The five filmmakers who were nominated earlier this month for the best director Oscar — Phantom Thread‘s Paul Thomas Anderson, The Shape of Water‘s Guillermo del Toro, Lady Bird‘s Greta Gerwig, Dunkirk‘s Christopher Nolan and Get Out‘s Jordan Peele — have been named Outstanding Directors of the Year by the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
The filmmakers will be celebrated — and I will interview them, individually and then collectively — at Santa Barbara’s Arlington Theatre on Feb. 6, the fest announced Tuesday.
“These directors have pushed the boundaries in their storytelling and created films that showcase the art of filmmaking at its best,” said SBIFF executive director Roger Durling. “We look forward to honoring them for creating extraordinary cinematic works that redefine what cinema can and should be.”
This particular event — which I will be moderating for the third time in four years — was borne out of the fest’s directors panel, a popular annual gathering that took place for many years on an afternoon during the middle weekend of the two-week fest. In 2015, the concept was transformed and moved into primetime.
Anderson, del Toro, Gerwig, Nolan and Peele are just a small sampling of the names being honored at this year’s fest. In December, Victoria & Abdul lead actress Judi Dench was presented with its Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film. And other upcoming honorees which the fest previously announced include I, Tonya lead actress Margot Robbie and supporting actress Allison Janney; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri supporting actor Sam Rockwell; Lady Bird lead actress Saoirse Ronan; Darkest Hour lead actor Gary Oldman; The Florida Project supporting actor Willem Dafoe; Mudbound supporting actress-songwriter Mary J. Blige; Detroit supporting actor John Boyega; Call Me by Your Name lead actor Timothee Chalamet; Downsizing supporting actress Hong Chau; Wonder Woman lead actress Gal Gadot; Get Out lead actor Daniel Kaluuya; and The Big Sick lead actor/co-writer Kumail Nanjiani.
In addition, SBIFF announced Tuesday that its closing night film will be a series of never-before-seen documentary shorts featuring Santa Barbara filmmakers — among them, Chris Price and Casey McGarry‘s Cascaron, Ryan Slattery‘s Crossing the Channel, Hallie Brown‘s Out of the Ashes, Justin Gunn‘s A Solstice in Santa Barbara, John Klein‘s Soul of the City and Danielle Cohen‘s The Tipping Point.
The 33rd edition of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival is set to run Wednesday-Feb. 10.