SBIFF Variety Artisans Awards


Suicide Squad Hair and Makeup Artist Alessandro Bertolazzi is honored at the SBIFF Variety Artisans Awards on Feb. 6. Courtesy photo.

Suicide Squad Hair and Makeup Artist Alessandro Bertolazzi is honored at the SBIFF Variety Artisans Awards on Feb. 6. Courtesy photo.

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival‘s Variety Artisans Awards celebrates those essential to the filmmaking process and who have exhibited the most exciting and innovative work of the year in their respective fields. The Tribute evening takes place on Monday, February 6, at the Lobero Theatre and will be moderated by Variety’s Senior Vice President Awards Editor, Tim Gray.

The Variety Artisans Award will be presented to the following 2017 Oscar nominees:

Alessandro Bertolazzi for Makeup and Hair for the Warner Brothers film Suicide Squad, directed by David Ayer.  This marks Bertolazzi’s first Academy Award nomination.  His previous credits include Skyfall, Biutiful, and Babel.

Jess Gonchor, for Production Design in the Universal Pictures film Hail, Caesar! directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Gonchor was previously nominated for an Academy Award for his work on True Grit, which was nominated for a total of 10 Academy Awards. Gonchor has worked with the Coen Brothers on each of their films since No Country For Old Men.

Oh Hail, Caesar from CityofIrving on Vimeo.

Justin Hurwitz, for original score in the Lionsgate musical La La Land, directed by Damien Chazelle. Hurwitz received both the Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice Award for Best Original Score for the film. He is a first time Oscar nominee this year.

Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul for Original Song “City of Stars” in the Lionsgate musical La La Land.  The song received both the Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice Award for Best Original Song this year.

Mary Zophres for Costume Designer in La La Land. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her work in the Coen Brother’s film True Grit. In 2016, she received the Key West Film Festival’s Career Achievement Award for costume design.

James Laxton for Cinematographer in A24’s Moonlight directed by Barry Jenkins. Laxton won the Los Angeles Film Critics,  New York Film Critics, and San Francisco Film Critics award for Best Cinematography for his work on the film.

Robert Legato for Visual Effects in the Disney live-action film The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau. Legato has won two Academy Awards (and has been nominated a total of four times) for his work on Titanic and Hugo.

Alan Murray for Sound Editing in the Warner Brothers film Sully, directed by Clint Eastwood.  He has been nominated for eight Academy Awards and won for his work on Eastwood’s films, American Sniper and Letters from Iwo Jima.

Kevin O’Connell for Sound Mixing in the Lionsgate Film Hacksaw Ridge, directed by Mel Gibson. This is his 21st Academy Award nomination for films that include Top Gun and Transformers.

Joe Walker for Editor in the Paramount Film Arrival, directed by Denis Villeneuve, for which he is nominated for an Oscar. Walker was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on 12 Years A Slave.  Arrival is his second collaboration with Villeneuve following last year’s critically-acclaimed Sicario, and they are currently working together on the upcoming Bladerunner.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 6, 2017.

Bruce Dern to Receive SBIFF’s Modern Master Award

Bruce Dern, courtesy SBIFF

Bruce Dern, courtesy SBIFF

We received word today that  Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) will honor Academy Award-nominated actor Bruce Dern (who was so fabulous in Nebraska) with the Modern Master Award  on Saturday, February 8, at the  Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St..

The Modern Master Award is the highest honor presented by SBIFF. It was created in 1995  “to pay tribute to an individual who has enriched our culture through his/her multi-faceted accomplishments in the motion picture industry.” Dern joins a prestigious list of past recipients including Ben Affleck, Christopher Nolan, Michael Douglas, Jodie Foster, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Diane Keaton, Sean Penn, Jeff Bridges, Peter Jackson, George Clooney, Will Smith, Cate Blanchett (who will receive this year’s Outstanding Performer of the Year Award on February 1 at the Arlington), Clint Eastwood, Christopher Plummer and James Cameron.

Emma Thompson was slated to receive the Modern Master Award, but according to a press release she is “not able to be in attendance as she is required for rehearsal in London on the New York Philharmonic staging of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, which will be directed by Lonny Price.”

Thompson, who currently stars in Saving Mr. Banks, was not nominated for an Oscar this year.

Dern will be honored for his distinguished career, which includes his most recent role as the headstrong Woody in Alexander Payne’s critically acclaimed film Nebraska. Also being honored by SBIFF this year is Dern’s Nebraska co-star June Squibb (and fellow Academy Award nominee), who is one of the Virtuosos being honored at the Arlington on February 4.

“We’re deeply humbled and grateful to Bruce Dern for accepting this award—he’s not only a Modern Master —he’s a hero. Year after year, performance after performance, Bruce Dern has enthralled audiences and with Nebraska he has given us a character for the ages in ‘Woody Grant.’ It’s his time and we’re delighted to honor him,” said SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling.

Through decades of critically acclaimed performances, Dern has acquired the reputation of being one of the most talented and prolific actors of his generation. A celebrated stage actor, Dern was trained by famed director Elia Kazan at The Actor’s Studio and made his film debut in Kazan’s Wild River (1960). He went on to work with director Roger Corman and appeared in several of his classic and decade defining films including Wild Angels. He received critical success for films such as They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? opposite Jane Fonda and Drive, He Said, directed by Jack Nicholson, and went down in history for his role as Long Hair in The Cowboys in which he became the first man ever to kill John Wayne on screen.

His performance in Hal Ashby’s Coming Home that earned him both an Academy Award and Golden Globe nomination. Dern co-starred with Charlize Theron in Monster, one of the most critically acclaimed independent films of all time. Most recently Dern has worked with directors Francis Ford Coppola in Twixt and Quentin Tarantino in Django Unchained.

For more information and to purchase tickets to the tribute click here.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on January 28. 2014.