PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Tuesday, December 1, 2015

2016 Virtuosos Award at thr 31st Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Santa Barbara, CA - The Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced today that the initial recipients of the 2016 Virtuosos Award, created to recognize a select group of actors who have distinguished themselves through performances in film this past year, will include: Elizabeth Banks (Love & Mercy), Joel Edgerton (Black Mass), Paul Dano (Youth, Love & Mercy) and Jacob Tremblay (Room). The Award presentation will take place at the Arlington Theatre at the 31st edition of the festival, which runs February 3 to February 13, 2016.

“These performers have used their craft and respective roles to transport us through the varied lives of their characters,” stated Durling, “We have followed them along their artistic pursuits and are excited to join them in next steps of their journeys.”

The diverse and talented group will be recognized for their overall career as well as their breakthrough roles this past year. After a turn behind the camera directing the mega-hit Pitch Perfect 2, Elizabeth Banks returned to the front of the camera in her role as Brian Wilson’s wife, Melinda Ledbetter, in the Beach Boy’s biopic Love & Mercy. Following his directorial debut in The Gift, which he wrote and starred in, Joel Egerton mesmerized audiences in his transformative performance in Black Mass as John Connolly, the childhood friend-turned-FBI agent to notorious gangster Whitey Bulger. Paul Dano’s breathtaking performance in the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy as the Beach Boy’s founder has garnered critical acclaim as well in his supporting role in Paolo Sorrentino’s upcoming dramedy Youth. Breaking onto the scene in a raw and stripped down performance, Jacob Tremblay portrays a boy born and raised in confinement in Room.

Past recipients for this award include Chadwick Boseman, Ellar Coltrane, Logan Lerman, David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, J.K. Simmons, Jenny Slate, Ann Dowd, Elle Fanning, Ezra Miller, Eddie Redmayne, Omar Sy, Quvenzhane Wallis, Demian Bichir, Rooney Mara, Melissa McCarthy, Shailene Woodley, Andy Serkis, Patton Oswalt, Andrew Garfield, John Hawkes, Lesley Manville, Hailee Steinfeld, Jacki Weaver, Emily Blunt, Carey Mulligan, Saoirse Ronan, Gabourey Sidibe, Michael Stuhlbarg, Casey Affleck, Marion Cotillard, Viola Davis, Rosemarie DeWitt, Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Melissa Leo, James McAvoy, Ellen Page, Amy Ryan, Michael Shannon, Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, Jared Leto, and June Squibb.

The festival previously honored Jane Fonda (Youth) with its Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film and has announce that it will honor Johnny Depp (Black Mass) with its Maltin Modern Master Award and Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams (Spotlight) as an ensemble with its American Riviera Award.

For more information, and to purchase tickets, festival passes and packages, please visit

About the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. SBIFF offers 11 days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums that transforms beautiful downtown Santa Barbara, CA into a rich destination for film lovers which attract more than 90,000 attendees.

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. In recent years SBIFF has expanded its year round presence with regular screenings and Q&As with programs like Cinema Society, The Showcase and its Wave Film Festivals.

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