Palm Springs, CA

Walk of the Stars Palm Springs will honor former President/Executive Director of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Craig Prater, with the 454th Star on the Walk of the Stars Palm Springs. The Star will be unveiled at The Downtown Palm Springs Park on Thursday, January 5th, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. The Star Dedication Ceremony is open to the public. 

“The Chamber is delighted to host the star ceremony for Craig Prater, giving him the 454th star,” said Palm Springs Chamber CEO, Nona Watson.

Prater began working with former Palm Springs Mayor and U.S. Congressman Sonny Bono as the executive director of the internationally renowned film festival in 1993. Founded in 1990, 33 years later the Palm Springs International Film Festival is ranked among the world’s best film festivals and a successful predictor of Academy Award honors.

During his tenure as festival director from 1993-2000, Prater had worked with city officials and Walk of Stars founder, Gerard Frenzel, to secure placements of stars for a list of high-profile film stars including Sophia Loren, Mickey Rooney, Debbie Reynolds, Roberto Benigni, Catherine Deneuve and James Earl Jones. 

Acknowledging this full-circle moment, Prater stated, “After assisting the Walk of Stars board of directors for so many years, it’s humbling to be receiving a star of my own in the town that I love.”

WHAT: 454th Star on Walk of the Stars

WHO: Craig Prater, President/Executive Director of P.S. International Film Festival

WHEN: Thursday, January 5th at 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: Museum Way and Belardo, at Downtown Park 

Following his long and successful tenure at the Palm Springs film fest, Prater continued his festival career in Bangkok, Thailand where he worked with the Royal Thai government; followed by other international events for Greek, Latino and Jewish film festivals. He completed his film festival career after serving a 5-year term in 2021 as President/CEO at Heartland Film in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Prior to Prater’s international film festival career, he also had a successful business career serving as Director of Show Production for Redken Laboratories which became Redken Fifth Avenue by L’Oreal. For Redken, he produced and directed seminars throughout North America with two international events at New Orleans’ Superdome and at Lowe’s Monte Carlo in Monaco. 

Prior to being tapped by Sonny Bono to serve as Executive Director of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Prater served as the Development Director of the Desert AIDS Project. During his term at DAP, he secured the international HEARTSTRINGS program as a fundraiser that featured top ranking celebrities; he also produced the successful fundraising event featuring Dionne Warwick at the famed Elrod House, the Palm Springs film location where a scene in the 1971 Diamonds Are Forever James Bond film was shot.

Prater recently retired and returned to Palm Springs where he has previously resided for more than 30 years. 

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By Eric Gray

Eric Gray is Editor-in-chief for the Palm Springs Tribune. He covers everything from real estate, restaurant, and entertainment, to public safety, airport, and local development. He moved to Palm Springs in 2020 as part of the mass migration out of the cities. He has a Bachelor's degree from Towson University. Follow Eric on Twitter @ericgrayps