Brad Pitt will receive the Maltin Modern Master Award at the 35th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Jan. 22. The actor-producer is being saluted for his longstanding contributions to the film industry. The Modern Master Award, established in 1995, is the highest accolade presented by SBIFF.

“Brad Pitt wears the mantle of movie star with good grace,” said critic Leonard Maltin in a statement. “He’s been giving great performances for several decades, but he makes it look so easy that I fear he’s been taken for granted. After the one-two punch of ‘Ad Astra’ and ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,’ this year he’s an ideal choice to be presented the Maltin Modern Master Award.” Maltin will moderate the evening.

According to the festival, the Modern Master Award “was created to honor an individual who has enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry.” It was re-named the Maltin Modern Master Award in 2015 in honor of  Maltin, who has moderated SBIFF events for 29 years. Past recipients include Glenn Close, Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton, Bruce Dern, Ben Affleck, Christopher Plummer, Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, Cate Blanchett, Will Smith, George Clooney and Peter Jackson.

The 35th Santa Barbara International Film Festival will run Jan. 15-25.

SBIFF is a non-profit arts and educational organization. Last year, the festival drew 95,000 attendees and offered 11 days of 200-plus films, tributes and symposiums.

The festival offers free educational programs and events year-round. In 2016, SBIFF acquired the historic Riviera Theatre. After renovations, the theatre is now the festival’s state-of-the-art, year-round home, showing new international and independent films every day. In 2019, SBIFF opened its own Education Center in downtown Santa Barbara on State Street to serve as a home for its educational programs.