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Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence
updated: Dec 09, 2012, 12:01 PM

By Bonnie Carroll

The Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film was presented to legendary Academy Award-winning actor/producer Robert De Niro by Kirk Douglas at the Santa Barbara Film Festival's seventh annual black-tie Gala. The annual event is a fundraiser for the SBIFF and was held at Bacara Resort.

The media were out in force, and De Niro, accompanied by his wife Grace, enjoyed being interviewed by the young media team from Santa Barbara Middle School. On the red carpet were David O. Russell and actor Bradley Cooper who worked with De Niro in "Silver Linings Playbook". Director Roger Corman, who directed De Niro in his 1970 role in "Bloody Mama" co-starring Shelly Winters, and "Charlie's Angels" star Cheryl Ladd, a stunning portrait in black, were also happy to share their own special impressions of the Academy Award winning actor.

A cameo of De Niro films preceded the award presentation, reminding every person in the room of the amazing contribution this man has made to the film industry and of his astounding skill in the craft of acting. De Niro emphasized the importance of what defines a good human being. He is extremely proud of his work as an actor/producer and equally proud of founding The Tribeca Film Festival in 2001 as a response to the attacks on the World Trade Center; his work with this organization is ongoing. He believes it's important to be remembered for the kind of person you are, to be remembered as a giving and caring human being.

It was a very memorable evening and a great start to the SBIFF on January 26 through February 5, 2013. For SBIFF event information, or tickets for the upcoming festival visit www.sbiff.org.


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