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Emma Thompson to Nab Santa Barbara Fest’s Modern Master Award

The 29th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival will fete Emma Thompson with the Modern Master Award.

The British thesp-scribe-producer will receive the fest’s highest honor for her diverse body of work, which includes, most recently, her take as P.L. Travers — the author of the “Mary Poppins” novels — in John Lee Hancock’s “Saving Mr. Banks.”

Thompson nabbed the best actress Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA for one of her first major roles, her portrayal of Margaret Schlegel in 1992’s “Howard’s End.” The triple threat also scored an Oscar in 1995 for her adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility.”

“With the distinction of being the only artist to win an Oscar for both Best Actress and Best Screenplay, Ms. Thompson exemplifies the spirit of the Modern Master,” SBIFF executive director Roger Durling said in a press release.

Past Modern Master honorees include Ben Affleck, Christopher Nolan, Sean Penn, Peter Jackson, Clint Eastwood and James Cameron.

The tribute will take place on Feb. 8 at Santa Barbara’s Arlington Theatre on the eve of the festival’s end. SBIFF runs from Jan. 30 to Feb. 9.

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