Dame Judi Dench has been named the recipient of this year’s Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film presented annually by the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

The award will be presented to the 82-year-old Oscar winning star on Thursday November 30 at a black tie gala dinner at Bacara Resort & Spa. It is often viewed as a precursor of awards season glory and Dench is once again in the race with two films set for release, including a reprisal of her role as Queen Victoria in Victoria & Abdul opening this Friday, as well as Murder On The Orient Express due November 10.  The Douglas award has been presented since  2006 and past honorees include last year’s recipient Warren Beatty as well as Jane Fonda,  Jessica Lange, Forest Whitaker, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Ed Harris, Quentin Tarantino, and John Travolta.

“I am especially delighted to learn that Dame Judi Dench will accept the award that bears my name,” said the 100 year old Douglas who will turn 101 on December 9.

Victoria And Abdul
Focus Features

“She is a consummate  artist of stage and screen who is a particular favorite of mine. I wish I could have had the joy of working with her, but I am happy for the pleasure of seeing my name coupled with hers in support of the Santa Barbara Film Festival.”

Dench won her Oscar in 1999 for Shakespeare In Love. She has been nominated a total of seven times , with other nominations coming for Mrs. Brown, Chocolat, Iris, Mrs. Henderson Presents, Notes On A Scandal, and Philomena. She has also won an impressive 11 BAFTA awards out of 26 nominations, as well as two Golden Globe awards among many other career honors. She has also become well known to a whole new audience as M in no fewer than seven James Bond films from Goldeneye through Skyfall.