The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is honored to announce global icon Michelle Yeoh will be receiving the 15th annual Kirk Douglas Award For Excellence In Film. This marks the first time since the passing of screen legend Kirk Douglas that the honor will be awarded. The award, which benefits Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s year-round educational programs, will be presented on Friday, December 9 at a Black-Tie dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara.
“A well-deserved honor for the legendary and multi-talented Michelle Yeoh. She has been entertaining and thrilling us in films since the 1980s …… AND she does her own stunts!! Bravo Michelle!” says Michael Douglas.
Michelle Yeoh is an internationally recognized Malaysian-born actress who rose to fame in 1990s Hong Kong action films before going on to shatter convention and star in a myriad of globally acclaimed blockbusters. In March 2022, she starred in Daniels’ mind-bending, critically acclaimed Everything Everywhere All At Once, which has since become A24’s highest grossing film worldwide.
She has appeared in more than 70 features and television series, with her filmography showcasing a collection of iconic roles, including Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 1 & 2, Rob Marshall’s Memoirs of a Geisha, Roger Spottiswoode’s James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, Danny Boyle’s Sunshine, and Jon Chu’s Crazy Rich Asians, the highest-grossing romantic comedy in the U.S. in the past 10 years. After appearing in James Gunn’s second installment of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, Yeoh returned to the Marvel universe in Destin Daniel Cretton’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
In television, Yeoh was most recently seen as Emperor Philippa Georgiou in CBS’ Star Trek: Discovery. Next, she will be reuniting with Destin Daniel Cretton in the Disney+ series American Born Chinese and starring in Netflix’s upcoming limited series, The Witcher: Blood Origin. Other upcoming credits include James Cameron’s Avatar sequels and Paul Feig’s The School for Good and Evil.
The 38th Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place LIVE February 8 – February 18, 2023. Official events including screenings, filmmaker Q&As, industry panels, and celebrity tributes, will be held throughout the city, including at the historic Arlington Theatre. Passes for the 2023 Festival are on sale now at sbiff.org.
Last year, SBIFF returned to in-person screenings, panels, and events. The festival had 48 world premiere, 95 U.S. premieres, with honorary awards feted on Javier Bardem, Nicole Kidman, Kristen Stewart, Penélope Cruz, Will Smith and Aunjanue Ellis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Caitriona Balfe, Ariana DeBose, Alana Haim, Ciarán Hinds, Emilia Jones, Troy Kotsur, Simon Rex, Saniyya Sidney, Paul Thomas Anderson, Kenneth Branagh, Jane Campion, Ryusuke Hamaguchi, and Steven Spielberg. Historically, organizers are expecting A-list guests to once again ascend to Santa Barbara, making it a must-stop location on the awards circuit, and delivering an unprecedented number of films with many World and U.S. premiere. The film lineup and schedule will be announced January, 2023.
About the Santa Barbara International Film Festival
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (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 days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums, fulfilling their mission to engage, enrich, and inspire the Santa Barbara community through film.
SBIFF continues its commitment to education and the community throughout many free educational programs and events. In 2016, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre. After a capital campaign and renovation, the theatre is now SBIFF’s new state-of-the-art, year-round home, showing new international and independent films every day. In 2019, SBIFF opened its own Education Center in downtown Santa Barbara on State Street to serve as a home for its many educational programs and a place for creativity and learning.