HUSTLE AND FLOW: David O. Russell will accept the Outstanding Director Award at the 29th annual Santa Barbara International Film Fest.

Many are calling David O. Russell Hollywood’s Hottest Director. And who are we to argue? This afternoon, Santa Barbara International Film Festival Executive Director Roger Durling named Russell this year’s recipient of the fest’s Outstanding Director Award. He’ll appear onstage at the Arlington Theatre on Friday, January 31 to receive the award as part of the 29th annual SBIFF, which kicks off on January 30.

As the man behind The Wrestler and Silver Linings Playbook, Russell has been on an Oscar role of late. Last year, Playbook received eight Academy Award nods. And this week, the director’s American Hustle garnered a whopping ten Oscar noms, including being recognized in all four acting categories. (Amy Adams Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, and Bradley Cooper all received nominations.)

“It was at the first-ever screening of American Hustle for the SBIFF Cinema Society last November that I knew precisely who should receive our Outstanding Director Award,” recalled Durling. “Now I’m glad I can let the cat out of the bag. Russell has matured into one of the most essential voices in film today. His deeply personal trilogy, comprised of The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, tap deeply at the core of the American dream where anyone should be guaranteed the opportunity of a second chance, of reinvention and triumph. As a writer and director, he is not afraid to push the envelope in the cinematic world. He has the eye for the picture he wants to present and then does so, with an expertise that is as bold as it is a joy to watch.”

For more on SBIFF, or to purchase tickets to Russell’s tribute event, visit


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