EXCLUSIVE: The Woman King Just got promoted to Chairman.
The Palm Springs International Film Awards has selected Viola Davis as the recipient of the Chairman’s Award recognizing her work as an actress and producer for The Woman King. The Film Awards will take place in-person on January 5, 2023 at the Palm Springs Convention Center, with the festival running through January 16, 2023. The World Premiere of Paramount’s comedy 80 For Brady was named earlier this week as opening night film on January 6.
“Whether as an actress or producer, Viola Davis brings powerful stories to the screen. In The Woman King, Davis continues to prove that she is a force of nature in this groundbreaking performance about the leader of the Agojie, a unit of all-female warriors,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “It is our honor to present the Chairman’s Award to Viola Davis celebrating her work as both an actress and producer.”
Davis joins this year’s previously announced honorees Austin Butler (Breakthrough Performance Award, Actor), Cate Blanchett (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress), Colin Farrell (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor), Sarah Polley (Director of the Year Award), Michelle Yeoh (International Star Award) and The Fabelmans (Vanguard Award). Past recipients of the Chairman’s Award include Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Jennifer Hudson, Nicole Kidman, Regina King, Gary Oldman, Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon.
The Woman King is the story of the Agojie, the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s with skills and a fierceness unlike anything the world has ever seen. Inspired by true events, The Woman King follows the emotionally epic journey of General Nanisca (Viola Davis) as she trains the next generation of recruits and readies them for battle against an enemy determined to destroy their way of life. Gina Prince-Bythewood directed.
Davis is the first black actress to win two Tony Awards (Fences and King Hedley II), an Oscar (Fences) and an Emmy (How To Get Away With Murder). In 2021, Davis received an Oscar nomination and won a SAG Award for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Other credits also include Widows, Suicide Squad, Ender’s Game, Prisoners, Beautiful Creatures, The Help, Doubt, Get On Up and many more, as well as her recent long running ABC series How To Get Away With Murder.
Davis and her husband Julius Tennon founded JuVee, with its focus being to give a voice to the voiceless through strong, impactful and culturally relevant narratives. The Los Angeles-based and artist driven company produces film, television and digital content across all of entertainment. This year, Davis received a Grammy Award nomination for her audiobook, “Finding Me”.