Thesp receives American Riviera award for 'Django' perf, festival opens with 'Disconnect'

The Santa Barbara Film Festival has set “Disconnect” as its opening night film on Jan. 24 and will honor Leonardo DiCaprio with the American Riviera Award. Ensemble drama “Disconnect” stars Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, Andrea Riseborough and Max Theriot. Directed by “Murderball” helmer Henry-Alex Rubin, “Disconnect” will be released by LD Entertainment.

“‘Disconnect’ is a visceral and timely film experience — and an extraordinary way to start the 28th edition of SBIFF,” said executive director Roger Durling.

Now in its 28th year, fest runs Jan. 24 to Feb. 3.

DiCaprio is being honored for his work in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.” The thesp will receive his award Feb. 1 at the Arlington Theater.

“His performance in ‘Django Unchained’ reaffirms that he is the most relevant actor of this generation,” said Durling.

Previous honorees of the American Riviera award include Martin Scorsese, Annette Bening and Sandra Bullock.

“Disconnect,” the story of a lawyer, an estranged couple, a widowed ex-cop and an ambitious journalist whose stories collide, is produced by Mickey Liddell and Jennifer Monroe of LD Entertainment and William Horberg of Wonderful Films from an original screenplay by Andrew Stern.

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