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Santa Barbara Film Festival: Johnny Depp to receive Modern Master Award

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Walter McBride/FilmMagic

Johnny Depp will being honored with the Maltin Modern Master Award at the 31st annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the festival announced Wednesday.

The Matlin Modern Master Award, renamed this year to honor film citic Leonard Maltin, is the festival’s highest honor, recognizing “an individual who has enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry.” In the previous three years, the award was given to Michael Keaton, Bruce Dern, and Ben Affleck. 

“Johnny Depp is a true embodiment of a modern master,” Roger Durling, executive director of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, said in the announcement. “He has had a long and storied career that has shown his commitment to taking on compelling and dynamic roles. But in the gripping film Black Mass under the skillful direction of Scott Cooper, Johnny Depp delivers his defining performance to date.”

The 31st annual festival will run from Feb. 3-13, with Depp receiving his award on the final night.