Celebrity Tributes

Tributes are an hour and a half in-person conversation with a moderator and the honoree discussing the honoree’s career, complete with clips and montages from their body of work. The evening culminates with an award presentation by a special guest to applaud their great film achievements. Always insightful, and often humorous and thought provoking, tribute nights are not to be missed.

Maltin Modern Master Award
The Modern Master Award is the highest honor presented by SBIFF. Established in 1995, it was created to honor an individual who has enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry. The award was re-named the Maltin Modern Master Award in 2015 in honor of long-time SBIFF moderator and renowned film critic Leonard Maltin. Recipients:

2024 – Robert Downey Jr.
2023 – Jamie Lee Curtis
2022 – Javier Bardem and Nicole Kidman
2021 – Bill Murray
2020 – Brad Pitt
2019 – Glenn Close
2018 – Gary Oldman
2017 – Denzel Washington
2016 – Johnny Depp
2015 – Michael Keaton
2014 – Bruce Dern
2013 – Ben Affleck
2012 – Christopher Plummer
2011 – Christopher Nolan
2010 – James Cameron
2009 – Clint Eastwood
2008 – Cate Blanchett
2007 – Will Smith
2006 – George Clooney
2004 – Peter Jackson

American Riviera Award
Santa Barbara has long been described as the American Riviera™. SBIFF proudly places this trademarked name on our award for outstanding achievement in American film. Recipients:

2024 – Mark Ruffalo
2023 – Brendan Fraser
2022 – Kristen Stewart
2021 – Delroy Lindo
2020 – Renee Zellweger
2019 – Viggo Mortensen
2018 – Sam Rockwell
2017 – Jeff Bridges
2016 – Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams
2015 – Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke
2014 – Robert Redford
2013 – Quentin Tarantino
2012 – Martin Scorsese
2011 – Annette Bening
2010 – Sandra Bullock
2009 – Mickey Rourke
2008 – Tommy Lee Jones
2007 – Forest Whitaker
2006 – Philip Seymour Hoffman

Montecito Award
Given to a person in the entertainment industry who has made a great contribution to film. Recipients:

2024 – Jeffrey Wright
2023 – Angela Bassett
2022 – Penélope Cruz
2021 – Amanda Seyfried
2020 – Lupita Nyong’o
2019 – Melissa McCarthy
2018 – Saoirse Ronan
2017 – Isabelle Huppert
2016 – Sylvester Stallone
2015 – Jennifer Aniston
2014 – Oprah Winfrey
2013 – Daniel Day-Lewis
2012 – Geoffrey Rush
2011 – Julianne Moore
2010 – Kate Winslet
2009 – Javier Bardem
2008 – Bill Condon
2007 – Naomi Watts

Outstanding Performer(s) of the Year Award
This tribute was created to honor the actor or actress whose role in a film has exceeded greatness. The Outstanding Performer(s) of the Year Award is given to the best performance of the year. Recipients:

2024 – Bradley Cooper
2023 – Cate Blanchett
2022 – Will Smith and Aunjanue Ellis
2021 – Sacha Baron Cohen
2020 – Adam Driver
2019 – Rami Malek
2018 – Margot Robbie and Allison Janney
2017 – Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone
2016 – Brie Larson and Saoirse Ronan
2015 – Steve Carell
2014 – Cate Blanchett
2013 – Jennifer Lawrence
2012 – Viola Davis
2011 – James Franco
2010 – Colin Firth
2009 – Penelope Cruz
2008 – Angelina Jolie
2007 – Helen Mirren
2006 – Heath Ledger
2005 – Kate Winslet

Cinema Vanguard Award
This tribute was created to honor actors with the tenacity to forge new ground in their craft. Recipients:

2024 – Paul Giamatti
2023 – Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson
2022 – Benedict Cumberbatch
2021 – Carey Mulligan
2020 – Laura Dern
2019 – Michael B. Jordan
2018 – Willem Dafoe
2017 – Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams
2016 – Rooney Mara
2015 – Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones
2014 – Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio
2013 – Amy Adams
2012 – Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo
2011 – Nicole Kidman
2010 – Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Stanley Tucci, and Christoph Waltz
2009 – Kristin Scott Thomas
2008 – Ryan Gosling

Virtuosos Award
An award given to multiple “up-and-coming” actors for achieving a breakthrough performance. Recipients:

