Film-maker David O Russell will be presented with director of the year at the Palm Springs International Film Festival's Awards Gala in January.
Russell, who made his directing debut in 1987 with the short Bingo Inferno: A Parody on American Obsessions, has just made The Fighter with Mark Wahlberg.
Festival chairman Harold Matzner described his movies as "guaranteed to be riveting and innovative".
Past recipients include Sean Penn, Ang Lee and Anthony Minghella.
Mr Matzner said The Fighter - which also stars Christain Bale - is an "excellent film", adding: "Through directorial technique, use of technology, complex and engaging storytelling, the films of David O Russell are guaranteed to be riveting and innovative."
The Fighter is due to be released in the UK in February.