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Michael Douglas will be bestowed with his father’s honor in Santa Barbara, the 2011 KIRK DOUGLAS AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN FILM

In recognition of his contributions to the world of film, Michael Douglas will be bestowed with his father’s honor, the 2011 KIRK DOUGLAS AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN FILM from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The 6th annual black-tie Gala dinner will take place at The Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara on Thursday, October 13, 2011.

“The first time I saw Michael Douglas act was in a play at UC Santa Barbara, so it is fitting that a career that started here should be honored here” commented Kirk Douglas. “To tell the truth, I wanted Michael to be a lawyer. I secretly hoped he would be bad so I could tell him to forget it. He wasn’t. But as proud as I am of his achievements on screen, I am even prouder of the humanitarian work he has done for the United Nations and other organizations. I am very happy to give this award to my favorite actor/producer who also happens to be my firstborn son.”
 
The tribute will stand as one of the most memorable events in SBIFF history as a film legend of one generation honors the next. Previous recipients of the award include such enduring stars as John Travolta, Ed Harris, Quentin Tarantino, and Harrison Ford.
 
Throughout his career Michael Douglas has shown great versatility within the film industry, displaying his talent as both an actor and producer. With over 35 years of acting experience, Douglas stands as a master of his craft, possessing the ability to make audiences fall in love with, and also loathe and despise him, sometimes within the span of a single film. In addition to the great respect from his peers, Douglas has garnered many accolades for his work, including: 2 Academy Awards, the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, 4 Emmy Nominations, a Screen Actors Guild award, 6 Golden Globe nominations, and 2 Golden Globe awards.
 
Born with acting in his blood, Douglas landed his first role as a free-spirited scientist in the CBS Playhouse production of The Experiment (1969). Continuing to gain attention in several television shows and films, Douglas took on a major role opposite Karl Malden in the series The Streets of San Francisco (1972), for which he earned 3 consecutive Emmy nominations. During this time Douglas also began experimenting behind the camera and eventually left the show to produce the film version of Ken Kesey's grimly humorous novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), having convinced his father Kirk to give him the rights. The film was a huge success, earning $180 million at the box office and gained him the Academy Award for Best Picture.
 
Douglasreturned to acting, playing in a variety of roles and in 1987 appeared in two of the biggest hits of the year.  He starred opposite Glenn Close in the phenomenally successful psychological thriller, Fatal Attraction which was followed by his performance as ruthless corporate raider Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone's Wall Street earning him the Academy Award for Best Actor. In 1995 Douglas portrayed the title role in Rob Reiner’s romantic comedy “The American President” opposite Annette Bening, and in 1997, starred in “The Game” directed by David Fincher and co-starring Sean Penn. Douglas had another landmark year in 2000 in which he starred in Wonder Boys alongside Tobey McGuire and Robert Downey Jr. and eventually gained him a nomination for a Golden Globe and BAFTA Film Award. Later that year Douglas starred as Robert Wakefield, a newly appointed drug czar in Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic. In the film Douglas starred alongside Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, Amy Irving, Dennis Quaid and Catherine Zeta-Jones, for which they garnered Best Ensemble Cast at the SAG Awards.
 
In 2003 Michael Douglas took the title of his film quite literally in which he produced and starred in It Runs in the Family, alongside his father Kirk Douglas, his mother Diana Douglas and his son Cameron Douglas.  In 2010 starred in Wall Street 2 – Money Never Sleeps reprising his Oscar winning role as Gordon Gekko and once again was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance. Again directed by Oliver Stone, he co-stars with Shia Labeouf, Carey Mulligan, Josh Brolin, Frank Langella and Susan Sarandon.
 
The Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film serves as a fundraiser for the 27th Santa Barbara International Film Festival which is set to run January 26 through February 5, 2012. SBIFF is dedicated to the art of filmmaking, as it seeks out and consequently offers a broad array of international and independent films, with a commitment to diversity.   SBIFF, which attracts more than 70,000 visitors each year, endeavors to enrich the community both culturally and economically by presenting eleven days of films, tributes and symposiums, 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 downtown Santa Barbara, a premier tourist destination.  SBIFF continues its commitment to education through its 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting Competitions, Field Trip to the Movies and educational seminars.  For more information, log onto www.sbfilmfestival.org.

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