The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will honor Academy Award-nominated actor Bruce Dern with the Modern Master Award at the 29th edition of the Fest, which runs January 30 – February 9, 2014, it was announced today by SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. The Tribute will take place on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at the historic Arlington Theatre and is sponsored by Adobe.
Emma Thompson, who was slated to receive the Modern Master Award, is unfortunately now not able to be in attendance as she is required for rehearsal in London on the New York Philharmonic staging of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, which will be directed by Lonny Price.
The Modern Master Award is the highest honor presented by SBIFF. Established in 1995, it was created to pay tribute to an individual who has enriched our culture through his/her multi-faceted accomplishments in the motion picture industry. Dern joins an illustrious group of past recipients including Ben Affleck, Christopher Nolan, Michael Douglas, Jodie Foster, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Diane Keaton, Sean Penn, Jeff Bridges, Peter Jackson, George Clooney, Will Smith, Cate Blanchett, Clint Eastwood, Christopher Plummer and James Cameron.
Bruce Dern will be honored for his distinguished career, which includes his most recent role of a lifetime as the headstrong Woody in Alexander Payne’s critically acclaimed film Nebraska.
SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling commented “We’re deeply humbled and grateful to Bruce Dern for accepting this award – he’s not only a Modern Master – he’s a hero. Year after year, performance after performance, Bruce Dern has enthralled audiences and with Nebraska he has given us a character for the ages in ‘Woody Grant.’ It’s his time and we’re delighted to honor him.”
Bruce Dern’s tremendous career is made up of playing both modern day heroes and legendary villains. Through decades of critically acclaimed performances, Bruce has acquired the reputation of being one of the most talented and prolific actors of his generation. A celebrated stage actor, Bruce was trained by famed director Elia Kazan at The Actor’s Studio and made his film debut in Kazan’s “Wild River” (1960). In the 1960’s, Bruce also found success as a distinguished television actor. He appeared regularly in contemporary Western TV-series as well as Alfred Hitchcock’s television series. Hitchcock was such a fan of Dern’s, he cast him in both “Marnie” and, “Family Plot” (Hitchcock’s final film).
During the 1960’s, Dern went on to work with director Roger Corman and appeared in several of his classic and decade defining films including Wild Angels. He received critical success for films such as They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? opposite Jane Fonda and Drive, He Said, directed by Jack Nicholson, and went down in history for his role as Long Hair in The Cowboys in which he became the first man ever to kill John Wayne on screen.
Bruce went on to star in such classic films like The King of Marvin Gardens with Jack Nicholson and Ellen Burstyn as well as playing Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination. It was his brilliant and powerful performance in Hal Ashby’s Coming Home that earned him both an Academy Award® and Golden Globe nomination. Bruce co-starred with Charlize Theron in Monster, one of the most critically acclaimed independent films of all time. Most recently Bruce has worked with iconic directors Francis Ford Coppola in Twixt and Quentin Tarantino in Django Unchained.
Other credits include: Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte with Bette Davis, Douglas Trumball’s Silent Running, Michael Ritchie’s Smile, Middle Age Crazy with Anne Margaret, The ‘Burbs with Tom Hanks, The Haunting with Catherine Zeta Jones, Billy Bob Thornton’s All The Pretty Horses, Bob Dylan’s Masked and Anonymous, to name just a few.