The 26th annual Palm Springs Film Festival will honor “Whiplash” actor J.K. Simmons with its Actor Spotlight Award, the festival announced Monday. The actor will accept the award at the awards gala presented by Cartier on Jan. 3, 2015.

Simmons, who will join previously announced award recipients Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore, receives the honor for his role as jazz instructor Terence Fletcher in “Whiplash,” a tormenting figure to Miles Teller’s character in the film.

“Throughout his career J.K. Simmons had played a wide range of roles from tough guys in ‘Oz’ and Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man’ films to nicer guys in ‘Juno’ and ‘Up in the Air,'” said Harold Matzner, PSIFF chairman. “In ‘Whiplash,’ Simmons shines with his tough guy portrayal of a music teacher, who physically and emotionally terrorizes a young drummer, and gives a captivating performance that is alternately hilarious and terrifying. We are honored to present J.K. Simmons with the 2015 Spotlight Award, Actor.”

For those with an eye on awards season contenders, previous Spotlight Award winners include Julia Roberts, Jessica Chastain, Amy Adams and Helen Hunt, all of whom received Oscar nominations for the same year.

The festival runs from Jan. 2-12 in Palm Springs, Fla.