Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo, who currently star in “The Artist,” will receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Cinema Vanguard Award at a Feb. 4 tribute, festival executive director Roger Durling announced Wednesday.
“In an age of sight-and-sound spectacle, there is great risk in a silent film,” Durling said in a statement. “Jean and Bérénice’s acting is an amazing pas des deux both physically and emotionally — recalling classic Hollywood pairings like Hepburn and Tracy, and of course Ginger and Fred.”
SBIFF, which runs Jan. 26 through Feb. 5, is a key stop on the campaign trail for Oscar hopefuls. The Cinema Vanguard Award is likely to keep Dujardin and Bejo top of mind for Academy voters and help “The Artist” maintain momentum during the balloting process.
The award has previously been presented to Nicole Kidman, Christoph Waltz, Vera Farmiga, Stanley Tucci, Peter Sarsgaard, Kristin Scott Thomas and Ryan Gosling.