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Brie Larson, Saoirse Ronan to Share Performer of the Year Awards at Santa Barbara Festival

This marks the first time the festival has given the honor to multiple recipients


Brie Larson and Saoirse Ronan have been named Outstanding Performers of the Year by the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, organizers announced on Tuesday.

Larson and Ronan, who are among the top Oscar contenders for their performances in “Room” and “Brooklyn,” respectively, will receive their awards on Feb. 8, 2016 in the coastal resort town 100 miles north of Los Angeles.

This marks the first time the Outstanding Performer of the Year award has been given to two honorees.

“This is an incredible year for emerging talent to take center stage and showcase their abilities,” SBIFF executive director Roger Durling said in a statement. “We’ve long been following the careers of Brie and Saoirse and their recent roles as empowered young women transcend time, place and circumstance.”

Ronan received the festival’s Virtuoso Award, which is given each year to a number of breakout performers, in 2010, after she made “The Lovely Bones.” Larson received the same honor in 2014, after “Short Term 12.”

Past recipients of the Outstanding Performer Award have included Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Viola Davis, Colin Firth, Helen Mirren and Heath Ledger.

Previously announced SBIFF honorees are Johnny Depp, “Spotlight” cast members Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams, and, in the Virtuosos category, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Dano, Joel Edgerton and Jacob Tremblay.

Larson, Ronan and Depp have also been announced as honorees by the Palm Springs International Film Festival, which will hold its awards gala on Jan. 2, a month before the Santa Barbara festival begins on Feb. 3.

In the past, Santa Barbara and Palm Springs have shied away from giving their honorary awards to the same recipients. But with the marquee names in demand and the Oscar races so tight that nobody wants to miss a campaign opportunity, the two festivals are overlapping to an unprecedented degree this year.

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will run from Feb. 3 through Feb. 13, 2016, with its awards presentations spread out over the course of the festival.