Will Smith and the cast of King Richard are receiving a major honour! The Palm Springs International Film Awards announced Tuesday that the stars of the biopic will be the recipients of the Ensemble Performance Award.
The award will be presented to Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Jon Bernthal and Tony Goldwyn, who are all expected to attend.
“’King Richard’ is a wonderful film that tells the emotional story of Richard William’s determination and vision that, along with the steady support of his wife Oracene, turned their daughters Venus and Serena into tennis superstars,” said Harold Matzner, festival chairman. “Will Smith absolutely transforms into Richard, alongside a powerful Aunjanue Ellis as Oracene, in this true ensemble film that also features exceptional performances from newcomers Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton as Venus and Serena, and an impressive cast, including Tony Goldwyn and Jon Bernthal as pivotal coaches Paul Cohen and Rick Macci. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present the Ensemble Performance Award to the cast of King Richard.”
And Smith isn’t the only star hitting the ground running this awards season! Andrew Garfield will be given the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor for his performance in “tick, tick…BOOM!”
“From his numerous film roles and theatrical performances, Andrew Garfield is an outstanding actor, who puts his heart and soul into bringing the character he’s portraying to life,” said Matzner. “In the emotionally stirring and fascinating musical ‘tick, tick…BOOM!’, Andrew gives a stunning and heartfelt performance as theater composer Jonathan Larson. For this career best performance, we are honoured to present the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor to Andrew Garfield.”
Garfield also received the festival’s Ensemble Performance Award for “The Social Network” in 2011 and the Spotlight Award for “Hacksaw Ridge” in 2017.
Additionally, it was announced that Jennifer Hudson will be honoured with the Chairman’s Award for her portrayal of Aretha Franklin in “Respect”.
“In ‘Respect’, Jennifer Hudson brings to life Aretha Franklin’s rise from childhood gospel singer to international star. Hudson transforms into the Queen of Soul singing her heart out in this legendary performance,” Matzner said. “It is our honour to recognize Jennifer Hudson’s phenomenal acting and singing talents with the Chairman’s Award.”
Hudson, 40, was previously honoured at the festival with the Breakthrough Performance Award in 2007 for her role in “Dreamgirls”. Past recipients of the Chairman’s Award include Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Regina King, and many more.
Penélope Cruz will also be getting the recognition she deserves at the PSIFF. The 47-year-old actress will be the recipient of the International Star Award, Actress for her performance in Pedro Almodóvar’s “Parallel Mothers”.
In “Parallel Mothers”, two women share a hospital room where they are going to give birth. Both are single and became pregnant by accident. Janis (Cruz), middle-aged, doesn’t regret it and she is exultant. The other, Ana (Milena Smit), an adolescent, is scared, repentant and traumatized.
“Penélope Cruz has collaborated with Pedro Almodóvar on so many wonderful films, from ‘Broken Embraces’ to ‘Volver’, and their partnership truly shines with her brilliant performance in ‘Parallel Mothers’, which has already earned international festival honours,” said Matzner. “She is an actress with immense depth and humanity, giving the world a tremendous body of work for three decades. For her poignant work in ‘Parallel Mothers’, it is our honour to present the International Star Award, Actress to Penélope Cruz.”
Past recipients of the International Star Award, Actress include Nicole Kidman, Helen Mirren, Saoirse Ronan and Charlize Theron. Last year’s recipient Carey Mulligan went on to receive an Academy Award Best Actress nomination.
“It is always a challenge to portray a real-life figure, especially one so beloved as Princess Diana, yet Kristen Stewart does a fantastic job in ‘Spencer’,” said Matzner. “She completely disappears into this iconic role, authentically adopting Diana’s mannerisms, accent and demeanor with real emotional depth. For this career-best performance, it is our honour to present the Spotlight Award, Actress to Kristen Stewart.”
Past recipients of the Spotlight Award, Actress include Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, Helen Hunt, Allison Janney, Rooney Mara, Julia Roberts and Yuh-Jung Youn, all seven of which received Academy Award nominations in the year they were honoured, with Janney and Youn winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
The PSIFF, presented by American Express and sponsored by Entertainment Tonight, will take place in-person from Jan. 6, 2022 through Jan. 17, 2022 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.
In the meantime, check out ET’s exclusive interview with Stewart, where she discusses what it was like to portray the Princess of Wales.