Johnny Depp has been named the recipient of the Santa Barbara Film Festival Modern Master Award for this year’s edition, which runs February 3-13. The fest always nails this gala ceremony to bestow its highest honor, with recent honorees including Michael Keaton last year (ahead of his Birdman success), Bruce Dern (Nebraska) and Ben Affleck (Argo) among those who make the stop in the beach city as they wind their way through awards season.

Depp of course is in the chase with Warner Bros’ Black Mass, the Scott Cooper pic in which Depp plays Boston mobster Whitey Bulger. It was released September 18.

The fest has renamed its award this year the Maltin Modern Master, after film critic Leonard Maltin, who has moderated the event for more than 25 years. Depp’s honor will be presented February 6 at the Arlington Theater.