Allison Janney Earns the Palm Springs Film Festival’s Spotlight Award

The 29th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) has chosen Allison Janney as the recipient of their annual Spotlight Award – Actress. The Spotlight Award is given in recognition of outstanding performances, with Janney’s work as Tony Harding’s mother in I, Tonya earning her the award.

“Allison Janney delivers a knock-out performance as Tonya Harding’s mother LaVona Golden in I, Tonya. The usually charming Janney takes a compellingly dark turn as Tonya’s abusive, alcoholic mother,” stated Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “For this outstanding performance, which is sure to garner awards attention, it is an honor to present Allison Janney with the Spotlight Award.”

Allison Janney (Mom, Masters of Sex) will be presented with the award during the Palm Springs International Film Festival Film Awards Gala to be held on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The awards gala will once again be hosted by Mary Hart, with the festival running January 2 through January 15.

Previous winners of the Spotlight Award include Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, Bryan Cranston, Andrew Garfield, Helen Hunt, Rooney Mara, Julia Roberts, and J.K. Simmons. In addition to Janney, the 2018 Palm Springs International Film Festival will honor Gary Oldman with the Desert Palm Achievement Award – Actor for his performance as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. Sam Rockwell has been named the recipient of the Spotlight Award – Actor for his portrayal of a not-so-bright deputy in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Timothée Chalamet will receive the Rising Star Award – Actor for his riveting performance in Call Me By Your Name. Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot has been chosen as the Rising Star Award – Actress honoree.

In announcing Gal Gadot’s selection, Festival Chairman Matzner said, “Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman showed us a strong, capable, poised, curious and compassionate character, and her performance has been universally praised, resonating with audiences everywhere. Gal plays the immortal warrior so well, and the film’s themes are especially apt for today, empowering all types of people — women and men, young and old — the world over.”

I, Tonya star Allison Janney
Allison Janney stars in ‘I, Tonya’ (Photo © 2017 NEON)

The I, Tonya Plot: Based on unbelievable yet true events, I, Tonya is a darkly comedic tale of American figure skater Tonya Harding and one of the most sensational scandals in sports history. The first American woman to complete a triple-axel in competition, Harding’s legacy was instead defined by her association with an ill-conceived, crudely executed attack on fellow Olympic competitor Nancy Kerrigan. Featuring an iconic turn by Margot Robbie as the fiery Harding, a mustachioed Sebastian Stan as her impetuous ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, and a tour-de-force performance from Allison Janney as her acid-tongued mother, LaVona, Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya is an absurd, irreverent and piercing portrayal of Harding’s life and career.