Actor wins Outstanding Performance of the Year award
"James Franco eases onto the screen, seducing the audience no matter if he is the hero, the villain or the victim," said festival director Roger Durling.
In "127 Hours," Franco recounts the story of a young hiker who amputates his own arm after a boulder lands on it during a canyon expedition.
Previous Santa Barbara festival best-performance honorees have included Colin Firth (2010), Penelope Cruz (2009), Angelina Jolie (2008), Helen Mirren (2007), Heath Ledger (2006), Kate Winslet (2005) and Charlize Theron (2004).
The festival will kick off Jan. 29 at Santa Barbara's Arlington Theatre.