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Denzel Washington to Receive Maltin Modern Master Award at Santa Barbara Film Festival

Denzel Washington is set to receive the Maltin Modern Master Award at the 32nd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the festival announced Tuesday.

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 whom the award was recently renamed after, will return for his 26th year to moderate the evening. The award will be presented on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, at Santa Barbara’s historic Arlington Theatre.

SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling stated, “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.

Directed by Washington from a screenplay by August Wilson, adapted from Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, the film also stars Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, and Saniyya Sidney. 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.

The 32nd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place from Wednesday, Feb. 1, through Saturday, Feb. 11.

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) nonprofit 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. This past June, 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.

About Denzel Washington

Two-time Academy Award-winning Denzel Washington was seen most recently in Antoine Fuqua’s "The Magnificent Seven," starring alongside Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke. He starred in "The Equalizer," also directed by Antoine Fuqua, and starred alongside Mark Wahlberg in "2 Guns."

He appeared on the Broadway stage in spring 2014 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in the Broadway revival of "A Raisin in the Sun," directed by Kenny Leon.

In 2012, Washington starred in "Safe House," directed by Daniel Espinosa, and Paramount’s "Flight," helmed by Robert Zemeckis. His performance in "Flight" brought him Academy Award, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nominations.

In the fall of 2010, Washington starred in "Unstoppable" for director Tony Scott. Earlier in the year, Washington returned to Broadway playing opposite Viola Davis in the 14-week run of August Wilson’s "Fences." His powerful performance as Troy earned him his first Tony Award.

In late December 2007, Washington directed and co-starred with Academy Award winning actor Forest Whitaker in "The Great Debaters," a drama inspired by the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College in Texas who in 1935 inspired students from the school’s debate team to win the national championship.

Denzel Washington’s feature film directorial debut was "Antwone Fisher," which was released in December 2002. The film, which is based on a true-life story and inspired by the best-selling autobiography "Finding Fish," follows Fisher, a troubled young sailor played by newcomer Derek Luke, as he comes to terms with his past.

The film won critical praise, and was awarded the Stanley Kramer Award from the Producers Guild of America, as well as winning an NAACP Award for Outstanding Motion Picture and Outstanding Supporting Actor for Washington.

Perhaps one of his most critically acclaimed performances to date was his Academy Award– winning portrayal of Alonzo in "Training Day," directed by Antoine Fuqua. The story revolves around a grizzled LAPD veteran, played by Washington, who shows a rookie narcotics cop, played by Ethan Hawke, the ropes on his first day of the beat.

Another critically acclaimed performance was his portrayal of Malcolm X, the complex and controversial black activist from the ’60s, in director Spike Lee’s biographical epic "Malcolm X."

Monumental in scope and filmed over a period of six months in the United States and Africa, "Malcolm X" was hailed by critics and audiences alike as one of the best films of 1992. For his portrayal, Washington received a number of accolades including an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. 


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