The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will present David O. Russell with the Outstanding Director Award at the 29th edition of the Fest, which runs Thursday, January 30 through Sunday, February 9, 2014, it was announced today by SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. The Tribute will take place at the Arlington Theatre on Friday, January 31.

“It was at the first-ever screening of American Hustle for the SBIFF Cinema Society last November that I knew precisely who should receive our Outstanding Director Award,” recalled SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “Now I’m glad I can let the cat out of the bag. Russell has matured into one of the most essential voices in film today. His deeply personal trilogy, comprised of The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, tap deeply at the core of the American dream where anyone should be guaranteed the opportunity of a second chance, of reinvention and triumph. As a writer and director, he is not afraid to push the envelope in the cinematic world. He has the eye for the picture he wants to present and then does so, with an expertise that is as bold as it is a joy to watch.”

David O. Russell’s last three films have garnered 25 Oscar nominations, including 11 acting nominations and three wins. For the second year in a row, Russell has directed his cast to acting nominations in all four Oscar® acting races. His latest film, American Hustle has been honored with 10 Academy Award® nominations, including a Best Director nomination for Russell and a Best Original Screenplay nomination that he shared with Eric Warren Singer. It has also won three Golden Globe Awards and has received 10 BAFTA Award nominations, including a nomination for Russell for Best Director, a Directors Guild of America Award nomination for Russell, and two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. It has been honored by the New York Film Critics Circle as the Best Picture of the Year. Previously, Russell received Oscar® nominations for his work directing The Fighter and writing and directing Silver Linings Playbook, as well as a BAFTA Award for his screenplay for Silver Linings Playbook.

A fictional film set in the alluring world of one of the most extraordinary scandals of the 1970s, American Hustle tells the story of brilliant con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), who along with his equally cunning and seductive partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) is forced to work for a wild FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia that’s as dangerous as it is enchanting. Jeremy Renner is Carmine Polito, the passionate, volatile, New Jersey political operator caught between the con-artists and Feds. Irving’s unpredictable wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) could be the one to pull the thread that brings the entire world crashing down. Like David O. Russell’s two previous films, American Hustle defies genre to tell a story of love, reinvention, and survival. The film is directed by David O. Russell, written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, and produced by Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison, and Jonathan Gordon.