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Viola Davis in The Help

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has announced that it will present award-winning actress, Viola Davis with the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award for her ‘compelling’ performance in Tate Taylor’s The Help at the 27th edition of the Festival which runs January 26 – February 5, 2012.

Davis captivated audiences and critics alike last summer with her portrayal of African American housemaid “Aibileen Clark.” Set in Jackson, Mississippi, during the 1960s, “The Help” chronicles the relationship between three different and extraordinary women who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. Deeply moving, filled with humor, hope and heart, “The Help” is a timeless and universal story about the ability to create change.

Davis will join previous Outstanding Performer Award recipients, including: James Franco (2011), Colin Firth (2010), Penelope Cruz (2009), Angelina Jolie (2008), Helen Mirren (2007), Heath Ledger (2006), Kate Winslet (2005) and Charlize Theron (2004).

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