James Cameron scooping up awards

VES, Santa Barbara fest to honor 'Avatar' director

Once James Cameron launches "Avatar" on Dec. 18, he'll be embarking on the kudos circuit.

On Feb. 6, he's slated to receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's Lucky Brand Modern Master Award, that fest's highest honor.

And on Feb. 28, the Visual Effects Society will honor him with its VES Lifetime Achievement Award at the eighth annual VES Awards.

"James Cameron is one of the most visceral storytellers working in cinema today, and 'Avatar' is one of the most ambitious projects ever," SBIFF exec director Roger Durling said. "Because of his high aspirations and film achievements, James Cameron is not only the perfect Modern Master for our 25th anniversary, but one for the ages."

The presentation will take place at a tribute to be held at Santa Barbara's Arlington Theatre.

The VES Awards, where the "Titanic" Oscar winner will be feted, will be held at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City.

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"James Cameron has set the gold standard for storytelling by combining true creative artistry along with the latest advances in technology to bring incredible stories to the screen," VES executive director Eric Roth said. "Over the past few decades he has been the pre-eminent director of big vision, big story extravaganzas and has redefined the moviegoing experience for filmgoers worldwide."