Dame Judi Dench Honored at 12th Annual Kirk Douglas Gala

Dame Judi Dench Honored at 12th Annual Kirk Douglas Gala title=
Dame Judi Dench Honored at 12th Annual Kirk Douglas Gala
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SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling & Dame Judi Dench on the Red Carpet at Ritz Carlton Bacara

By Bonnie Carroll

The night's honoree Judi Dench and presenters Ali Fazal, Armie Hammer, and Jeff Bridges all walked the red carpet a the Ritz Carlton Bacara Hotel in Santa Barbara to support and applaud the work of renowned actress Judi Dench who received the Kirk Douglas Award  at the 12th Annual Kirk Douglas Award celebration for her excellence in film in “Victoria & Abdul.” Throughout her career, Judi Dench has received many accolades from BAFTA, Academy Awards, Golden Globes and many more.

Following comments from Roger Durling, Executive Director of SBIFF, Actor Ali Fazal who starred in Victoria & Abdul with Dench and actor Armie Hammer, actor and Santa Barbara local Jeff Bridges presented the award to Dench following an endearing introduction on her amazing acting career that included a quote from actor Johnny Depp who says 'Dame Dench is the love my his life.' 

Dench, who is actually a diminutive figure, accepted her award and shared that a huge number of people played a part in her being the recipient of this award. She was so pleased to have a meeting with Kirk Douglas prior to the event and said she was so very grateful to be presented the Kirk Douglas Award. 

Jeff Bridges Presented Dame Judi Dench with Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film

The group of actors who were present and participated in the presentation of this award proved to be a wonderful mix of actors who not only loved working with the great Dame Dench but also enjoyed having fun with her during the red carpet and post photo opportunities. In her eighties, she still has the energy of a twenty-five year old,  and it shines through her expressive eyes. The filmography on her body of work went from 007 to Queen Victoria and it was all a reminder of what a truly great actress this lady is, and the standard she has set for outstanding work on stage and in film.

Since 2006, the annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film has been awarded to a lifelong contributor to cinema through their work in front of the camera, behind, or both. Past honorees include Warren Beatty, Jane Fonda, Jessica Lange, Forest Whitaker, Robert DeNiro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Quentin Tarantino, Ed Harris, and John Travolta. 

Funding from the Gala will go to support the many educational and community programs hosted by the Santa Barbara International Film Festival such as Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies, the 10-10-10 Mentorship program and competitions, the Film Studios Program, Apple Box Family Films and the festivals new initiative to be launched this summer, Film Camp. The 33rd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place from Wednesday, January 31st through Saturday, February 10th.

The Ritz Carlton, who recently purchased the Bacara Resort & Spa, presented a dinner fit for a Dame from beginning to end. The Belvedere cocktails were flowing throughout the night, wines paired with the dinner were by Dom Perignon, and Grace & Vine with a sweet ending dessert that was beyond amazing. It was a fun-filled evening honoring a 'one in a million' great actress!

Armie Hammer, Jeff Bridges, Ali Fazal & Dame Judi Dench

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