Palm Springs, CA (December 6, 2021) – The Palm Springs International Film Awards has announced that the cast of King Richard is the recipient of the Ensemble Performance Award. The award will be presented to Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Jon Bernthal and Tony Goldwyn, who are all expected to attend. The Film Awards will take place in-person on January 6, 2022 at the Palm Springs Convention Center, with the festival running through January 17, 2022. The event will be presented by American Express and sponsored by Entertainment Tonight.
“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 Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “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.”
Past recipients of the Ensemble Performance Award include the cast of the Academy Award® winner for Best Picture, Argo, as well as past Best Picture nominees American Hustle, The Big Short, Hidden Figures, The Imitation Game and The Social Network.
King Richard joins this year’s previously announced honorees: Belfast (Vanguard Award) presented to writer and director Kenneth Branagh and cast members Caitríona Balfe, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds and Jude Hill; Jane Campion (Director of the Year Award); Jessica Chastain (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress); Penélope Cruz (International Star Award, Actress); Andrew Garfield (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor); Jennifer Hudson (Chairman’s Award); and Kristen Stewart (Spotlight Award, Actress).
Based on the true story that will inspire the world, King Richard follows the uplifting journey of a family whose unwavering resolve and unconditional belief ultimately delivers two of the world’s greatest sports legends. Armed with a clear vision and a brazen 78-page plan, Richard Williams is determined to write his daughters, Venus and Serena, into history. Training on Compton, California’s neglected tennis courts—rain or shine—the girls are shaped by their father’s unyielding commitment and their mother’s balanced perspective and keen intuition, defying the seemingly insurmountable odds and prevailing expectations laid before them. The film from Warner Bros. Pictures is directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green and stars Will Smith, who also served as a producer, Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, with Tony Goldwyn and Jon Bernthal. The National Board of Review included the film on their top film list and awarded Will Smith with Best Actor and Aunjanue Ellis with Best Supporting Actress.
About the Palm Springs International Film Society
The Palm Springs International Film Society is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization whose mission is to cultivate and promote the art and science of film through education and cross-cultural awareness. The Film Society produces the Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) and Film Awards every January and Palm Springs ShortFest in June. In addition to curating the best in international cinema, PSIFF’s Film Awards has come to be known as the first stop on the campaign trail for the Academy Awards® and our Oscar®-qualifying ShortFest is the largest short film festival and market in North America. Our festivals, year-round member screenings and educational programs manifest our organization’s mission by nurturing and encouraging new filmmaking talent, honoring the great masters of world cinema, and expanding audience horizons.
Steven Wilson / Lauren Peteroy Kelly
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