Kristen Stewart Wins The American Riviera Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Charlize Theron presented the actress with the award at the 37th annual awards ceremony.

By: Mar. 05, 2022
Kristen Stewart Wins The American Riviera Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Day 3 of the 37th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival presented by UGG concluded with a live tribute to Kristen Stewart, who received the American Riviera Award. Stewart was honored at an in-person conversation about her career leading up to this year's performance as Princess Diana in Pablo Larraín's SPENCER from NEON.

Stewart sat down with Indiewire Editor-at-Large Anne Thompson for an IN DEPTH discussion about her career. She remembered the first time she realized she was famous, stating, "Two days before 'Twilight' came out, I remember I was sitting on my porch with my dog and I got papped for the first time... sitting there smoking a bowl... I look back on that moment with fondness." She also discussed working with icon Joan Jett on The Runaways, declaring, "I had always revered her and thought she was hot!"

Stewart proceeded to discuss playing a gay woman in Happiest Season, the first Twilight film, and her reaction to earning an Oscar nomination this year for Spencer. She also talked about what she loves about acting, saying "I'm kind of a masochist... I love how scary it is."

She mentioned a potential feature directorial debut: "I'm trying to put a movie together right now... I have a couple balls in the air... I'll tease you with that, but I'm very excited. The worst thing is when you can't tell everything to everyone all at once."

During Stewart's conversation with Thompson, guests enjoyed clips from her acting career, including Panic Room, Zathura: A Space Adventure, Into the Wild, Adventureland, Still Alice, The Runaways, Twilight, Happiest Season, Clouds of Sils Maria, Personal Shopper, and Spencer.

Following the conversation, Charlize Theron presented her with the American Rivera Award. Theron remarked: "You have a real commitment and it shows in everything you do. It's been so fun to watch the trajectory of your career.... Your most recent film, 'Spencer', I have to say is my favorite work of yours to date. It's not an easy task to take on the most iconic figure in modern history, but you let us into this character. You gave us a glimpse into her soul in the most tactful and heart wrenching way."

Upon accepting her award, Stewart said: "Thank you for acknowledging me at this time in my life. I'm in such a good place to receive it." She also thanked Spencer director Pablo Larrain saying "I wish he was here right now. Thank you forever for this."

The American Riviera Award was established to recognize actors who have made a significant contribution to American Cinema. Previous recipients include Delroy Lindo, Renée Zellweger, Viggo Mortenson, Sam Rockwell, Jeff Bridges, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Robert Redford, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Annette Bening, Sandra Bullock, Mickey Rourke, Tommy Lee Jones, Forrest Whitaker, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kevin Bacon and Diane Lane.

Earlier in the day, the annual field trip for Mike's FieldTrip to THE MOVIES took place. Students in 4th--6th grade from Title I (low-income) schools throughout Santa Barbara County gathered at the Arlington Theatre for a screening of The Mitchells vs. the Machines and engaged in a Q&A session with the film's producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. On the red carpet, Phil and Christopher dropped a breaking news bite about their upcoming film SPIDERMAN: ACROSS THE SPIDERVERSE (spoiler alert: The first scene of the film is set in Gwen's universe and they'll be introducing an additional young Spider-Man in it!) Watch the Q&A with the students HERE.

Later in the day, movie-goers enjoyed a free screening of the Oscar-nominated LICORICE PIZZA, followed by a Q&A with Actress Alana Haim, Director Paul Thomas Anderson, and Producer Sara Murphy.

Upcoming live conversations and tributes will include presentations to Will Smith, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz, Aunjanue Ellis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ciarán Hinds, Caitriona Balfe, Ariana DeBose, Alana Haim, Emilia Jones, Troy Kotsur, Simon Rex, Saniyya Sidney and Oscar nominated producers, writers and animators. The 37th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG®, will take place IN-PERSON through March 12, 2022. 200+ films, filmmaker Q&As, industry panels, and celebrity tributes, will be held throughout Santa Barbara, including at the historic Arlington Theatre. This year's lineup is available on SBIFF's mobile app. For additional information or to buy passes, visit

About the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) 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 36 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States - attracting 100,000+ 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.

In 2016, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre. After a capital campaign and renovation, the theatre is now SBIFF's new state-of-the-art, year-round home, showing new international and independent films every day. In 2019, SBIFF opened its own Education Center in downtown Santa Barbara on State Street to serve as a home for its many educational programs and a place for creativity and learning.

Watch the interviews with Kristen Stewart here.

Photo Credits: Getty/Santa Barbara International Film Festival


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