PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM AWARDS PRESENTS VIOLA DAVIS WITH THE DESERT PALM ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, ACTRESS

Palm Springs, CA (February 8, 2021) – The Palm Springs International Film Awards has announced that Viola Davis is the recipient of the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.  

“Viola Davis is one of the most celebrated actors of her generation from her powerful roles on stage and screen including Fences and How to Get Away With Murder. In her latest film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Davis fully embodies the famous blues singer Ma Rainey in an explosive and memorable performance, which is sure to receive an Academy Award nomination. It’s our honor to present the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress to Viola Davis,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner.

Past winners of the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress include last year’s Best Actress Academy Award winner Renée Zellweger, along with Halle Berry, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Olivia Colman, Marion Cotillard, Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman, Saoirse Ronan, and Charlize Theron.

Davis joins this year’s previously announced honoree Riz Ahmed (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor), Andra Day (Breakthrough Performance Award), Anthony Hopkins (Career Achievement Award), Carey Mulligan (International Star Award), Leslie Odom, Jr. (Spotlight Award, Actor), Gary Oldman (Chairman’s Award), Chloé Zhao (Director of the Year Award) and The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Vanguard Award). The Festival and Film Awards Gala will not take place as an in-person event this year, but honoree selections will be announced to recognize this year’s great performances and Entertainment Tonight will air a tribute to the honorees scheduled on February 11th and February 25th.

Chicago, 1927. A recording session. Tensions rise between Ma Rainey (Viola Davis), her ambitious horn player (Chadwick Boseman) and the white management determined to control the uncontrollable “Mother of the Blues.” Based on Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s play. The film from Netflix directed by George C. Wolfe and adapted for the screen by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the film is produced by Fences Oscar® nominees Denzel Washington and Todd Black. Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman, Michael Potts, Taylour Paige and Dusan Brown co-star alongside Grammy® winner Branford Marsalis’ score. For her performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Davis has received a Film Tribute Award from the Gotham Awards and Best Actress from the Black Film Critics Circle Award, Chicago Indie Critics Awards and Philadelphia Film Critics Circle Awards. She also received Golden Globe and SAG Best Actress nominations.

Viola Davis is one of the most respected and celebrated actors of her generation, and the first black actress to win Tony (Fences and King Hedley II), Oscar (Fences) and Emmy (How to Get Away with Murder) awards. Her film credits include Out of Sight, Solaris, Antwone Fisher, Doubt, The Help, Ender’s Game, Prisoners, Beautiful Creatures, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, Get on Up, Lila & Eve, The Suicide Squad, Widows, Troop Zero, along with TV credits How to Get Away with Murder, United States of Tara, Law& Order: Special Victims Unit and Scandal.

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 136,000 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, which is presented by American Express and sponsored by AT&T and 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 Cate Blanchett, Mary J. Blige, Sandra Bullock, Mariah Carey, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Cynthia Erivo, Jamie Foxx, Gal Gadot, Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson, Nicole Kidman, Regina King, Jennifer Lawrence, Rami Malek, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon and more. Awards are provided by Chihuly and John Kennedy Studios. Both events are produced by the Palm Springs International Film Society, whose mission is to nurture and encourage new filmmaking talent, honoring the great masters of world cinema, and expanding audience horizons.

The Palm Springs International Film Festival and Film Awards Gala will return in 2022.  Palm Springs ShortFest is still scheduled for June 22-28, 2021. The Film Society has continued to host year-round member screenings and events virtually until theatres are able to open. For additional information visit www.psfilmfest.org or call 760-778-8979 or 800-898-7256.

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