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Cate Blanchett will receive Modern Master Award

Academy Award winning actress Cate Blanchett has been selected to receive the 2008 Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Modern Master Award on Saturday, January 26, 2008, it was announced by SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling.

Blanchett is one of the most gifted performers working today. She possesses an innate intelligence and ability to adapt completely to her characters, making her one of Hollywood’s most respected and revered talents. She developed her talent at a young age, working extensively in theater in her native Australia. She achieved international acclaim in 1998 with her stunning performance as a young Elizabeth I in Shekhar Kapur’s “Elizabeth,” which earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, a BAFTA Award for Lead Actress, a Screen Actors Guild Awards nomination and an Oscar nomination. Blanchett returns this year in Kapur’s sequel “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” that focuses on the late 16th Century when Queen Elizabeth is faced with political and personal conflict: the threat from Spain to invade her country and the reality that she may never find true love, remaining the Virgin Queen forever.

She has had the opportunity to portray a wide range of characters in films by some of the most esteemed directors, such as Mike Newell’s “Pushing Tin,” Anthony Minghella’s “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” Barry Levinson’s “Bandits,” Lasse Hallström’s “The Shipping News,” Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Joel Schumacher’s “Veronica Guerin,” Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator” (for which Blanchett won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Babel,” and others. Blanchett will also be seen this year in Todd Haynes’ “I’m Not There,” in which she joins six actors who each portray a different aspect of Bob Dylan’s life and work.

“Cate Blanchett is the most consummate actor,” commented Durling, “and portraying Queen Elizabeth and Bob Dylan in the same year - and so indelibly - is pure alchemy. We’re so eager to honor her in the upcoming festival.”

The Modern Master Award is the highest honor presented by SBIFF. Established in 1995, it was created to honor an individual who has enriched our culture through his/her accomplishments in the motion picture industry. Past Modern Masters recipients include Michael Douglas, Peter Jackson, Jodie Foster, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sean Penn, Jeff Bridges, Diane Keaton, George Clooney, and Will Smith. Blanchett’s outstanding contributions to the art of filmmaking have put her on par with these past Modern Masters and SBIFF is proud to name her its 2008 Modern Master.

The festivities will take place at the historic Arlington Theatre with a multimedia presentation produced by Paul Fagen of P. Fagen Productions. Tickets for the Modern Master Award will go on sale Friday, October 5 and can be purchased through www.sbfilmfestival.org or through the Lobero Box Office, 805.963.0761 and the Arlington Theater Box office, 805.963.4408. Festival Platinum and Cinema Passes are currently on sale exclusively at the Lobero Box Office. Box Office fees will apply for all Film Festival Passes, Mini-Paks, and event tickets.

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, set to run January 24 through February 3, 2008, is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching local culture and raising consciousness of film as an art form. SBIFF presents quality American and world independent films, Latin American and Asian sidebars as well as documentary cinema within the beautiful setting of Santa Barbara, a premier tourist destination. SBIFF is also committed to education through its Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting Competitions, Field Trip to the Movies, and educational seminars. With a projected audience of over 60,000 viewing more than 200 films over its eleven-day run, SBIFF attracts an affluent local and national consumer base, while maintaining strong ties with the entertainment industry in nearby Los Angeles.

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