For the last year, Anna Kendrick was known as the indie up and comer who had memorable debut in "Rocket Science," but cemented herself as one of Bella's "human" school friends in "Twilight."  Her profile has skyrocketed however, with her acclaimed performance in Jason Reitman's "Up in the Air."  She's already a frontrunner for a best supporting actress nomination and is therefore getting lots of awards season attention. First up?  The Palm Springs Film Festival.

Because the annual January event occurs only a few weeks before nomination ballots are due, The Palm Springs Fest is considered a key opportunity to greet and meet numerous Academy members (i.e., votes) living out their golden years in the desert.  This year, Kendrick will receive the fest's Rising Star Award at the Jan. 5 gala.  It should be the first of many awards season stops for Miss Kendrick who will soon find "The Twilight Saga" far in her rearview mirror.

A Best Actress contender, Hilary Swank, is also stepping into the spotlight.  Unfortunately, it's at none other than Awards Campaign's not-so favorite event: The Hollywood Film Festival Awards or Hollywood Awards or whatever they want to call it just buy a table event.  The two-time Oscar winner will be honored with the "Hollywood Actress Award" for her role as pioneering aviator Amelia Earhart in "Amelia." Swank will join Bradley Cooper, Julianne Moore, Robert De Niro, Carey Mulligan, Jeremy Renner and other notables in giving credence to the not-so legit event.  The party gets started for The Hollywood Awards on Oct. 26.

A much more respected festival, Los Angeles' AFI Fest, announced today that Tom Ford's "A Simple Man" will close the annual event.  A drama featuring an already celebrated performance by Colin Firth, "A Simple Man" drew strong reviews out of Toronto where The Weinstein Company acquired it for release this December.  Wes Anderson's "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" will open AFI which also features screenings of many awards season hopefuls including "Precious: Based on a Novel by Sapphire," "Everybody's Fine," "The Last Station," "The Road," "A Prophet" and "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus."  The festival is making all its screenings free to the public this year.  To find out more, visit the festivals official website.

For constant updates on awards season and entertainment news follow Gregory Ellwood on Twitter at Twitter.com/HitFixGregory