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The Santa Barbara International Film Festival Guests highlights

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will honor Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Stanley Tucci and Christoph Waltz with the Cinema Vanguard Award at the 25th edition of the Fest, which runs February 4-February 14, 2010, it was announced today by SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling.  The Tribute will take place on Friday, February 12, 2010.
The Cinema Vanguard Award was created in recognition of an actor who has forged his/her own path - taking artistic risks and making a significant and unique contribution to film. In previous years, this award was first bestowed on Ryan Gosling and last year to Kristin Scott Thomas.
Comments Durling, "This group of supporting actors encompasses the best of the best; their roles have made us love them as well as hate them, sometimes all at the same time.  I am so pleased to have all of them together, in one place to celebrate them and thank them for the cinematic treasures they have created."
Vera Farmiga has suffered on the big screen in some dark roles, portraying everything from a drug-addicted mom to a mental patient.  Her range is vast, to say the least, having played the daughters of Christopher Walken in The Opportunists and Richard Gere in Autumn in New York, as well as a wife of a mobster in Running Scared, a  humorous prostitute in Breaking and Entering and a covert CIA operative in Rod Lurie's Nothing But The Truth.  In Jason Reitman's upcoming holiday film Up In The Air Farmiga is sharing the screen and going toe to toe with George Clooney and holding her own with cinema's debonair leading man.  She makes a seamless transition from serious, heartbreaking roles to a quick wit and wonderfully subtle humor and back again. 
Peter Sarsgaard has reinvented himself, time after time, in challenging roles that captivate audiences.  From his breakout part opposite Hilary Swank in the 1999 film, "Boys Don't Cry" to Sam Mendes' Gulf War biopic, Jarhead; Sarsgaard makes a big impression, regardless of how much screen time he has.Remaining true to his independent roots, he has played pivotal supporting roles in films like Garden State, Kinsey, and Shattered Glass, which delighted critics and earned him a Golden Globe nomination.  Showing no limits to the scope of his talent, he charms once more, in the coming-of-age film An Education, reiterating his enduring appeal as an actor. 
Stanley Tucci has a vast arsenal when it comes to the eclectic roles that he portrays on film and television. This award-winning actor embraces the good, the bad and sometimes even the ugly and presents us with a compelling and moving performance each and every time.  In the hit film Big Night Tucci's portrayal of the smooth talking front man of a family owned restaurant was also the debut of his wide range of talents having co-written, co-produced and co-directed the film.  Expertly navigating roles from the proverbial 'actor' David Ruskin on USA Network's Monk to the highly touted TV miniseries Winchell in which Tucci braved the title role to the very witty, sarcastic 'Nigel' in the hit film The Devil Wears Prada to the man behind the woman as Julia Childs husband in this year's hit Julie & Julia.    This winter will bring yet another gripping character to the forefront of Tucci's career with his portrayal of George Harvey in Peter Jackson's highly anticipated The Lovely Bones. 
Having already gained acclaim and praise for his work in Germany and Austria, American audiences have enthusiastically embraced Christoph Waltz.  Hisperformance in "Inglourious Basterds" as the charmingly sadistic Nazi officer Col. Hans Landa grabbed everyone's attention and has yet to let go.  He won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival when the film first premiered.  "He creates a character unlike any Nazi- indeed, anyone at all- I've seen in a movie: evil, sardonic, ironic, mannered, absurd," says Roger Ebert.  Director Quentin Tarantino has been quoted as saying that had he not discovered Waltz, the film might have been scrapped entirely.  While he is new to the American film culture, he is welcomed with open arms and we all hope he stays awhile!
The Cinema Vanguard Award Tribute will take place at The Lobero Theatre on Friday, February 12. Tickets for this event are available now, discounted 20% until December 18 and can be purchased through or by calling 805.962.8543.  Mini-Paks for the festival (NOT passes) are discounted 20% until November 28, while Festival Passes and Packages are currently discounted at 15% and on sale exclusively at and 805.962.8543. Ticketing fees will apply for all Film Festival Passes, Mini-Paks and event tickets.
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is set to run February 4 - 14, 2010.  Now in its 25th year, SBIFF is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching local culture and raising consciousness of film as an art form and continues to be an essential stop on the road to the Oscars.  SBIFF presents quality American Independent, Spanish and Latin American, European, World and Documentary cinema, as well as nature and surf films, all within the beautiful setting of downtown Santa Barbara, a perfect backdrop and premier tourist destination.  SBIFF is also committed to education through its 10-10-10 youth filmmakers project, 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, SBIFF attracts an eclectic and diverse consumer base, both locally and nationally, while maintaining strong ties with the entertainment industry in nearby Los Angeles.  For more information, please visit

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