Naomi Watts is set to be honoured with a top award at the 2013 Palm Springs International Film Festival in California.

The King Kong star, who has received critical acclaim for her role in new disaster movie The Impossible, based on 2004's Indian Ocean tsunami, will be handed the Desert Palm Achievement Actress Award at the event in January (13) - and chairman Harold Matzner is full of praise for Watts.

He says, "We're delighted to pay tribute to Naomi Watts, one of the most gifted and versatile performers to grace the screen. The Impossible, the true story of the tsunami that stunned the world with its fury, is the vehicle for Ms. Watts to display the talent and sensitivity that cinema lovers have come to expect and appreciate from her."