Palm Springs Film Fest: Riz Ahmed Tapped for Male Actor Award (Exclusive)

For Sound of Metal, Ahmed moved to Brooklyn, dyed his hair, and learned sign language and how to drum.
Courtesy of Amazon Studios

For 'Sound of Metal,' Ahmed moved to Brooklyn, dyed his hair, and learned sign language and how to drum.

Riz Ahmed, for his acclaimed portrayal of a heavy metal drummer who loses his hearing, will be this year's recipient of the Palm Springs International Film Festival's Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

This year's PSIFF and the Awards Gala that is one of its highlights will not take place in-person due to the pandemic. But honorees will still be announced and recognized as part of a tribute that will air on Entertainment Tonight on Feb. 11 and Feb. 25.

"Riz Ahmed delivers one of the most complex and moving on-screen performances of the year," PSIFF chairman Harold Matzner said in a statement. "For this realistic and outstanding portrayal, we are honored to present the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor to Riz Ahmed."

Past recipients of this same honor include Jeff Bridges, Bradley Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, Adam Driver, Colin Firth, Matthew McConaughey, Gary Oldman, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt and Eddie Redmayne. (In the years they were honored, Bridges, Day-Lewis, McConaughey, Oldman, Penn and Redmayne went on to win the best actor Oscar, while Cooper, Driver, Firth and Pitt received best actor Oscar nominations.)

Ahmed joins three other previously announced honorees: Promising Young Woman's lead actress Carey Mulligan (International Star Award), Mank's lead actor Gary Oldman (Chairman's Award) and Nomadland's Chloe Zhao (Director of the Year Award).