Cry Freedom, Glory, Malcolm X, Philadelphia, Training Day, and The Magnificent Seven are just a few of the award-winning or award-nominated films Denzel Washington has made during his long, accolade filled career. For his latest cinematic project, he directed, produced, and stars in August Wilson’s Fences, which he performed on Broadway in 2010. The film, opening December 25, reunites Washington with his stage costar Viola Davis and he has already been getting Oscar buzz for his turn as Troy Maxson, a former Negro League baseball player who, now a waste collector, struggles with what has become of his life.

While Academy Award announcements aren’t for many months, one award Washington has already earned is the 2017 Santa Barbara Film Festival’s Maltin Modern Master Award. The Modern Master is given to individuals who, according to SBIFF, have “enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry.” Washington more than fits the bill.

Hear Leonard Maltin in conversation with Denzel Washington at the award presentation Thursday, February 2, 2017, at the Arlington Theatre. The Santa Barbara Film Festival runs Wednesday, February 1-Saturday, February 11. For more information, and to purchase tickets, festival passes, and packages, see


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