“Just Mercy” tells the true story of a lawyer attempting to free a man wrongfully convicted of the murder of an 18-year-old girl. Foxx has already received critical acclaim for his performance in the film, including a SAG nomination for best supporting actor.
“In ‘Just Mercy,’ Jamie Foxx gives a moving and truly remarkable performance as Walter McMillian, a man sentenced to death for a murder, for which he was wrongly convicted,” festival chairman Harold Matzner said. “This is an inspiring drama that brings an important story about how our justice system can fail to the big screen. It is a story that audiences should see. It is our honor to present the spotlight award, actor to Jamie Foxx.”
The Grammy and Academy Award winner began his career as a stand-up comic, eventually joining the cast of “In Living Color” and then starring in his own comedy, “The Jamie Foxx Show.” Foxx’s recent film credits include “Baby Driver” opposite Ansel Elgort and “Django Unchained” alongside Leonardo DiCaprio.
Foxx joins this year’s previously announced honorees: Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”), 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 spotlight award include Timothée Chalamet, Bryan Cranston, Andrew Garfield, Sam Rockwell and J.K. Simmons, all of whom received Oscar noms in the year they were honored.
The festival runs from Jan. 2 to Jan. 13.