RAMI MALEK TO RECEIVE BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE AWARD AT 30th ANNUAL PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL FILM AWARDS GALA

Palm Springs, CA (November 16, 2018) – The 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Rami Malek with the Breakthrough Performance Award at its annual Film Awards Gala for Bohemian Rhapsody.  The Film Awards Gala, hosted by Mary Hart and Entertainment Tonight, and presented by American Express, will be held on Thursday, January 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 3-14.

“In the film Bohemian Rhapsody, Rami Malek fully brings to life and embodies musical legend Freddie Mercury, in what is truly an outstanding performance for this fine actor,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “For his portrayal that is garnering much critical acclaim, it is our honor to present the 2018 Breakthrough Performance Award to Rami Malek.”

Malek joins previously announced honoree Glenn Close, who will receive the Icon Award. Past recipients of the Breakthrough Performance Award include Mahershala Ali, Mary J. Blige, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Hudson, Felicity Huffman, Brie Larson, Lupita Nyong’o, David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike and Jeremy Renner.  In the years they were honored, Ali, Cotillard, Hudson, Larson and Nyong’o went on to receive Academy Awards®, while Blige, Huffman, Pike and Renner received nominations.

Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises’ Bohemian Rhapsody is a celebration of rock band Queen and its incendiary lead singer Freddie Mercury (played by Rami Malek, in a tour-de-force performance). With an original screenplay by Anthony McCarten (The Darkest HourThe Theory of Everything), and story by McCarten and Peter Morgan (The Queen, The Crown), the film traces the rise of the group and its frontman, who so brazenly defied stereotypes and shattered convention. Though Queen reached staggering global success through their iconic songs (including We Are The ChampionsSomebody to LoveDon’t Stop Me Now and We Will Rock You) and their revolutionary sound and style, it was not without its obstacles.  Mercury – amidst personal struggles – famously chose to abandon the group in pursuit of a solo career. His eventual reunion with the band at Live Aid 1985 went on to be considered one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music, though this time in Mercury’s life also was marked by his tragic battle with AIDS.  

Malek is the star of the critically acclaimed and award-winning psychological drama Mr. Robot.  For his role as Elliot Alderson, Malek won an Emmy and Critics Choice Award, and is also a two-time Golden Globe® and Screen Actors Guild Award nominee. His film credits include Michael Noer’s Papillon, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, Tom Hanks’ Larry Crowne, and Destin Daniel Cretton’s Short Tern 12.  

About The Palm Springs International Film Festival

The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 135,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Film Awards Gala, a glamorous, black-tie event attended by 2,500, presented this year by American Express and sponsored by Entertainment Tonight.  The Film Awards Gala honors the year’s best achievements in cinema in front of and behind the camera.  The celebrated list of talents who have been honored in recent years includes Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Mary J. Blige, Sandra Bullock, Jessica Chastain, George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Gal Gadot, Tom Hanks, Holly Hunter, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, Meryl Streep and Reese Witherspoon. Call 760-969-7533 for Gala tickets or tables, 760-778-8979 or 800-898-7256 for Film Festival information or visit www.psfilmfest.org.

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