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Santa Barbara International Film Festival to Honor Penélope Cruz

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will honor actress Penélope Cruz with the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award at the 24th edition of the Fest, which runs Jan. 22-Feb. 1, 2009, SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling announced Monday.

Cruz, who returned to theaters this summer with two powerful and diverse back-to-back performances in “Elegy” opposite Sir Ben Kingsley and Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” opposite Javier Bardem and Scarlett Johansson, garnering her accolades from both audiences and critics alike, will be presented with the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award on Jan.31 at the historic Arlington Theatre.

“There are few actresses who can today be described as international movie goddesses,” Durling said, “and this year, with her exceptional work in “Elegy” and “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” Penélope Cruz has earned that description.”

Cruz will join an illustrious group of previous Outstanding Performance Award recipients, including Angelina Jolie (2008), Helen Mirren (2007), Heath Ledger (2006), Kate Winslet (2005) and Charlize Theron (2004).

The Outstanding Performer of the Year Tribute to Penélope Cruz will take place at the Arlington Theatre with a multimedia presentation produced by Paul Fagen of P. Fagen Productions.

Tickets for the event are available now, discounted 20 percent until Nov. 14, and can be purchased through or through the Lobero Box Office, 805.963.0761 and the Arlington Theater Box office, 805.963.4408.

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