Sacha Baron Cohen will receive the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award at the 36th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) on April 7, the festival announced on Wednesday.
Baron Cohen will be honored for his critically acclaimed work in both Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.”
“In 2020, Mr. Cohen twice was able to capture our interest, our imagination as well as the zeitgeist. His work in both films is timely, urgent and nuanced,” SBIFF’s Executive Director Roger Durling said in a statement.
“It’s an honor to be recognized and to stand in the company of such incredible past recipients,” added Baron Cohen. “I’m very grateful to Roger, SBIFF and everyone who believes that cinema, whether drama or satire, can shine a light on injustice and bigotry and even provide a laugh or two along the way.”
An Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and Golden Globe-winning actor, Sacha Baron Cohen is best known for his portrayal of iconic characters Ali G, Borat Sagdiyev, Brüno Gehard, Admiral General Aladeen, and Erran Morrad. Baron Cohen also starred in Adam McKay’s “Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo,” Tom Hooper’s “Les Misérables,” and Tim Burton’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”
Most recently, Baron Cohen starred in Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and played real-life yippie activist Abbie Hoffman. Similarly, Baron Cohen returned as his iconic character Borat in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” which he produced and co-wrote.
The Outstanding Performers of the Year Award recognizes select individuals who have distinguished themselves with exceptional performances in film this past year. Past recipients of the award include Adam Driver, Rami Malek, Margot Robbie and Allison Janney, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, Brie Larson and Saoirse Ronan, Steve Carell, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Viola Davis, James Franco, Colin Firth, Penelope Cruz, Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren, Heath Ledger, Kate Winslet and Charlize Theron.
The 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place March 31 through April 10, 2021. More information, as well as Festival passes and tickets, will be available in the coming weeks at www.sbiff.org.