Winners of First Annual Palm Springs International Comedy Festival Announced

Winners of First Annual Palm Springs International Comedy Festival Announced

The Inaugural Palm Springs International Comedy Festival held in November has announced its winners. Participants competed from all over the world in stand up and film categories, representing Japan, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, Netherlands, China, France, Canada, the U.S. and more. The event took place over two days on Nov 17 and 18, 2018 at Hotel Zoso that kicked off with a star-studded red carpet celebrity dinner gala on Nov 10, where Kathy Griffin was presented with the 'PSICF Comedian of the Year Award." Actress Illeana Douglas was awarded the 'Pioneer in Comedy Award,' while the comedy of summer 2018, Paramount's 'Book Club' directed by Bill Holderman and produced by Holderman and Erin Simms and starring Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Diane Keaton and Mary Steenburgen, received the prestigious 'Stanley Kramer Mad World Comedy Award."

American comedian and Florida native Renaldo Evans took the first place prize in The Stand Up category that featured over 100 competitors. Evans was awarded a $1,000 cash prize and will have his own comedy special on Step 1 TV.

Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Renaldo Evans has always led a life of contradictions. His parents were both star athletes, while he suffered from a rare bone disease, but four facial surgeries and celiac disease haven't stopped him from learning to laugh through it all. Inspired by Chris Rock, Evans combines his own personal hardships along with his sharp intellect to find humor in just about anything, especially his own life. He's also a talented rapper and visual artist, with credits including Amazon Prime, BET Rap City, and Showcases for Bounce TV, Showtime at The Apollo and Burbank Comedy Festival.

Five time Daytime Emmy Award-winning actress Heather Tom won for her directorial debut in the comedy music video category with her hilarious 'Bigfoots Love Slave.' The United Kingdom took home Best Comedy Feature Film with 'Say My Name," directed by Jay Stern, while 'Gender Bender' directed by Richard Lampone, starring Eric Roberts and Gilbert Gottfried, took home the Audience Favorite Award for Feature Film Comedy. Celebrity comedians Judy Tenuta, Tony Tripoli, Cathy Ladman and Steve Bluestein headlined the event.

Festival Director Paul Cruz commented, "We're very pleased to have had a successful, truly international, festival honoring major celebrities and showcasing the comedy work of comedians from all over the world. We look forward to doing it again next year on an even grander scale."

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