Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody
Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody

Rami Malek will receive the Breakthrough Performance Award Bohemian Rhapsody at the at the 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) Film Awards Gala on Thursday, January 3.  The Festival runs January 3-14.

“In the film Bohemian Rhapsody, Rami Malek fully brings to life and embodies musical legend Freddie Mercury, in what is truly an outstanding performance for this fine actor,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “For his portrayal that is garnering much critical acclaim, it is our honor to present the 2018 Breakthrough Performance Award to Rami Malek.”

Malek joins previously announced honoree Glenn Close, who will receive the Icon Award. Past recipients of the Breakthrough Performance Award include Mahershala Ali, Mary J. Blige, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Hudson, Felicity Huffman, Brie Larson, Lupita Nyong’o, David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike and Jeremy Renner. In the years they were honored, Ali, Cotillard, Hudson, Larson and Nyong’o went on to receive Academy Awards®, while Blige, Huffman, Pike and Renner received nominations.

Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises’ Bohemian Rhapsody is a celebration of rock band Queen and its incendiary lead singer Freddie Mercury (played by Rami Malek, in a tour-de-force performance). With an original screenplay by Anthony McCarten (The Darkest Hour, The Theory of Everything), and story by McCarten and Peter Morgan (The Queen, The Crown), the film traces the rise of the group and its frontman, who so brazenly defied stereotypes and shattered convention. Though Queen reached staggering global success through their iconic songs (including We Are The Champions, Somebody to Love, Don’t Stop Me Now and We Will Rock You) and their revolutionary sound and style, it was not without its obstacles. Mercury – amidst personal struggles – famously chose to abandon the group in pursuit of a solo career. His eventual reunion with the band at Live Aid 1985 went on to be considered one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music, though this time in Mercury’s life also was marked by his tragic battle with AIDS.

Malek is the star of the critically acclaimed and award-winning psychological drama Mr. Robot. For his role as Elliot Alderson, Malek won an Emmy and Critics Choice Award, and is also a two-time Golden Globe® and Screen Actors Guild Award nominee. His film credits include Michael Noer’s Papillon, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, Tom Hanks’ Larry Crowne, and Destin Daniel Cretton’s Short Tern 12.

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