Sat. Sep 19th, 2020

Santa Barbara Film Fest to honor Sam Elliott, Steven Yeun, Elsie Fisher, Yalitza Aparicio and more


Today the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced its recipients for the Virtuosos Award presented by UGG, an honor created to recognize a select group of talent whose noteworthy performances in film have elevated them into the national cinematic dialogue. Yalitza Aparicio (RomaSam Elliott (A Star is Born), Elsie Fisher (Eighth GradeClaire Foy (First Man), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie (Leave No Trace), John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman) and Steven Yeun (Burning) will receive the award on Tuesday, February 5th, 2019 at The Arlington Theatre.  

“From talented teenagers starring in their first feature films to veteran actors shining in career-best performances, this year’s Virtuosos prove that you can have a breakout moment at any point in your career,” says Turner Classic Movies host Dave Karger, who will preside over the evening for the eighth consecutive year. “I’m so excited to join this phenomenal group of actors on stage in Santa Barbara.”

This illustrious group of individuals will be recognized for their breakthrough roles in 2018 and careers on the silver screen thus far. Fresh on the scene, Yalitza Aparicio makes her hollywood debut in Alfonso Curan’s Roma as a domestic worker and centerpiece of the highly personal film.  Sam Elliott’s visceral performance in A Star is Born lent itself to one of his most outstanding performances to date, while Elsie Fisher portrayed such honesty in indie hit Eight Grade.  Although mostly known for her roles on television,Claire Foy’s nuanced yet dramatic performancesteals the screen in Damien Chazelle’s First Man, a story based on NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon. British thespian Richard E. Grant, who was recently nominated for a Golden Globe and a Critics’ Choice Awardthrives in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, building an unlikely friendship with author Lee Israel, while Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie was recently acknowledged by The National Board of Review for her “Breakthrough Performance” in Leave No Trace. Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman sees John David Washington in his first major lead role as real life police detective Ron Stallworth, and Steven Yeun’s breakthrough role in Cannes Winner Burning is unexpected and transformative.

Prior recipients of The Virtuosos award include Timothée Chalamet, John Boyega, Mary J. Blige, Hong Chau, Daniel Kaluuya, Kumail Nanjiani, Dev Patel, Mahershala Ali, Saoirse Ronan, Casey Affleck, and Viola Davis, Aaron Taylor Johnson, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Dano, Jacob Tremblay, Chadwick Boseman, Rosamund Pike, and Jared Leto.

For more information, and to purchase tickets, festival passes and packages, please visit

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. Over the past 33 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States – attracting 90,000 attendees and offering 11 days of 200+ films, tributes and panels, fulfilling their mission to engage, enrich, and inspire people through the power of film. We celebrate the art of cinema and provide impactful educational experiences for our local, national and global communities.

SBIFF continues its commitment to education and the community throughout many free educational programs and events. In June 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.

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