Brendan Fraser to Receive Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s American Riviera Award

Brendan Fraser will be honored at this year’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival for his decades’ worth of contributions to American cinema. Going into the 38th annual festival, he is the 2023 recipient of its American Riviera Award.

Fraser will attend the event on Feb. 14, 2023, to discuss his lead role in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale,” which had its North American premiere at the Toronto film festival earlier this month and is garnering him early awards buzz. In Toronto, Fraser received the TIFF Tribute Award for Performance for his turn as a severely obese man trying to make amends with his estranged teenage daughter (played by Sadie Sink of “Stranger Things”). Aronofsky’s film is based on the acclaimed play by Samuel D. Hunter and will be released by A24 in December.

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Fraser began his career in the 1990s, appearing in films including “School Ties,” “With Honors,” “Gods and Monsters” and the “Mummy” trilogy, which elevated him to a new level of fame.

In a release, the Santa Barbara Film Festival noted the actor’s ability to transition “seamlessly” from indies to blockbusters. In addition to “The Whale,” he will also appear in the upcoming “Brothers,” with Glenn Close, Josh Brolin and Peter Dinklage, and Martin Scorsese’s Western “Killers of the Flower Moon,” with Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.

“I’m so elated that we will be celebrating Brandon Fraser at SBIFF,” the organization’s Executive Director Roger Durling said in a statement. “Here’s a performer who brought us so much joy through the years, given us so many incredible cinematic memories, and now with the best performance of his career! We are thrilled to honor him!”

The American Riviera Award recognizes actors “who have made a significant contribution to American Cinema,” according to the festival. Among the many previous recipients are Kristen Stewart, Delroy Lindo, Viggo Mortensen, Jeff Bridges, Michael Keaton, Patricia Arquette, Robert Redford, Annette Bening, Sandra Bullock, and Forest Whitaker.

The 38th Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place Feb. 8 through Feb. 18, 2023, at venues throughout the city. Films and scheduling will be announced in January.

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