Palm Springs, CA (February 9, 2021) – The Palm Springs International Film Awards today announced that Daniel Kaluuya will be the recipient of the International Star Award, Actor for Judas and the Black Messiah.

“Daniel Kaluuya delivers a powerful performance in his latest role as assassinated Black Panther leader Chairman Fred Hampton,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “For his outstanding work in Judas and the Black Messiah, it is our honor to present the International Star Award, Actor to Daniel Kaluuya.”

Past recipients of the International Star Award include Antonio Banderas, Javier Bardem, Nicole Kidman, Helen Mirren, Gary Oldman and Saoirse Ronan. Kaluuya joins this year’s previously announced honorees Riz Ahmed (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor), Viola Davis (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress), Andra Day (Breakthrough Performance Award), Anthony Hopkins (Career Achievement Award), Carey Mulligan (International Star Award, Actress), 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.

Judas and the Black Messiah follows FBI informant William O’Neal (Lakeith Stanfield) as he infiltrates the Illinois Black Panther Party and is tasked with keeping tabs on their charismatic leader, Chairman Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya).  O’Neal revels in the danger of manipulating both his comrades and his handler, Special Agent Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons). Hampton’s political prowess grows just as he’s falling in love with fellow revolutionary Deborah Johnson (Dominique Fishback). Meanwhile, a battle wages for O’Neal’s soul. Will he align with the forces of good? Or subdue Hampton and The Panthers by any means, as FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover (Martin Sheen) commands? The Warner Bros. film is directed by Shaka King. The film was named one of the top ten films of the year from the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute, and Kaluuya received Supporting Actor Golden Globe, SAG and Critics Choice Award nominations.

Daniel Kaluuya gained widespread international recognition for his lead role as Chris Washington in Jordan Peele’s 2017 genre hit Get Out. His acclaimed performance earned him Best Actor nominations at the Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, SAG Awards, British Academy Film Awards, Gotham Awards and Independent Spirit Awards, and a win for Best Actor at the NAACP Image Awards and a BAFTA Award for Breakthrough Actor, among others. In 2018 he embodied another milestone role, as W’Kabi, the leader of Wakanda’s border tribe, in the Oscar-winning Black Panther. The Marvel Cinematic Universe film grossed over $1.3 billion worldwide, breaking numerous box office records. Next seen as the lead in Netflix’s upcoming fantasy film, The Upper World, Kaluuya previously produced and starred in Universal Pictures’ crime drama Queen & Slim, opposite Jodie Turner-Smith, which earned him an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture; and starred in Steve McQueen’s Widows opposite Viola Davis, Colin Farrell, Liam Neeson and Michelle Rodriguez. Additional film credits include Johnny English Reborn, Welcome to the Punch, Kick-Ass 2 and Sicario. Kaluuya is also well-known for his British television roles in Skins, Black Mirror, Psychoville, The Fades and Danny Boyle’s Babylon.

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 or call 760-778-8979 or 800-898-7256.

Media Contacts:
Steven Wilson / Lauren Peteroy
[email protected] / [email protected]

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