Actor David Oyelowo attends the Selma Washington, DC Premiere at The Newseum in Washington, DC.

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The film festival's chairman praises Oyelowo for his transformation into the iconic Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the new flick, Selma.

Taylor Lewis
Dec, 29, 2014

The prestigious Palm Springs International Film Festival just announced that it will be awarding Selma star David Oyelowo the Breakthrough Performance Award for his portrayal as Dr. Martin Luther King, reports The Hollywood Reporter. This award comes on the tail of his nominations for both a Golden Globe and a Critics Choice Award.

"David Oyelowo's transformation into Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is truly outstanding," the festival's chairman Harold Matzner said in a statement. "He perfectly recreates King's mannerisms and speech cadence, and moreover, captures the spirit of one of the greatest leaders in history, giving audiences a rewarding portrait of this iconic man that is deeply layered and effecting."

Last year, Lupita Nyong'o was honored with the award, and she went on to receive an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in 12 Years a Slave. Jennifer Hudson also won the award in 2007 for her performance in Dreamgirls.

The festival will run from January 2 to January 12, and Oscar nominations will be announced on January 15. 

We have a sneaking suspicion that an Academy Award nomination is in Oyelowo's future...