JEFFREY WRIGHT TO RECEIVE 39TH ANNUAL SBIFF MONTECITO AWARD

Santa Barbara, CA – Jeffrey Wright will be honored with the Montecito Award at the 39th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Wright will receive the award on Thursday, February 15th, 2024 at an in-person conversation about his career leading up to this year’s performance in Orion Pictures / Amazon MGM Studios’ AMERICAN FICTION, written and directed by Cord Jefferson. Wright has received lead actor nominations from the Gotham AwardsSpirit AwardsGolden Globe Awards and the Critics Choice Awards thus far for his wonderful performance as protagonist, ‘Thelonious “Monk” Ellison.’

Jeffrey Wright is a Tony, Emmy, AFI, and Golden Globe Award-winning actor who has enjoyed an illustrious career spanning the worlds of theatre, film, and television. Wright was most recently seen in the critically acclaimed role of ‘Bernard Lowe’ in HBO’s WESTWORLD, for which he earned three Emmy nominations. He can currently be seen in the George C. Wolfe-directed Civil Rights pic, RUSTIN, portraying ‘Adam Clayton Powell.’ RUSTIN is produced by Michelle and Barack Obama’s Higher Ground Productions. In June 2023, Wright was seen as part of the all-star ensemble cast in the Wes Anderson film ASTEROID CITY. In March of 2022, Wright portrayed the iconic character, ‘Jim Gordon,” in the latest installment of THE BATMAN franchise directed by Matt Reeves. In April 2021, Wright reprised his role of CIA agent ‘Felix Leiter’ in the James Bond film, NO TIME TO DIE. In October 2021, he starred in another all-star ensemble cast in Wes Anderson’s THE FRENCH DISPATCH. 20 Other recent projects include lead roles in Netflix’s ALL DAY AND A NIGHT (May 2020), HBO’s O.G., which premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, where Wright won the award for Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film and Netflix’s HOLD THE DARK (September 2018).

The Montecito Award is named after one of the most beautiful and stylish areas in Santa Barbara. Past recipients include Angela Bassett, Penélope Cruz, Amanda Seyfried, Lupita Nyong’o, Melissa McCarthy, Saoirse Ronan, Isabelle Huppert, Sylvester Stallone, Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey, Daniel Day-Lewis, Geoffrey Rush, Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts and Javier Bardem.

The 39th Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place LIVE February 7 – February 17, 2024. 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 2024 Festival are on sale now at sbiff.org

Last year, the festival had 52 world premieres, 78 U.S. premieres, with honorary awards feted on Angela Bassett, Cate Blanchett, Jamie Lee Curtis, Brendan Fraser, Austin Butler, Kerry Cordon, Danielle Deadwyler, Nina Hoss, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Jeremy Strong, Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Todd Field and Martin McDonagh.

A-list and industry guests will once again ascend to Santa Barbara, making it a must-stop location on the awards circuit, and delivering a record number of films with many World and U.S. premieres. The film lineup and schedule will be announced January, 2024.

“I’ve been a fan of Mr. Wright since I first saw him in 1993 in the original Broadway production of ANGELS IN AMERICA. I’ve since admired that he brings a high level of class and integrity to every role he does. Yet, no film had capitalized on his extraordinary range and virtuosity until AMERICAN FICTION. It is about time.” SBIFF’s Executive Director Roger Durling stated.

WHO

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.

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