Denzel Washington to Receive Modern Master Award at Santa Barbara Film Festival

Actor stars in and directed critically acclaimed drama “Fences”

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Denzel Washington will be honored with the Maltin Modern Master Award at the 2017 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the festival announced Tuesday.

He will be honored for his contributions to the film industry, culminating with this year’s Oscar contender, “Fences,” which he directed, produced and starred in.

Leonard Maltin, for whom the award was recently renamed, will return for his 26th year to moderate the evening, which will take place on February 2 at Santa Barbara’s historic Arlington Theatre.

“Denzel Washington directing, producing and acting in ‘Fences’ defines the Modern Master for the 21st Century,” SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling said in a statement.

The Modern Master Award was established in 1995 and is the highest accolade presented by the film festival. It was created to honor individuals who have enriched the film industry after the renowned film critic. Past recipients have included Michael Keaton, Bruce Dern, Ben Affleck, Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, Will Smith and George Clooney.

This year’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place from February 1 to February 11.

“Fences,” co-starring Viola Davis and based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning August Wilson play of the same name, follows a black family in 1950s Pittsburgh.

Troy (Washington) is the head of the household, but is bitter about his life working as a trash collector. His son, Cory (Jovan Adepo), dreams of a better life but gets nothing but disdain from his father. Throughout it all, Troy’s wife, Rose (Davis), tries to hold everything together.