SBIFF - Robert Downey, Jr., Modern Master Award
Friday, February 09, 2024, 08:00pm
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is honored to announce that cinema icon Robert Downey Jr. will receive the Maltin Modern Master Award, its highest accolade, at the 39th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Downey Jr. will receive the prestigious award on Friday, February 9, 2024.
The ceremony will include an in-person conversation between Downey and legendary film historian and critic Leonard Maltin, for whom the award is named. The duo will discuss Downey’s expansive five-decade acting career, his rise to becoming one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful actors to date, culminating in his recent searing, indelible performance as Lewis Strauss in Christopher Nolan’s staggering, global cinematic phenomenon, Oppenheimer.
Robert Downey Jr. is a two-time Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner who has amassed more than 110 acting credits over the course of his career, including the title character in the blockbuster Iron Man franchise, which launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe and reshaped the last 15 years of global cinema. He earned a Golden Globe Award for his lead performance in the action-adventure Sherlock Holmes, and two Academy Award nominations for Tropic Thunder, and his powerful portrayal of Charlie Chaplin in Richard Attenborough's 1992 biopic Chaplin. Upcoming acting projects include Max’s TV adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Sympathizer, in which he plays an impressive four supporting roles, and the Paramount Pictures remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s psychological thriller Vertigo.
“Robert Downey Jr. has staged one of the most spectacular second acts in show business history...and we in the audience are the beneficiaries. He commands the screen without any visible effort, which is perhaps the greatest feat of all,” said Leonard Maltin.
Christopher Nolan adds, “It’s thrilling to see audiences responding not just to Robert Downey Jr’s incredible charisma, but to a performance which, stripped of any movie star trappings, shows once again that he is one of the greatest actors.”
Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer is an IMAX®-shot epic thriller that explores the paradox of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the enigmatic man who must risk destroying the world in order to save it. Downey Jr. plays Lewis Strauss, a founding commissioner of the Atomic Energy Commission who helped shape America’s post-war nuclear policy, and as Oppenheimer’s chief administration adversary, led the effort to revoke his security clearance and discredit him.
The Modern Master Award was established in 1995. Created to honor an individual who has enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry, it was re-named the Maltin Modern Master Award in 2015 in honor of long-time SBIFF moderator and renowned film critic Leonard Maltin. Past recipients include Academy Award winning actors Jamie Lee Curtis, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington, Cate Blanchett, George Clooney and Christopher Plummer, and acclaimed filmmakers including Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, Clint Eastwood and Peter Jackson.
The 39th Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place LIVE February 7 - February 17, 2024. Official events including screenings, filmmaker Q&As, industry panels and celebrity tributes will be held throughout the city, including at the historic Arlington Theatre. Passes for the 2024 Festival are on sale now at sbiff.org.