2024 – Danielle Brooks (THE COLOR PURPLE), Colman Domingo (RUSTIN & THE COLOR PURPLE), America Ferrera (BARBIE), Lily Gladstone (THE KILLERS OF FLOWER MOON), Greta Lee (PAST LIVES), Charles Melton (MAY DECEMBER), Da’Vine Joy Randolph (THE HOLDOVERS), Andrew Scott (ALL OF US STRANGERS)
2023 – Austin Butler (Elvis), Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin), Danielle Deadwyler (Till), Nina Hoss (Tár), Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All At Once), Jeremy Pope (The Inspection), Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All At Once), Jeremy Strong (Armageddon Time)
2022 – Caitriona Balfe (Belfast), Ariana DeBose (West Side Story), Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza), Ciarán Hinds (Belfast), Emilia Jones (CODA), Troy Kotsur (CODA), Simon Rex (Red Rocket), and Saniyya Sidney (King Richard)
2021 – Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Kingsley Ben-Adir (One Night in Miami), Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), Sidney Flanigan (Never Rarely Sometimes Always), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), Tahar Rahim (The Mauritanian), and Zendaya (Malcolm & Marie)
2020 – Awkwafina (The Farewell), Taron Egerton (Rocketman), Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart), Aldis Hodge (Clemency), George MacKay (1917), Florence Pugh (Midsommar), and Taylor Russell (Waves)
2019 – Yalitza Aparicio (Roma), Sam Elliott (A Star is Born), Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade), Claire Foy (First Man), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace), John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman), and Steven Yeun (Burning)
2018 – Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Hong Chau (Downsizing), John Boyega (Detroit), Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick), Mary J. Blige (Mudbound), and Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name)
2017 – Aaron Taylor Johnson, Dev Patel, Janelle Monáe, Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Ruth Negga, Simon Helberg, and Stephen McKinley Henderson
2016 – Elizabeth Banks, Paul Dano, Joel Edgerton, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Géza Röhrig, Jacob Tremblay, and Alicia Vikander
2015 – Chadwick Boseman, Ellar Coltrane, Logan Lerman, David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, J.K. Simmons, and Jenny Slate
2014 – Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, Jared Leto, and June Squibb
2013 – Ann Dowd, Elle Fanning, Ezra Miller, Eddie Redmayne, Omar Sy, and Quvenzhané Wallis
2012 – Demian Bichir, Rooney Mara, Shailene Woodley, Andy Serkis, and Patton Oswalt
2011 – John Hawkes, Lesley Manville, Hailee Steinfeld, and Jacki Weaver
2010 – Emily Blunt, Carey Mulligan, Saoirse Ronan, Gabourey Sidibe, and Michael Stuhlbarg
2009 – Viola Davis, Rosemarie DeWitt, Richard Jenkins, Melissa Leo, and Michael Shannon
2008 – Casey Affleck, Marion Cotillard, James McAvoy, Ellen Page, and Amy Ryan

Outstanding Directors of the Year
An award given to a director not afraid to push the envelope in the cinematic world and has the eye for the picture they want to present and then does so, with an expertise that is both gracious and bold. Recipients:

2024 – Martin Scorsese (Killers of the Flower Moon) & Justine Triet (Anatomy of a Fall)
2023 – Todd Field (Tár) and Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin)
2022 – Paul Thomas Anderson (LICORICE PIZZA), Kenneth Branagh (BELFAST), Jane Campion (THE POWER OF THE DOG), Ryusuke Hamaguchi (DRIVE MY CAR), and Steven Spielberg (WEST SIDE STORY)
2021 – Chloé Zhao (Nomadland), David Fincher (Mank), Lee Isaac Chung (Minari), and Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round)
2020 – Bong Joon Ho (Parasite)
2019 – Alfonso Cuaron (Roma), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite), Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman), Adam McKay (Vice), and Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War)
2018 – Christopher Nolan (DUNKIRK), Greta Gerwig (LADY BIRD), Guillermo del Toro (THE SHAPE OF WATER), Jordan Peele (GET OUT), and Paul Thomas Anderson (PHANTOM THREAD)
2017 – Damien Chazelle (LA LA LAND), Ava Duverney (13TH), Barry Jenkins (MOONLIGHT), Kenneth Lonergan (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA), and Denis Villeneuve (ARRIVAL)
2016 – Lenny Abrahamson (ROOM), Alejandro G. Iñárritu (THE REVENANT), Tom McCarthy (SPOTLIGHT), Adam McKay (THE BIG SHORT), and George Miller (MAD MAX: FURY ROAD)
2015 – Damien Chazelle (WHIPLASH), Richard Linklater (BOYHOOD), Bennett Miller (FOXCATCHER), Laura Poitras (CITIZENFOUR), and Morten Tyldum (THE IMITATION GAME)
2014 – David O. Russell (AMERICAN HUSTLE)
2010 – Kathryn Bigelow (THE HURT LOCKER)
2009 – Danny Boyle (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE)

Variety Artisans Award
An award to celebrate the below-the-line professionals who are essential to the filmmaking process.

