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Clint Eastwood to receive the Santa Barbara Fest honors

Clint Eastwood has been selected to receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s highest honor, The Modern Master Award, it was announced by SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. The Tribute will take place on Thursday, January 29, at the historic Arlington Theatre.

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, Will Smith, and Cate Blanchett.
Comments SBIFF Director Roger Durling, “Clint Eastwood is inarguably one of our greatest directors, one of our greatest producers and one of our greatest actors ever - to call him a Modern Master is simply an understatement.”
Eastwood is a cinematic icon both in front of and behind the camera. His presence on screen is quiet yet powerful, as seen in the drama “Gran Torino,” marking his first film role since his Oscar®-winning film “Million Dollar Baby.” In “Gran Torino,” Eastwood stars as an iron-willed and inflexible Korean War veteran, living in a changing world, who is forced by his immigrant neighbors to confront his own long-held prejudices. When directing, Eastwood’s films tend to possess an unforced naturalism of manner that is glad to bend, even break, with strict realism as well as with strict generic conventions, evidenced in his most recent film, “Changeling,” a drama starring Angelina Jolie in the true story of an infamous 1928 kidnapping case that rocked the LAPD, which he also produced.

His passion for film is clearly visible by the projects that he chooses. The films Eastwood attaches himself to always have thought and meaning within them, such as “Bird,” the biopic of the famous jazz musician, Charlie Parker, for which he won a Golden Globe in 1993 for Best Director and the revisionist western “Unforgiven” in 1994 which went on to win an Academy Award® for Best Picture and garnered a Best Director win. In 1995 Eastwood produced, directed and starred opposite Meryl Streep in “The Bridges of Madison County.” In 2003, the critically acclaimed drama “Mystic River” starring Sean Penn and Tim Robbins went on to earn six Academy Award® nominations , including two for Eastwood for Best Picture and Best Director. In 2005, Eastwood won Academy Awards® for Best Picture and Best Director- his second in both categories- for “Million Dollar Baby.” He also earned a nomination for Best Actor for his performance in the film opposite Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman. In 2007, Eastwood earned dual Academy Awards® nominations, in the categories of Best Director and Best Picture, for his acclaimed World War II drama “Letters from Iwo Jima,” the companion film to his widely praised “Flags of Our Fathers.” Eastwood will next direct and produce the historical drama “The Human Factor,” starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman in the role of Nelson Mandela.

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 today and can be purchased at a 20% discount through December 20 at 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 22 through February 1, 2009, is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching local culture and raising consciousness of film as an art form. The SBIFF presents quality American and world independent films, Latin American and Asian sidebars as well as documentary cinema within the beautiful setting of downtown Santa Barbara, a premier tourist destination. The 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 70,000 viewing more than 200 films over its eleven-day run, the SBIFF attracts an affluent local and national consumer base, while maintaining strong ties with the entertainment industry in nearby Los Angeles.

For more information, please visit www.sbfilmfestival.org.

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Chatelin Bruno
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