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Film Festival Names Recipients of 2018 Virtuosos Award

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has announced the recipients of the 2018 Virtuosos Award, presented by UGG.

The Virtuosos Award was created to recognize a select group of talented individuals who have distinguished themselves through breakthrough performances in film this past year. Recipients will be:

Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Hong Chau (Downsizing), John Boyega (Detroit), Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick), Mary J. Blige (Mudbound), and Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name).

The award presentation, which will be moderated for the eighth year by Dave Karger, will take place Feb. 3 at the Arlington Theatre during the 33rd edition of the festival, which runs Jan. 31-Feb. 10.

“2017 has seen a variety of breakout performances,” said Roger Durling, SBIFF executive director.

“We are thrilled to celebrate this diverse group of actors who have earned their place as some of the most talented individuals working in the industry today,” Durling said.

The honorees will be recognized for their breakthrough roles in 2017 and careers thus far.

Kaluuya gives a star-making performance as the unsuspecting yet resourceful Chris Washington in the speculative thriller Get Out.

Bringing to life the popular comic book character of the same name, Gal Gadot balances formidable prowess and a genuine sense of hope in her role in this summer’s critically praised, conversation-changing Wonder Woman.

Hong Chau delivers an inspiring performance in the social satire Downsizing, in which she brings humor and compassion to the role of Ngoc Lan Tran.

In Detroit, John Boyega gives a captivating turn as Melvin Dismukes, a security guard who is falsely accused of killing three men on one of the most horrific nights in American history.

Based on a true story he co-wrote, Nanjiani brings comedy, pathos and dramatic stakes to The Big Sick as a man whose girlfriend falls into a mysterious coma.

Renowned singer/songwriter Mary J. Blige delivers a powerful and solemn turn as Florence Jackson, a mother struggling to maintain land in 1940s Mississippi.

In Call Me By Your Name, Timothée Chalamet gives a heartfelt performance as Elio, a teenage boy who begins a relationship with his father’s assistant.

Prior recipients for the award include Dev Patel, Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Ruth Negga, Alicia Vikander, Rosamund Pike, J.K. Simmons, Eddie Redmayne, Quvenzhane Wallis, Rooney Mara, Melissa McCarthy, Andrew Garfield, John Hawkes, Hailee Steinfeld, Jacki Weaver, Carey Mulligan, Saoirse Ronan, Gabourey Sidibe, Casey Affleck, Marion Cotillard, Viola Davis, Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Melissa Leo, Ellen Page, Amy Ryan, Michael Shannon, Brie Larson, Jared Leto and June Squibb.

The festival has announced it will honor Judi Dench with the Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film, Willem Dafoe with the Cinema Vanguard Award, and Gary Oldman with the Maltin Modern Master Award, with more honorees to be announced.
 
For more information, and to purchase tickets, festival passes and packages, visit www.sbiff.org.

— Jackson Gibbon for Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

 

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