Viola Davis to Be Honored as Outstanding Performer of the Year at Santa Barbara Film Festival

Behind the Scenes: THR's Actress Roundtable

Photographer Mary Rozzi lines up a shot of actress Viola Davis.

The Help’s Viola Davis will be hailed as Outstanding Performer of the Year at the Santa Barbara Film Festival at a tribute to be held Jan. 27.

Davis plays Aibileen Clark, an African-American maid in the drama, written and directed by Tate Taylor, set in Jackson, Mississippi during the 1960s. “It’s hard to imagine another performance this year that pierces your heart the way Viola does as Aibileen,” SBIFF executive director Roger Durling said.

Davis, who will also be seen in the upcoming Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,  is already an Oscar nominee for her supporting performance in 2008’s Doubt.

The festival itself runs from Jan. 26 to Feb. 5.