TOMMY LEE JONES TO RECEIVE AMERICAN RIVIERA AWARD AT THE SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Santa Barbara, CA- The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will honor Tommy Lee Jones with the American Riviera Award at the 23rd edition of the Fest, which runs January 24-February 3, 2008, it was announced today by SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling.

The American Riviera Award, an award the SBIFF established to recognize an actor who has had a strong influence on American Cinema, will be presented to Tommy Lee Jones on Friday, February 1, 2008. Previous recipients include Forest Whitaker and Philip Seymour Hoffman, both of whom went on to win Academy Awards.

Jones’ performances in the critically acclaimed film In the Valley of Elah by director Paul Haggis, and No Country for Old Men from Joel and Ethan Cohen have both been applauded by critics and audiences alike this year. Elah, which also stars Charlize Theron, is about a career officer who investigates the disappearance of his son, an exemplary soldier who went AWOL after his recent return from Iraq. Jones also quietly shines in the Cohen Brothers tale.

“To have the opportunity to honor an actor as accomplished as Tommy Lee Jones is wonderful for us, but to do it in a year when he has had two equally powerful performances—that makes this our honor,” said Durling.

Jones, one of the most acclaimed and accomplished actors in Hollywood, brings a distinct character to every film that he’s in. In his career, Jones has been in memorable dramatic films such as Cobb, Blue Sky, The Client, Heaven and Earth and Coal Miners Daughter- for which he received his first Golden Globe nomination. His first Oscar nomination came from his role as Clay Shaw in JFK, three years later Jones was awarded the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of U.S. Marshal Sam Gerard in The Fugitive. Jones made his feature directorial debut with The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, in which he also starred and subsequently won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival. He has also shown his flair for comedic timing in films like Space Cowboys and A Prairie Home Companion, and the mega blockbuster hits Men in Black and the sequel Men in Black 2. Following In the Valley of Elah, audiences will next see Jones star in the film based on the Cormac McCarthy novel, No Country for Old Men.

The tribute will take place at the Lobero Theatre at 8pm on Friday, February 1 with a multimedia presentation produced by Paul Fagen of P. Fagen Productions. Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased for $65 through www.sbfilmfestival.org or through the Lobero Box Office, 805.963.0761 and the Arlington Theater Box office, 805.963.4408. Festival Platinum and Cinema Passes are currently on sale exclusively at the Lobero Box Office. Box Office fees will apply for all Film Festival Passes, Mini-Paks, and event tickets.

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, set to run January 24 through February 3, 2008, is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching local culture and raising consciousness of film as an art form. The SBIFF presents quality American and world independent films, Latin American and Asian sidebars as well as documentary cinema within the beautiful setting of downtown Santa Barbara, a premier tourist destination. The SBIFF is also committed to education through its Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting Competitions, Field Trip to the Movies, and educational seminars. With a projected audience of over 60,000 viewing more than 200 films over its eleven-day run, the SBIFF attracts an affluent local and national consumer base, while maintaining strong ties with the entertainment industry in nearby Los Angeles. For more information, please visit www.sbfilmfestival.org.

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