David Oyelowo plays Martin Luther King, Jr. (Middle) and Carmen Ejogo plays Coretta Scott King in SELMA, from Paramount Pictures and Pathé.

David Oyelowo plays Martin Luther King, Jr. (Middle) and Carmen Ejogo plays Coretta Scott King in SELMA, from Paramount Pictures and Pathé.

*David Oyelowo is winning rave reviews for his performance as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in “Selma” and hence, is receiving much Best Actor Oscar buzz.

But with the Oscars only two months away (Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015) and the nominations only a month away (Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015), Oyelowo will be honored with the Breakthrough Performance Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival beforehand.

“David Oyelowo’s transformation into Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is truly outstanding,” said Film Festival Chairman Harold Matzner.

Matzner added, “he perfectly recreates King’s mannerisms and speech cadence, and moreover, captures the spirit of one of the greatest leaders in history, giving audiences a rewarding portrait of this iconic man that is deeply layered and effecting.”

He concluded with, “for this phenomenal portrayal it is an honor to present him with the 2015 Breakthrough Performance Award, Actor.”

The biopic will open the 26th annual festival, which is set for a January 2-12 schedule. The film opened in select theaters/cities on Christmas Day.