Hugh Jackman will be the recipient of this year’s Kirk Douglas Award For Excellence In Film, presented for the 13th year by the Santa Barbara Film Festival. The black-tie awards gala will be held November 19 at the Ritz Carlton Bacara hotel.
Jackman, riding high off the global box office success of 2017’s surprise hit musical The Greatest Showman, has won acclaim for his latest film The Front Runner. He plays U.S. Sen. Gary Hart, whose 1988 Presidential campaign was derailed by a sex scandal.
The film, directed by Jason Reitman, premiered at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals early last month and won high praise, particularly for Jackman’s performance which is being heavily Oscar-buzzed. Sony Pictures will open the movie , appropriately, on election day November 6 before going wide later in the month.
Since 2006, the annual Kirk Douglas Award has been given to a lifelong contributor to cinema through their work in front of the camera, behind, or both. Past honorees include Judi Dench, Warren Beatty, Jane Fonda, Jessica Lange, Forest Whitaker, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Quentin Tarantino, Ed Harris and John Travolta.
“I am delighted that Hugh Jackman will receive the 13th annual Kirk Douglas Award. He’s an exceptional talent of stage and screen, and one of the nicest people in the business. It’s my honor to have my name linked with his on this year’s award,” Kirk Douglas said.
The 34th annual Santa Barbara Film Festival is set to run January 30-February 9.