

Aaron Sorkin is the writer/director of the film, whose cast includes Michael Keaton, Sacha Baron Cohen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

“`The Trial of the Chicago 7′ is a thrilling court-room drama that chronicles the highlights of the historic trial that sought to punish activists for inciting riots outside of the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Writer and director Aaron Sorkin has created a thought-provoking film featuring outstanding performances from a powerhouse cast,” Festival Chairman Harold Matzner said.

Festival organizers previously announced director Chloe Zhao (“Nomadland”) and actors Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”), Gary Oldman (“Mank”) and Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”) as 2021 honorees.

The festival’s in-person activities, including the awards gala, are canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the Palm Springs International Film Society still plans to acknowledge this year’s most celebrated films and film performances via a tribute that will air on Feb. 11 on “Entertainment Tonight.”

Variety will honor British director Steve McQueen with the Creative Impact in Directing Award at the 10 Directors to Watch and Creative Impact Awards virtual event on Feb. 26 for “Small Axe,” a collection of films he created for Amazon Studios.

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