"Octavia Spencer is a consummate actress who seamlessly blends her dramatic and comedic talents, creating performances of uncommon depth," festival chairman Harold Matzner said in announcing the honor, which will be presented at the fest's Awards Gala on Jan. 7 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. "As the irascible Minny in 'The Help,' she captures the essence of a woman who deals with life head on, relishing confrontation and serving as a source of courage and humor for those whom she loves."
Spencer made her big-screen debut in Joel Schumacher's "A Time to Kill" in 1995. Her credits also include "Dinner for Schmucks," "The Soloist," "Seven Pounds," "Bad Santa," "Spiderman" and "Being John Malkovich."
The 23rd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival runs from Jan. 5-16.
– The Hollywood Reporter