Actress Michelle Yeoh spoke on representation during her acceptance speech at the 2023 Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) on Thursday.
“Representation matters,” Yeoh stated. “By your choices over the years, you demanded that attention must be paid to other cultures and a larger world of talent. I thank you for that.”
The 60-year-old actress was greeted on stage by her co-star, Stephanie Hsu.
The award highlights Yeoh as “one of the greatest and most successful actresses from the East,” the Palm Springs International Film Society wrote.
PSIFF also awarded the Chairman’s Award to “The Woman King” star Viola Davis, who also echoed Yeoh’s statements on representation and its importance.
“Oftentimes the journey for Black actors is just having that little hammer and that little chisel and chipping away at that block, which is an industry that says: ‘You can’t lead a global box-office,’ […] ‘You’re not pretty enough,’ ‘You’re not bright skinned enough,’ ‘You’re not enough,’” the actress stated.
Actors Viola Davis and Michelle Yeoh spoke about the importance of representation in cinema while receiving their respective awards at the Palm Springs International Film Festival #PSIFF2023 pic.twitter.com/fm8ihg6oxS
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 6, 2023
The Palm Springs International Film Society is a non-profit organization that aims to “cultivate and promote the art and science of film through education and cross-cultural awareness.” Marking its return after a two-year hiatus, the PSIFF precedes the Academy Awards.