The Santa Barbara International Film Festival honored Robert De Niro on Saturday at Bacara Resort and Spa. Kirk Douglas, who turned 96 the next day, was on hand to present the award, along with Festival director Roger Durling, and De Niro’s recent co-star from Silver Linings Playbook, Bradley Cooper. Celebrity guests included Anthony Zerbe, Carol Burnett, Roger Corman, and Cheryl Ladd.
At the reception before the evening’s black tie dinner, guests sipped Moet and Chandon champagne while the stars arrived to walk the event’s red carpet. The Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film gala dinner is the SBIFF’s premiere annual fund raising event, and the award is one of the film world’s most prestigious such distinctions. Previous winners include Michael Douglas, John Travolta, and Quentin Tarantino.
De Niro was effusive in his praise of Kirk Douglas, saying, “You know, there isn’t a Robert De Niro Award. If there ever’s a Robert De Niro Award, I’d want it to be not just for excellence in film, but also for excellence as a human being. And the first recipient will be Kirk Douglas.”