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Harrison Ford to Receive Santa Barbara Fest Honor

Festival’s first honor goes to an actor who’s usually overlooked by the Academy

In January and February, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival will be honoring quite a few people who’ll be in the midst of the Oscar race.

In the fall, SBIFF sometimes thinks a little more long-term with the presentation of its Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film – an honor that this year will go to Harrison Ford, the festival announced on Wednesday.

Harrison FordWhile Ford has a new film, “Morning Glory,” that’ll be released on November 12, the comedy does not figure highly on most Oscar tipsheets. (To be fair, it has yet to be screened widely.) The Santa Barbara announcement focuses more on his body of work, and on the 12 Ford films – including the three “Star Wars” and four Indiana Jones movies – that have grossed more than $100 million.

Over the course of his near-40 year career and his 43 movies, Ford has been nominated for a single Academy Award: he won a Best Actor nod for his role in “Witness” in 1985.

I’m delighted to give this award to Harrison Ford,” said Santa Barbara resident Kirk Douglas in the press release announcing the award. “It’s always a pleasure to honor these young actors who do so well.” 

Past winners include Quentin Tarantino and Ed Harris.

The award will be presented at a black-tie gala at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara on November 19. The event will serve as a fund-raiser for the film festival, which in 2011 will take place from January 27 through February 6.