Martin Scorsese accepting the award (Photo: Becky Sapp/Getty)
By Bonnie Carroll
November 14, 2019, was a unique entertainment night to remember at the Ritz Carlton Bacara Hotel in Santa Barbara as Martin Scorsese walked the red carpet with presenters Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Pacino. The 35th Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) honored Scorsese’s “The Irishman” with the 14th annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film benefiting SBIFF’s free year-round educational programs.
Scorcese generously spent time answering questions from the press and posing for photos on the red carpet as did Pacino, who is starring in “The Irishman” along with Robert DeNiro as Frank Sheeran, Joe Pesci as Russell Bufalino, Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa, Anna Paquin as Peggy Sheeran, and Ray Romano who was fabulous as Jimmy Hoffa’s lawyer. Pacino’s performance as Jimmy Hoffa was stunning. I saw the film at SBIFF Rivera Theatre this week and it is a masterpiece in directing and acting – a film not to miss!
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 Hugh Jackman, Judi Dench, 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 supports 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 Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place from Wednesday, January 15th through Saturday, January 25th. For information visit www.sbiff.org.