“Harriet” tells the remarkable tale of Harriet Tubman’s transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Erivo’s performance in the slave drama as Tubman has already garnered two Golden Globe nominations and one SAG Award nomination. Erivo’s song from the film, “Stand Up,” was selected for the Academy Award shortlist.
“Cynthia Erivo has been a sensation in her theatrical performances and now audiences are getting to experience her on the big screen. In Harriet, she fully embodies and brings to life the tale of Harriet Tubman, whose courage saved herself and many others from a life of slavery,” festival chairman Harold Matzner said. “She is a star on the rise and for her portrayal that has garnered much critical acclaim and has received several award nominations it is our honor to present her with the Breakthrough Performance Award.”
The Tony, Emmy and Grammy Award-winning actress burst onto Broadway with the “The Color Purple,” eventually going on to appear in “Bad Times at the El Royale” and “Widows” with Viola Davis. Her upcoming projects include HBO’s “The Outsider,” based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, and National Geographic’s “Genius: Aretha.”
Ervivo joins this year’s previously announced honorees: Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”); Laura Dern (“Marriage Story”); Jennifer Lopez (“Hustlers”); Zack Gottsagen (“The Peanut Butter Falcon”); Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”); Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”); Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”) and Renée Zellweger (“Judy”).
Past recipients of the breakthrough performance award include Mahershala Ali, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Felicity Huffman, Brie Larson, Rami Malek, Lupita Nyong’o, Rosamund Pike and Jeremy Renner.
The festival runs Jan. 2-Jan. 13.