The honor will be presented as part of the festival's annual Film Awards Gala, presented by American Express and sponsored by Entertainment Tonight and AT&T. The event will be hosted by Mary Hart on Jan. 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.
"In Just Mercy, Jamie Foxx gives a moving and truly remarkable performance as Walter McMillian, a man sentenced to death for a murder, for which he was wrongly convicted," Harold Matzner, the Festival Chairman, said in a statement. "This is an inspiring drama that brings an important story about how our justice system can fail to the big screen. It is a story that audiences should see. It is our honor to present the Spotlight Award, Actor to Jamie Foxx."
Previous recipients of the award include Timothée Chalamet, Bryan Cranston, Andrew Garfield, Sam Rockwell and J.K. Simmons. All recipients received Academy Award nominations in the year they were honored; both Rockwell and Simmons won Oscars for Best Supporting Actor, for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, in 2018 and for Whiplash in 2015, respectively.
Other honorees who have already been announced are Antonio Banderas (International Star Award, Actor), Laura Dern (Career Achievement Award), Adam Driver (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor), Cynthia Erivo (Breakthrough Performance Award), Zack Gottsagen (Rising Star Award), Jennifer Lopez (Spotlight Award, Actress), Joaquin Phoenix (Chairman’s Award), Martin Scorsese (Sonny Bono Visionary Award), Charlize Theron (International Star Award, Actress) and Renée Zellweger (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress).