Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe are set to receive the Ensemble Performance Award Jan. 2 at the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala for their role in the upcoming film Hidden Figures.
The film tells the untold true story of the African American women mathematicians, Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan, Kathryn Peddrew, Sue Wilder, Eunice Smith and Barbara Holley, who worked at NASA during the Civil Rights era. The story revolves around these brilliant African-American women who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history, the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and his safe return. Glenn flew the Friendship 7 mission in 1962, and became the first American to orbit the Earth.
Henson will play Katherine Johnson, Spencer will play Dorothy Vaughan and Monae will play the youngest member of the trio, Mary Jackson.
“History has its share of incredible untold stories, and this is one of the most compelling: The tale of three African-American women; engineers, physicists, mathematicians – who in their work for NASA in the early 1960s were integral in calculating the flight trajectories for Project Mercury and Apollo 11.” – Harold Maztner, Festival Chairman
Mahershala Ali, Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons, Kirsten Dunst and Glen Powell are also set to star in the film. Ted Melfi will direct alongside producer Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping who will produce through Chernin Entertainment, and Donna Gigliotti will produce through Levantine Films. Pharrell Williams will also serve as a producer and music composer.
Past recipients of the Ensemble Performance Award include the Academy Award winner for Best Picture Argo, and past Best Picture nominees American Hustle, Babel, The Big Short, The Imitation Game and The Social Network.