Gal Gadot, Mary J. Blige & More to Be Honored at 2018 Santa Barbara Film Festival
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced today the recipients of the 2018 Virtuosos Award, presented by UGG®. The Virtuosos Award, an honor created to recognize a select group of talent who have distinguished themselves through breakthrough performances in film this past year - will be presented to: Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Hong Chau (Downsizing), John Boyega (Detroit), Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick), Mary J. Blige (Mudbound), and Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name). The award presentation, which will be moderated for the eighth year by Dave Karger, will take place February 3, 2018, at the Arlington Theatre during the 33rd edition of the festival, which runs January 31 to February 10, 2018."2017 has seen a variety of breakout performances," stated Roger Durling, Executive Director of SBIFF. "We are thrilled to celebrate this diverse group of actors who have earned their place as some of the most talented individuals working in the industry today." The group will be recognized for their breakthrough roles in 2017 and careers thus far. Daniel Kaluuya gives a star-making performance as the unsuspecting yet resourceful Chris Washington in the speculative thriller Get Out. Bringing to life the enduringly popular comic book character of the same name, Gal Gadot balances formidable prowess and a genuine sense of hope in her role in this summer's critically praised, conversation-changing Wonder Woman. Hong Chau delivers an inspiring performance in the social satire Downsizing, in which she brings humor and compassion to the role of Ngoc Lan Tran. In Detroit, John Boyega gives a captivating turn as Melvin Dismukes, a security guard who is falsely accused of killing three men on one of the most horrific nights in American history. Based on a true story that he co-wrote, Kumail Nanjiani brings comedy, pathos, and dramatic STAKES to The Big Sick as a man whose girlfriend falls into a mysterious coma. Renowned singer/songwriter Mary J. Blige delivers a powerful and solemn turn as Florence Jackson, a mother struggling to maintain land in 1940s Mississippi. In Call Me By Your Name, Timothée Chalamet gives a brilliant and heartfelt performance as Elio, a teenage boy who begins a relationship with his father's assistant. Prior recipients for the award include Dev Patel, Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Ruth Negga, Alicia Vikander, Rosamund Pike, J.K. Simmons, Eddie Redmayne, Quvenzhane Wallis, Rooney Mara, Melissa McCarthy, Andrew Garfield, John Hawkes, Hailee Steinfeld, Jacki Weaver, Carey Mulligan, Saoirse Ronan, Gabourey Sidibe, Casey Affleck, Marion Cotillard, Viola Davis, Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Melissa Leo, Ellen Page, Amy Ryan, Michael Shannon, Brie Larson, Jared Leto, and June Squibb.
The festival recently announced that it will honor Judi Dench with the Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film, Willem Dafoe with the Cinema Vanguard Award, and Gary Oldman with the Maltin Modern Master Award, with additional festival honorees to be announced. For more information, and to purchase tickets, festival passes and packages, please visit www.sbiff.org. About the Santa Barbara International Film Festival The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. Over the past 30 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States - attracting 90,000 attendees and offering 11 days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums, fulfilling their mission to engage, enrich, and inspire the Santa Barbara community through film. SBIFF continues its commitment to education and the community through free programs like its 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting Competitions, Mike's Field Trip to the Movies, National Film Studies Program, AppleBox Family Films, 3rd Weekend and educational seminars. In June of 2016, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre. The theatre is SBIFF's new home and is the catalyst for program expansion and marks the first time that Santa Barbara has had a 24/7 community center to expand their mission of educational outreach.