The festival will present the award on Jan. 2 at its annual gala at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The gala will also see the presentation of awards to previously announced honorees Cate Blanchett, Johnny Depp, Michael Fassbender, Brie Larson, Tom McCarthy and Saoirse Ronan.
“In ‘The Danish Girl,’ Alicia Vikander delivers a superb performance as Gerda Wegener, the wife of transgender pioneer Lili Elbe,” said festival chairman Harold Matzner. “She projects so much love and pain as she goes on a journey with Lili during an era when there was no precedent for it. Gerda’s own transformation as a character speaks to the story’s themes of courage and self-acceptance.”
Past recipients of the Rising Star Award include Jessica Biel, Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch, Bryce Dallas Howard, Terrence Howard, Anna Kendrick, Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett Johansson. Howard, Kendrick and Lawrence went on to receive Academy Award nominations in those years.
“The Danish Girl” is inspired by the lives of Elbe and Wegener, portrayed in the film respectively by Eddie Redmayne and Vikander, directed by Tom Hooper. The film also stars Ben Whishaw, Sebastian Koch, Amber Heard and Matthias Schoenaerts.
Vikander has received a breakthrough performance honor from the New York Film Critics Online.
She was named one of the Shooting Stars for the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival for her performance in “Pure.” Her other film credits include “A Royal Affair,” “Anna Karenina,” “Ex Machina,” “Testament of Youth,” “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” and “Hotell.”
Her upcoming movies include “The Light Between Oceans,” “Tulip Fever” and Paul Greengrass’ new Jason Bourne thriller opposite Matt Damon.