SBIFF fetes new Virtuosos


Rising actors -- and awards-season hopefuls -- Casey Affleck, Marion Cotillard, James McAvoy, Ellen Page and Amy Ryan will be honored at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival with the 2007 Virtuosos Award.

The award, a first for the fest, was created to recognize a group of young actors "who have distinguished themselves through performances in film this past year." It will be presented on Jan. 30 at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara.

Affleck has appeared on screen this year in both "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" and "Gone Baby Gone," which also features Ryan, who additionally co-stars in "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead." Cotillard plays Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose," James McAvoy is starring in "Atonement," and Page plays the title role in "Juno."

The fest runs from Jan. 24-Feb. 3.