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‘King Richard’ Cast to Receive Ensemble Performance Award from Palm Springs Film Festival

Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis and the entire cast will be in attendance for the gala ceremony on Jan. 6

The cast of “King Richard,” including Will Smith and Aunjanue Ellis, will receive the Ensemble Performance Award from the Palm Springs International Film Festival, it was announced on Monday.

The full cast is expected to attend the Gala Film Awards on January 6, 2022 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. That includes Smith, Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Jon Bernthal and Tony Goldwyn.

Past recipients of the Ensemble Performance Award include the casts of “Argo,” “American Hustle,” “The Big Short,” “Hidden Figures,” “The Imitation Game” and “The Social Network.”

“’King Richard’ is a wonderful film that tells the emotional story of Richard Williams’ determination and vision that, along with the steady support of his wife Oracene, turned their daughters Venus and Serena into tennis superstars,” festival chairman Harold Matzner said. “Will Smith absolutely transforms into Richard, alongside a powerful Aunjanue Ellis as Oracene, in this true ensemble film. … The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present the Ensemble Performance Award to the cast of ‘King Richard.’” 

The “King Richard” cast joins previously announced honorees including “Belfast” writer/director Kenneth Branagh and the film’s 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).

“King Richard” is a biopic about the life of Richard Williams, the father of tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams, charting their childhood and how Williams mapped out their entire path to success and becoming Grand Slam champions and the best who ever played the game. Last week, the film earned two prizes from the National Board of Review for Smith and Ellis in the acting fields, and it also landed on the NBR’s best films of the year list.