Firth first with Santa Barbara fest

Actor to receive performance of the year nod

Colin Firth has been tapped to receive the performance of the year nod at next year’s Santa Barbara Film Festival.

Fest, which runs Feb. 4-14, will honor Firth on Feb. 13 for his role as a gay, suicidal professor in Tom Ford’s “A Single Man.”

Past recipients include Penelope Cruz, Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren and Heath Ledger.

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