2024 – Stephane Ceretti – VFX – “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”
Billie Eilish and Finneas– Songwriter – “Barbie”
Ludwig Göransson – Composer – “Oppenheimer”
Sarah Greenwood/Katie Spencer – Production Designer – “Barbie”
Kazu Hiro- Hairstyling/Makeup – “Maestro”
Jennifer Lame – Editor – “Oppenheimer”
Rodrigo Prieto – Cinematography- “Killers of the Flower Moon”
Michael Semanick – Re-recording Mixer – “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”
Holly Waddington – Costume Designer – “Poor Things”

2023 – M. M. Keeravaani – Songwriter (RRR)
Frank Kruse – Sound Designer (All Quiet on the Western Front)
Son Lux – Composer (Everything Everywhere All at Once)
Catherine Martin – Costume Designer (Elvis)
Florencia Martin – Production Designer (Babylon)
Claudio Miranda – Cinematography (Top Gun: Maverick)
Adrien Morot – Hairstyling/Make Up (The Whale)
Paul Rogers – Editing (Everything Everywhere All at Once)
Eric Saindon – VFX (Avatar: The Way of Water)

2022 – Frederic Aspiras and Göran Lundstrom for makeup and hairstyling in “House of Gucci”
Tamara Deverell for production design in “Nightmare Alley”
Germaine Franco for score in “Encanto”
Greig Fraser for cinematography in “Dune”
Lin-Manuel Miranda for song in “Encanto”
Paul Massey for sound in “No Time to Die”
Kelly Port for visual effects in “Spider-Man: No Way Home”
Peter Sciberras for editing in “The Power of the Dog”
Jacqueline West and Bob Morgan for costume design in “Dune”

2021 – Alan Baumgarten (The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Editing)
Nicolas Becker (Sound of Metal – Sound)
Alexandra Byrne (Emma – Costume Design)
Sean Faden (Mulan – VFX)
Donald Graham Burt and Jan Pascale (Mank – Production Design)
Mia Neal (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Hair/Makeup)
Leslie Odom, Jr. and Sam Ashworth (One Night in Miami – Original Song)
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (Mank and Soul – Original Score)
Joshua James Richards (Nomadland – Cinematography)

2020 – Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez – Songwriting – FROZEN 2
Michael Giacchino – Composing – JOJO RABBIT
Kazu Hiro – Makeup/Hairstyling – BOMBSHELL
Barbara Ling – Production Design – ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD
Steve Morrow – Sound Mixing – FORD V. FERRARI
Christopher Peterson and Sandy Powell – Costume Design – THE IRISHMAN
Lawrence Sher – Cinematography – JOKER
Lee Smith – Editing – 1917
Adam Valdez – VFX – THE LION KING

2019 – Barry Alexander Brown – Editing – BlackKklansman
Ruth Carter – Costume Design – Black Panther
Fiona Crombie – Production Design – The Favourite
Lukasz Zal – Cinematography – Cold War
Patricia Dehaney – Hair/Make-Up – Vice
Marc Shaiman – Score – Mary Poppins Returns
Skip Lievsay, Craig Henighan and Jose Antonio Garcia – Sound Mixing – Roma
Sergio Diaz and Skip Lievsay – Sound Editing – Roma

2018 – Paul D. Austerberry – Production Design – The Shape of Water
Mark Bridges – Costume Design – Phantom Thread
Alexandre Desplat – Original Score – The Shape of Water
Rachel Morrison – Cinematography – Mudbound
John Nelson – Visual Effects – Blade Runner 2049
Tatiana S. Riegel – Editing – I, Tonya
Julian Slater, – Sound Mixing – Baby Driver
Arjen Tuiten – Makeup and Hairstyling – Wonder
Matthew Wood – Sound Editing – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

2017 – Alessandro Bertolazzi – Makeup and Hair – Suicide Squad
Jess Gonchor – Production Design – Hail, Caesar!
Justin Hurwitz – original score – La La Land
Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul – Original Song City of Stars – La La Land
James Laxton – Cinematographer – Moonlight
Robert Legato – Visual Effects -The Jungle Book
Alan Murray – Sound Editing – Sully
Kevin O’Connell – Sound Mixing – Hacksaw Ridge
Joe Walker – Editor – Arrival
Mary Zophres – Costume Designer – La La Land

2016 – Carter Burwell – Carol (Original Score)
Hank Corwin – The Big Short (Editing)
Mark Mangini – Mad Max: Fury Road (Sound Editing)
Arthur Max – The Martian (Production Design)
John Seale – Mad Max: Fury Road (Cinematography)
Patrick Tubach – Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Visual Effects)
Diane Warren – “Til It Happens to You” from The Hunting Ground (Original Song)
Jacqueline West – The Revenant (Costume Design)

2015 – Shawn Patterson “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie (Song)
Sandra Adair, Boyhood (Editing)
Bill Corso and Kathrine Gordon, Foxcatcher (Hair & Makeup)
Suzie Davies, Mr. Turner (Production Design)
Dion Beebe, Into the Woods (Cinematography)
Steven Noble, The Theory of Everything (Costume Design)
Joe Letteri, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (VFX)
Richard King and Mark Weingarten, Interstellar (Sound Mixing & Editing)

David Attenborough Award for Excellence in Nature Filmmaking
The David Attenborough Award was created for and first given to Sir David Attenborough for his commitment to nature filmmaking This award is given to a filmmaker who shows passion for nature filmmaking. Recipients:

2015 – The Cousteau Family – Jean-Michel and his son and daughter Fabien and Celine
2010 – “The Cove”
2007 – Al Gore and Davis Guggenheim
2006 – James Cameron
2005 – David Attenborough