Celebrity Tributes

At the dramatic and beautiful setting of the historic Arlington Theatre, SBIFF tributes are an all-star experience, where crowds of fans line the streets to catch a glimpse of the celebrity honoree’s walk down the red carpet. Over 2000 guests fill the theatre and are treated to an hour and a half of intimate conversation about the tributees career, complete with clips and montages from their body of work. The evening culminates with an award presentation by a special guest to applaud their great film achievements. Always insightful, and often humorous and thought provoking, tribute nights are not to be missed.



Maltin Modern Master Award
Presented by UGG
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 accomplishments in the motion picture industry. The award was re-named the Maltin Modern Master Award in 2015 in honor of long-time SBIFF moderator and renowned film critic Leonard Maltin. Recipients: Johnny Depp (2016), Michael Keaton (2015), Bruce Dern (2014), Ben Affleck (2013), Christopher Plummer (2012), Christopher Nolan (2011), James Cameron (2010), Clint Eastwood (2009), Cate Blanchett (2008), Will Smith (2007), George Clooney (2006), and Peter Jackson (2004).



American Riviera ™ Award
Presented by Engel & Völkers
Santa Barbara has long been described as the American Riviera™. SBIFF proudly places this trademarked name on our award for outstanding achievement in American film. Recipients: Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams (2016), Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke (2015), Robert Redford (2014), Quentin Tarantino (2013), Martin Scorsese (2012), Annette Bening (2011), Sandra Bullock (2010), Mickey Rourke (2009), Tommy Lee Jones (2008), Forest Whitaker (2007), and Philip Seymour Hoffman (2006).



Montecito Award
sponsored by Hennessy
Named after one of the most beautiful and stylish areas in Santa Barbara the Montecito Award is given to a recipient whose style has been a contribution to film. Recipients: Jennifer Aniston (2015), Oprah Winfrey (2014), Daniel Day-Lewis (2013), Geoffrey Rush (2012), Julianne Moore (2011), Kate Winslet (2010), Javier Bardem (2009), Bill Condon (2008), and Naomi Watts (2007).



Outstanding Performer of the Year Award
This tribute was created to honor the actor or actress whose role in a film has exceeded greatness. The Outstanding Performance of the Year Award is given to the best performance of the year. Recipients: Brie Larson and Saoirse Ronan (2016), Steve Carell (2015), Cate Blanchett (2014), Jennifer Lawrence (2013), Viola Davis (2012), James Franco (2011), Colin Firth (2010), Penelope Cruz (2009), Angelina Jolie (2008), Helen Mirren (2007), Heath Ledger (2006), and Kate Winslet (2005).



Cinema Vanguard Award
This tribute was created with the intention of honoring actors with the tenacity to forge new ground in their craft. Recipients: Rooney Mara (2016), Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones (2015), Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio (2014), Amy Adams (2013), Jean Dujardin and Berenice Nejo (2012), Nicole Kidman (2011), Vera Farmiga (2010), Peter Sarsgaard (2010), Stanley Tucci (2010), Christoph Waltz (2010), Kristin Scott Thomas (2009), and Ryan Gosling (2008)



Virtuosos Award
sponsored by Travel + Leisure
An award given to multiple “up-and-coming” actors for achieving a breakthrough performance. Recipients:
2016 – Elizabeth Banks, Paul Dano, Joel Edgerton, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Géza Röhrig, Jacob Tremblay, and Alicia Vikander
2015 – Chadwick Boseman, Ellar Coltrane, Logan Lerman, David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, J.K. Simmons, and Jenny Slate
2014 – Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, Jared Leto, and June Squibb
2013 – Ann Dowd, Elle Fanning, Ezra Miller, Eddie Redmayne, Omar Sy, and Quvenzhané Wallis
2012 – Demian Bichir, Rooney Mara, Shailene Woodley, Andy Serkis, and Patton Oswalt
2011 – John Hawkes, Lesley Manville, Hailee Steinfeld, and Jacki Weaver
2010 – Emily Blunt, Carey Mulligan, Saoirse Ronan, Gabourey Sidibe, and Michael Stuhlbarg
2009 – Viola Davis, Rosemarie DeWitt, Richard Jenkins, Melissa Leo, and Michael Shannon
2008 – Casey Affleck, Marion Cotillard, James McAvoy, Ellen Page, and Amy Ryan



Outstanding Directors of the Year
sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter
An award given to a director not afraid to push the envelope in the cinematic world and has the eye for the picture they want to present and then does so, with an expertise that is both gracious and bold. Recipients:
2016 – TBA
2015 – Damien Chazelle (WHIPLASH), Richard Linklater (BOYHOOD), Bennett Miller (FOXCATCHER), Laura Poitras (CITIZENFOUR), Morten Tyldum (THE IMITATION GAME)
2014 – David O. Russell (AMERICAN HUSTLE)
2010 – Kathryn Bigelow (THE HURT LOCKER)
2009 – Danny Boyle (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE)



Variety Artisans Award
sponsored by Variety
An award to celebrate the below-the-line professionals who are essential to the filmmaking process. Past recipients: Shawn Patterson “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie (Song),
Sandra Adair, Boyhood (Editing), Bill Corso and Kathrine Gordon, Foxcatcher (Hair & Makeup),
Suzie Davies, Mr. Turner (Production Design), Dion Beebe, Into the Woods (Cinematography),
Steven Noble, The Theory of Everything (Costume Design), Joe Letteri, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
(VFX), and Richard King and Mark Weingarten, Interstellar (Sound Mixing & Editing)



David Attenborough Award for Excellence in Nature Filmmaking
The David Attenborough Award was created for and first given to Sir David Attenborough for his commitment to nature filmmaking This award is given to a filmmaker who shows passion for nature filmmaking. Past recipients: the Cousteau Family – Jean-Michel and his son and daughter Fabien and Celine (2016), “The Cove” (2010), Al Gore and Davis Guggenheim (2007), and James Cameron (2006)

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