Gal Gadot, Israel’s Power Thespianby Pam Price January 31, 2018
Gal Gadot, well established now as Wonder Woman, swept into Palm Springs for the 29th Annual Palm Springs Film Festival (PSIFF) Awards Gala on January 2nd for her Red Carpet reception – followed by being honored with the Rising Star Award by Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman’s director, who stirred the audience with her words of praise for this Israeli actress who literally knows no bounds. Gal stands out and not just because she is 5 foot 10. She fit in perfectly with this year’s festival from start to finish.
Harold Matzner, Chairman of the Board of the PSIFF proudly announced to more than 2,400 dinner guests that this year’s festival would screen 180 films from 77 countries with 433 screenings. One of the three largest film festivals in North America, this year’s attendance was more than 130,000. This year’s awards gala underwriters were Arlene Schnitzer, her son, Jordan Schnitzer and Helene Galen.
Gadot was a big part of this year’s event. She was seen on January 3rd at Variety’s intimate brunch held, once again, at The Parker Hotel in Palm Springs. The morning after the Awards Gala, the intrepid director of “Wonder Woman,” Patty Jenkins, was on the Red Carpet with Gal Gadot. Variety refers to this mélange of “Ten Directors to Watch” as the Creative Impact Awards, which lauds director, writer and actor in kudos contention with its own honors.” Gadot clearly stole the show at this invitation-only event.
Born in Petah Tikva, Israel in 1985, Gadot grew up to be Miss Israel (2004) followed by two years as a soldier with the Israel Defense Forces, specializing in combat training. The star truly wowed this year’s Festival audience. Mr. Matzner, Festival Chairman, said of the film, “Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman showed us a strong, capable, poised, compassionate character and her performance has been universally praised, resonating with audiences everywhere. She plays the immortal warrior so well and the themes are especially apt for today, empowering all types of people, men and women, young and old, the world over.”
Wonder Woman was recently named one of the ten best movies of the year by the American Film Institute (AFI). Financially, Gadot’s award-winning performance has resulted in the film generating in excess of $1.4 billion, making her the highest grossing actress of 2017. “Gadot [deep dive] into the Wonder Woman character’s origins and her heroic fight for peace during the war to end all wars rivets audiences to the story of a woman with courage to accept her true destiny and inspire change in all those around her” was how Gadot was described as the recipient of the Rising Star Award. Gal is married to Yaron Varsano, a real estate developer, and they have two daughters.