Santa Barbara International Film Festival Honors Ryan Gosling with Kirk Douglas Award

Greta Gerwig, Ryan Gosling, and Steve Carell attend Santa Barbara International Film Festival's Kirk Douglas Award Honoring Ryan Gosling at The Ritz Carlton Bacara on January 13, 2024 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)


The excitement level was on high as Ryan Gosling, Golden Globe nominee for his role as Ken in the award-winning film Barbie, and Greta Gerwig, the writer/director of Barbie, arrived to walk the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) red carpet at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara on Saturday.

Gosling gave interviews and was his charming best as photographers got their perfect shots. Gerwig and SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling joined Gosling to share the special photo moment on the red carpet before entering the banquet room for dinner, followed by the prestigious award presentation given by Gerwig and actor Steve Carell.

“Ryan Gosling has long been both a dramatic and comedic force in front of the camera. This year, thanks to his universally hailed, triumphant performance as Ken in BARBIE – a film that truly demanded the attention of critics and moviegoers around the world – he has become a true cinematic powerhouse,” Durling said opening the program.

Ryan Gosling watches from audience at Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Kirk Douglas Award Honoring Ryan Gosling at The Ritz Carlton Bacara on January 13, 2024 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Carell gave an endearing speech filled with pokes and jokes at his friend Gosling but ended by saying, “I do love Ryan Gosling. I love him more than my wife. He is smart, intuitive, and funny, he is a joy to be around, and most of all, and this is a big one for me, he is kind. Santa Barbara, you got this one right.”

It was obvious photographing Gosling and Gerwig on the red carpet they have developed an amazing friendship and working relationship. “From the moment we started talking, he just understood. There would be no Barbie if he had not come to be our Ken… It was a commitment beyond anything I could have dreamed,” said Gerwig.

She also shared, “There is a thing in poker where to keep playing, everyone must put in more chips. And that’s what it’s like working with Ryan Gosling. If you want to keep playing, you need to ante up… I could not think of a more perfect person to present the Kirk Douglas Award to than Ryan Gosling…genius to genius.”

Upon accepting his award Gosling shared he could not think of two more gracious and talented people to present his award. He thanked Carell, Gerwig, and the girl of his dreams, wife Eva Mendes, and their two children. On closing he said, “no way I have contributed half as much to cinema as cinema has given me.”

Seen as one of the most exciting actors of this generation, Gosling is a two-time Academy Award nominee for his work in Half Nelson and La La Land, and a four-time Golden Globe nominee, and a winner for his role in la La Land. He has also won a Film Independent Spirit Award, National Board of Review Award and nominations from BAFTA and the Screen Actors Guild. From Cannes to Palm Springs to Sundance he has received recognition from prestigious critics’ associations and festivals worldwide.

Gosling was SBIFF’s Outstanding Performer of the Year in 2017 for his performance in La La Land, and for his work in Lars and the Real Girl in 2008 he was presented the SBIFF Cinema Vanguard Award. Gosling’s other titles include Blue Valentine; Drive; Crazy Stupid, Love; The Big Short and Blade Runner 2049.

Past recipients of the annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film have included Michelle Yeoh, Martin Scorsese, Hugh Jackman, Dame Judi Dench, Warren Beatty, Jane Fonda, Jessica Lange, Forest Whitaker, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Quentin Tarantino, Ed Harris, and John Travolta.

The SBIFF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. Over the past 37 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States – attracting 100,000 attendees and offering 11 says of 200+ films, tributes, and symposiums, fulfilling their mission to engage, enrich, and inspire the Santa Barbara community through film.

Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s 39th event will take place LIVE February 7-17, 2024, and will include screenings, filmmaker Q&As, industry panels, and celebrity tributes held throughout the city, including the Arlington theatre. 2024 Festival passes are on sale now at

Bonnie Carroll

Written by Bonnie Carroll

Writer, publisher, editor over 30 years, Bonnie Carroll is the present Publisher, Editor-in-Chief of Bonnie Carroll's Life Bites News founded 2005. She is also a contributor to a bevy of magazine and newspapers California and international since 1983.

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