Yesterday, the 47th annual Atlanta Film Festival (ATLFF) awarded Keke Palmer with the Ossie Davis Award, which recognizes creative excellence and dynamic contributions to the art of cinema, for her achievements across film, television, and music, all while bringing truth, vulnerability, and power to her roles. Palmer was presented with the award at the Atlanta premiere of Big Boss, a new short film that she wrote and her directorial debut.

In Big Boss, a young woman from Chicago struggles to make it in the unpredictable, callous, male-dominated music industry, only to realize the greater challenge was learning to trust her own instincts. This is her true story of perseverance, self-love, impenetrable faith, and survival of spirit.

“I’m very appreciative of this award. Thank you to my family, my friends, my fans, and the Atlanta Film Festival for recognizing me with this award,” said Keke Palmer upon accepting her award. 

“Keke was a natural fit for the Ossie Davis Award being that she is an impressive multi-hyphenate artist, working at the highest level in all areas of entertainment. We are thrilled to honor her in person and to show her film to the Atlanta audience,” said Christopher Escobar, ATLFS Executive Director.

The Ossie Davis Award, named after the late actor and activist, recognizes creative excellence and dynamic contributions to the art of cinema. The recipient of the Ossie Davis Award must also typify the award’s namesake, who, through his creative achievements, promoted human dignity and social justice. There have only been three prior recipients of this award: Spike Lee (Writer/Director of DO THE RIGHT THING, MALCOLM X, 4 LITTLE GIRLS, SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT) in 2005; Cicely Tyson (Actress in ROOTS, DIARY OF MAD BLACK WOMAN, FRIED GREEN TOMATOES) in 2006,  and last awarded to John Sayles & Maggie Renzi (HONEY DRIPPER) in 2007. 

The Atlanta Film Festival is the annual centerpiece of educational and enriching film programming that is provided year-round by its parent organization, the Atlanta Film Society (ATLFS). Now in its fifth decade, ATLFF is one of only a handful of film festivals worldwide that is Academy Award-qualifying in all three categories (live-action short, animation short, and documentary short subject). 

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