The Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced Monday that the initial recipients of the 2016 Virtuosos Award will include Elizabeth Banks, Joel Edgerton, Paul Dano and Jacob Tremblay. The distinguished award aims to acknowledge a small selection of actors for their standout film performances over the past year, as well as highlight defining work from their overall acting careers. The 2016 recipients will be officially recognized at an award presentation event at the Arlington Theatre during the 31st edition of the festival.
“These performers have used their craft and respective roles to transport us through the varied lives of their characters,” the festival’s executive director Roger Durling said.
After a recurring role in the wildly popular “Hunger Games” trilogy and a behind-the-camera stint directing “Pitch Perfect 2,” Elizabeth Banks offered a heart-filled performance as Beach Boys frontman Brian Wilson’s wife in the biopic “Love & Mercy.”
Also being honored is actor-screenwriter Joel Edgerton, who premiered his directorial skills in psycho-thriller “The Gift,” a film he directed, wrote and starred in. This year he captivated audiences alongside a high-profile cast in his supporting role as an edgy FBI agent in gangster drama “Black Mass.”
Another “Love & Mercy” actor receiving recognition is Paul Dano, who depicts a young, artistic, identity-seeking Wilson in the musical biopic. Dano is also attracting attention for his supporting role in Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth.”
The final award recipient is industry newcomer Jacob Tremblay, whose debut performance in “Room” portrays a raw glimpse into the life of a young boy being raised in confinement with his mother.
Past recipients of the Virtuosos Award include Rosamund Pike, Eddie Redmayne, Emily Blunt and Melissa McCarthy. More Virtuosos for this year’s fest will be announced soon.
The 31st annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival runs from Feb. 3 to 13 and additional honorees will be announced in the coming weeks.