Celebrities Hit Palm Springs for Film Festival Gala: PHOTOS

field mirren watts hunt at gala

The 2013 awards season kicked off last night in Palm Spring where many of Hollywood's finest gathered to walk the red carpet at the 24th Annual International Film Festival Gala.

Oscar hopefuls Sally Field, Helen Hunt, Naomi Watts and Helen Mirren were among the celebrities attending the black tie affair.

Palm Spring begins a round of events that include the announcement of Oscar nominations and the Critics' Choice awards on Jan 10, followed by the Golden Globes ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 13.

Other attendees included event-host Mary Hart, former California Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack and flamboyant Spanish entertainer Charo.  Appearing solo was actress Diane Lane, whose husband Josh Brolin was arrested earlier in the week for public intoxication in Santa Monica.

hart lanebono mack charo at gala

Martin Sheen presented his friend, 'Lincoln' star Sally Field, with a lifetime achievement award.  He told the attendees, "She's an extraordinary woman.  In a very critical time in my life when I was slipping away she kind of grabbed and brought me back a little bit."

Field, wearing Dolce and Gabbana, received the only standing ovation of the night when she accepted her award.  She told the crowd, "Easy is overrated."

Other handsome leading men at the gala included Bradley Cooper, Richard Gere and 'Argo' producer-actor Ben Affleck, who is receiving a great deal of Oscar buzz for his blockbuster hit.

sheen cooper gere and affleck at gala

Photos:  FayesVision-WENN