Denzel Washington is set to receive the Maltin Modern Master Award at the 32nd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Washington will be honored for his longstanding contributions to the film industry culminating with Paramount’s upcoming Fences, which he directs, produces and stars in. Leonard Maltin, for who the award was recently renamed after, will return for his 26th year to moderate the evening. The award will be presented on Thursday, February 2, at 8 p.m. at Santa Barbara’s historic Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St.
SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling states, “Denzel Washington directing, producing and acting in Fences defines the Modern Master for the 21st Century.”
Fences is the story of Troy Maxson (Washington), a mid-century Pittsburgh sanitation worker who once dreamed of a baseball career, but was too old when the major leagues began admitting black players. He tries to be a good husband and father, but his lost dream of glory eats at him, and causes him to make a decision that threatens to tear his family apart. Fences is in theaters Christmas Day.
The Modern Master Award was established in 1995 and is the highest accolade presented by SBIFF. Created to honor an individual who has enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry, it was re-named the Maltin Modern Master Award in 2015 in honor of long-time SBIFF moderator and renowned film critic Leonard Maltin. Past recipients include Michael Keaton, Bruce Dern, Ben Affleck, Christopher Plummer, Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, Cate Blanchett, Will Smith, George Clooney and Peter Jackson.
For more information about the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, visit sbiff.org.
—Victoria Tai Murphy