The award will be presented at the festival’s Film Awards Gala on Jan. 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The festival runs Jan. 2-16.
“Ruth Negga’s performance as Mildred Loving is one of the year’s most luminous and striking portrayals,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “This timeless love story about an interracial couple reminds us of the unstoppable power of love in the face of hate and prejudice – a story that could not be more resonant and powerful today. This will certainly be just one of many breathtaking performances in a long career.”
Past recipients of the Rising Star Award include Alicia Vikander, Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson, Anna Kendrick, Dakota Fanning, and Terrence Howard.
Focus Features’ “Loving ” is written and directed by Jeff Nichols, and stars Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple who fell in love and were married in 1958. The couple were jailed and then banished by the state of Virginia and their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the foundation of the right to marry.
Negga’s credits include “World War Z,” “The Samaritan,” “Jimi: All Is by My Side,” “Warcraft” and “Iona.” Negga won the Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of singer Shirley Bassey in the telefilm “Shirley.”