Blockbuster filmmaker James Cameron has been chosen to receive this year the Lucky Brand Modern Master Award at the 25th Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

“The Modern Master always goes to a multi-faceted film artist and Cameron writes, directs, produces, and is involved with every aspect of his films,” said Roger Durling, director of SBIFF, in an email. “But also add to the mix the fact that his works are always so ambitious.”

Cameron is to receive the award at the Arlington Theater February 6, 2010. The Lucky Brand Modern Master Award is the Film Festival’s highest honor and has been received in the past by the likes of Will Smith, Peter Jackson, and Diane Keaton. The Modern Master Award was devised to honor people who have shone a new light, said Durling, and inspired the industry.

James Cameron in Santa Barbara to receive the S.B.I.F.F. Attenborough Award in 2006
Paul Wellman (file)

Born in Canada, Cameron moved to the U.S. to pursue a screenwriting career and took a job driving trucks, according to his official bio material. His first job in film was working for B-movie king Roger Corman on Battle Beyond the Stars as a miniature set builder. He has since made such films as The Abyss, The Terminator, and Titanic.

“The combination of technology, heart, and visceral storytelling is a thread that you see in many of his films,” said Durling. “And Titanic is the best example of this.”

Many of his films feature strong female leads and have large budgets. Cameron is also responsible for developing and working with many of the film industry’s technological advances through his visual effects company Digital Domain.

His new film, Avatar, will be released in December. The project took Cameron 15 years to bring to screen, reportedly due to his wanting the right technology to tell the story. He is also working on Titanic 3D. Also look forward to showings of Cameron’s past films at the 25th annual SBIFF.


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