“Slumdog Millionaire” actress Freida Pinto will receive the Breakthrough Performance Award at the 20th annual Palm Springs Film Festival awards gala on Jan. 6.
The Indian-born thesp’s perf as Latika in helmer Danny Boyle’s sleeper hit is her first lead role after starting as a model and TV correspondent in Mumbai. Previous Breakthrough Awards have gone to Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Hudson and Felicity Huffman.
Fest unspools Jan. 6-19. The awards gala kickoff will also honor Sean Penn, Clint Eastwood, Ron Howard, Dustin Hoffman, Anne Hathaway and Gus Van Sant.