“Austin Butler commands the screen with a larger-than-life performance as Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s spectacular film Elvis. The heart and soul of the movie, Butler’s dedication to this role shows in the nuances he brought to the character, seen through multiple decades of the often-tumultuous life Elvis lived, as well as the sprawling live performances where Austin embodies the iconic artist in a way previously unseen on the big screen,” says Harold Matzner, the festival chairman. “We are honored to present the Breakthrough Performance Award to Austin Butler.”
Past recipients of the award include Mahershala Ali, Mary J. Blige, Marion Cotillard, Andra Day, Cynthia Erivo, Jennifer Hudson, Felicity Huffman, Brie Larson, Rami Malek, Lupita Nyong’o, David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike and Jeremy Renner. In the years they were honored, Ali, Cotillard, Hudson, Larson, Malek and Nyong’o went on to receive Academy Awards for their performances, while Day, Blige, Erivo, Huffman, Pike and Renner received nominations.
This year, as previously announced, Cate Blanchett is set to receive the Desert Palm achievement award, actress, while Colin Farrell will receive the corresponding actor award. Sarah Polley will be honored with the director award, while Michelle Yeoh will receive the international star award. Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans is receiving the vanguard award.
Butler will next star in Apple’s World War II drama Masters of the Air, and he recently wrapped production on Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two, which will be released Nov. 3. His other film credits include Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Dead Don’t Die, My Uncle Rafael and Aliens in the Attic.
The Film Awards will take place on Jan. 5 at the Palm Springs Convention Center with the festival running through Jan. 16.