Santa Barbara Film Fest: Denzel Washington to Receive Modern Master Award

The two-time Oscar winner is in the running again this year for 'Fences,' an adaptation of the late August Wilson's acclaimed play that Washington directed and stars in.
Paramount/Screenshot
Denzel Washington in 'Fences'

Denzel Washington will receive the Maltin Modern Master Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the fest announced Wednesday.

The 61-year-old actor, an Oscar winner for both 1989's Glory and 2001's Training Day, who returns to contention this year as the director and star of Fences, will be honored Feb. 2 at Santa Barbara's historic Arlington Theatre as part of the festival's 32nd edition, running Feb. 1-11.

SBIFF's Modern Master Award, the fest's highest honor, was created in 1995 to celebrate "an individual who has enriched our culture through his/her multifaceted accomplishments in the motion picture industry." In 2015, it was renamed after film critic Leonard Maltin, who has moderated its presentation since its inception.

Previous recipients include Johnny Depp, Michael Keaton, Bruce Dern, Ben Affleck, Christopher Nolan, Michael Douglas, Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Diane Keaton, Sean Penn, Jeff Bridges, Peter Jackson, George Clooney, Will Smith, Cate Blanchett, Clint Eastwood, Christopher Plummer and James Cameron.

"Denzel Washington directing, producing and acting in Fences defines 'Modern Master' for the 21st century," said SBIFF director Roger Durling in a statement.

The fest will announce other honorees in the coming days and weeks.

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