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Johnny Depp Named ‘Modern Master’ by Santa Barbara Film Festival

Award honoring ”Black Mass“ Oscar contender will be presented on Feb. 6


Johnny Depp will receive the Maltin Modern Master Award at the 31st annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival, organizers announced on Wednesday.

The honor will be presented at a ceremony and Q&A on Saturday, Feb. 6 at the Arlington Theater in Santa Barbara.

The award is the first to be announced by the festival, which takes place in early February and is used as a campaign stop by awards contenders who receive extra attention through the honorary awards bestowed by SBIFF every year.

Depp is currently in the running for acting awards for his performance as Boston gangster Whitey Bulger in Scott Cooper‘s “Black Mass.”

Johnny Depp is a true embodiment of a modern master,” said SBIFF executive director Roger Durling in a statement. “He has had a long and storied career that has shown his commitment to taking on compelling and dynamic roles.”

The Modern Master Award was established in 1995, and has gone to Michael Keaton, Bruce Dern, Ben Affleck, James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, Cate Blanchett, Will Smith and George Clooney, among others. This year, it has been renamed in honor of film critic Leonard Maltin, who has moderated the event for the past 25 years.

The festival will take place from Feb. 3 through Feb. 13 in the coastal town 100 miles north of Los Angeles. Additional honorees, as well as the program of films, will be announced in the coming weeks.