Judi Dench has been named recipient of the 2017 Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced on Wednesday.
The award is given out annually at a black-tie fundraising dinner for the festival. This year’s dinner will take place on November 30 at the Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, with the film festival itself running from January 31 through February 10, 2018.
Dench is expected to be a strong Best Actress contender this year for her performance as Queen Victoria in Stephen Frears’ “Victoria & Adbul,” which will be released by Focus Features on September 22.
The Kirk Douglas Award has been handed out by the festival since 2006, when the first award went to Douglas himself. Subsequent recipients have included Warren Beatty, Jane Fonda, Robert De Niro, Harrison Ford, Quentin Tarantino and Douglas’ son Michael.
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival hands out a number of honorary awards during the run of the festival, with nightly tributes to actors and directors who are then in the thick of the Oscar race.
But those awards are designed to honor work in specific films, while the Kirk Douglas Award is a larger career-achievement prize presented outside the run of the festival.
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