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gere-tibet-2013Dharamshala: - Richard Gere, Hollywood star and activist, a tireless promoter of human rights in Tibet won the Chairman's Award at the 24th Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards.

The 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival presented actor Richard Gere with the Chairman's Award on Jan. 5 at the Palm Springs Convention Center, Palm Springs, Calif. Presented by Cartier, the evening was hosted by TV personality Mary Hart.

He used the occasion to elicit support for Tibet but also tied his passion for Tibetan causes to his passion for film by reading a poem.

" 'Under the cherry tree, there are no strangers,' " he said, "and I can extrapolate that (to add,) 'Under movie screens, there are no strangers.' "

"Throughout his career Richard Gere has established himself as an accomplished actor and producer and yet still finds time to support crucial cultural and humanitarian causes," said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner.

The Palm Springs International Film Festival is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 135,000 attendees each year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries.