Davis is being recognized “for her acting roles and her commitment to the rights of women and minorities,” according to a statement from award organizers, which also noted that the Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom star was “one of the most influential American actresses and producers of her time.”
“Her talent, hard work, choice of roles and the way she interprets them have earned her the very highest recognitions in the film industry,” the statement continued in part. “Viola Davis is one of the few Hollywood personalities to have won a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, four SAG Awards, and what Hollywood calls the Triple Crown of Acting: two Tony Awards, an Oscar and an Emmy, for her roles in the stage play King Hedley II, Fences and its remarkable film adaptation, and the TV series How to Get Away with Murder. This astonishing record also makes her the only African American actress to have received so many nominations and awards for her roles in theater, television and film.
It concluded by saying, “Kering and the Festival de Cannes wish to recognize her activism and achievements by presenting her with the Women In Motion Award. Since its launch in 2015, the program has been rewarding and highlighting women’s creativity and unique contribution to culture and the arts, and their role in helping to transform our vision of the world through their work.”
Prior to this announcement, Cannes also announced that veteran actor Forest Whitaker would be the recipient of the Honorary Palme d’Or award which recognizes individuals with a “sparkling artistic journey, a rare personality as well as a discreet but strong humanitarian commitment to key topical issues.”
The 2022 Cannes Film Festival goes down Tuesday, May 17 and runs through Saturday, May 28 in Cannes, France. For more information, visit festival-cannes.com.