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Palm Springs International Film Festival recognizes actress, singer Andra Day

The organizers of the Palm Springs International Film Festival today announced Andra Day as the Breakthrough Performance Award winner for her starring role in "The United States vs. Billie Holiday."

"Few jazz vocalists are more beloved than Billie Holiday, and Andra Day brings Holiday and her iconic voice back to life through a sympathetic and nuanced portrayal that sheds new light on the U.S. government's role in seeking to muzzle a homegrown legend,'' Festival Chairman Harold Matzner said.

"The United States vs. Billie Holida"' is the singer-songwriter's debut role in a feature film.

On Wednesday, the 36-year-old San Diego native earned two Golden Globe Award nominations -- one for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama, and another for Best Original Song, "Tigress & Tweed,'' which she co-wrote and performed in the film.

Day is perhaps best known for her R&B hit "Rise Up" from 2015, for which she scored a Grammy nomination.

The Palm Springs film festival's in-person activities, including the awards gala, are canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the Palm Springs International Film Society still plans to acknowledge this year's most celebrated films and film performances via a tribute that will air on Feb. 11 on "Entertainment Tonight.''

Festival organizers previously announced director Chloe Zhao ("Nomadland") and actors Anthony Hopkins ("The Father''), Leslie Odom Jr. ("One Night in Miami"), Riz Ahmed ("Sound of Metal''), Gary Oldman
("Mank") and Carey Mulligan ("Promising Young Woman'') as 2021 honorees, along with "The Trial of the Chicago 7" as the winner of the Vanguard Award that recognizes a director and cast for "collective work on an exceptional film project.''

Variety will honor British director Steve McQueen with the Creative Impact in Directing Award at the 10 Directors to Watch and Creative Impact Awards virtual event on Feb. 26 for "Small Axe," a collection of films he
created for Amazon Studios.

The Palm Springs International Film Festival is set to return next year. The Palm Springs ShortFest is scheduled for June 22-28.

More information can be found at www.psfilmfest.org.

City News Service

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