The 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) announced today (in a press release) that it will present actress Alicia Vikander with the Rising Star Award for her work in the new film "The Danish Girl." The award will be bestowed upon Vikander at the yearly Awards Gala that will be held on Saturday, January 2, 2016, at the Palm Springs Convention Center, in Palm Springs, California. The honor is the sixth to be announced for this year's festival. Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, Saoirse Ronan, Johnny Depp and Michael Fassbender will also be honored. The Awards Gala will be hosted by TV personality Mary Hart. The Palm Springs International Film Festival will run from January 1-11.
“In 'The Danish Girl,' Alicia Vikander delivers a superb performance as Gerda Wegener, the wife of transgender pioneer Lili Elbe,” said Film Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “She projects so much love and pain as she goes on a journey with Lili during an era when there was no precedent for it. Gerda’s own transformation as a character speaks to the story’s themes of courage and self-acceptance. For her astonishing screen presence and masterful performance, we are delighted to present Alicia Vikander with the 2016 Rising Star Award.”
Past recipients of the Rising Star Award include Jessica Biel, Emile Hirsch, Dakota Fanning, Bryce Dallas Howard, Anna Kendrick, Terrence Howard, Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett Johansson. In the years they were honored Howard, Lawrence and Kendrick went on to receive Academy Award nominations.
Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech), "The Danish Girl," stars Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne ("The Theory of Everything") and tells the story of lives of artist Gerda Wegener and Lili Elbe and how their lives evolve as one of them embraces a very personal truth. The film also stars Sebastian Koch, Ben Whishaw, Matthias Schoenaerts and Amber Heard. For her performance as Gerda, Vikander has already been honored by the New York Film Critics Online with their Breakthrough Performance Award.
Vikander hails from Sweden and received acclaim for her feature film debut in "Pure," by Swedish filmmaker Lisa Langseth. For that performance, she was honored at the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival. Vikander has also starred in "A Royal Affair," "Testament of Youth," "Anna Karenina," "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," "Hotel," and a truly unique performance in the science fiction hit "Ex Machina," released in theaters earlier this year. Her next films will include "Tulip Fever," "Between Oceans," and a role starring opposite Matt Damon in the next Jason Bourne franchise of films.
The Palm Springs International Film Festival welcomes over 135,000 attendees and is one of the largest film festivals in North America. The festival includes a spiffy Black Tie Gala that ushers in the award season with "A" list talent taking home the prizes, many of which will be winning Oscars at the end of award season. The Palm Springs International Film Festival was created by former mayor Sonny Bono in hopes that Palm Springs would always be synonymous with the film industry in Hollywood.