Actress and producer Viola Davis is a creative force who has tapped into the power of her craft to transform the arts, and her barrier-breaking achievements will be celebrated at the Cannes Film Festival. According to Variety, Davis will receive the festival’s 2022 Women in Motion Award.
From the Broadway stage to the silver screen, Davis has brought a distinctive sense of depth, poignancy and grace to roles that illuminate the different facets of humanity. The Juilliard School alumna has garnered several awards and accolades for her work, including four SAG Awards, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. Davis is also one of the first Black actresses to achieve triple-crown honors earning two Tony Awards, an Emmy and an Oscar. Through television shows like How to Get Away with Murder and films that include Doubt, The Help, Fences, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and countless other projects, she has masterfully portrayed compelling characters.
Rooted in the belief that there is power in owning your narrative, Davis and her husband Julius Tennon launched a production company dubbed JuVee Productions as an outlet to amplify the voices and diverse stories of communities that have historically been marginalized. Her impact transcends far beyond entertainment. She has used her platform as an avenue for activism; advocating for gender equity and racial justice and spreading awareness about the detrimental effects of socioeconomic inequities.
“Viola Davis, known throughout the world for her acting roles and her commitment to the rights of women and minorities, is one of the most influential American actresses and producers of her time,” read a statement released by the Kering Group. “Her talent, hard work, choice of roles and the way she interprets them have earned her the very highest recognitions in the film industry.” Past honorees include Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis and Salma Hayek.
News about the honor comes on the heels of the release of Davis’ memoir Finding Me. The New York Times best-selling book candidly details how she navigated coming of age in an impoverished environment and defied the odds to rise to the top of the entertainment industry.