EXCLUSIVE: Winning raves for her change of pace role in Fox Searchlight’s Can You Ever Forgive Me?  , Melissa McCarthy has been chosen to receive this year’s Montecito Award from

the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.  Given to a person in the entertainment industry who has made a great contribution to film, the award will be presented to her at a ceremony on Sunday, February 3, 2019 at the historic Arlington Theatre.

“Melissa McCarthy – always a compelling talent – triumphs as Lee Israel in CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME,” says SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “She’s funny, dark, caustic and oh so vulnerable.  SBIFF is so pleased to be able to award this performance and her career so far.”

McCarthy is getting strong Best Actress Oscar buzz for the role , something most Montecito Award honorees have had in common. Past recipients of the award include Saoirse Ronan, Isabelle Huppert, Sylvester Stallone, Daniel Day Lewis, Julianne Moore, Javier Bardem among others and this year the Santa Barbara International Film Festival will be back for its 34th year honoring Hugh Jackman (The Front Runner) with the Kirk Douglas Excellence in Film and celebrating Glenn Close (The Wife) with the Maltin Modern Master.