Martin Scorsese is not in love with awards campaigning. But accepting awards–that’s a relatively painless part of the road to Oscar. Thus he is going to attend the 27th Santa Barbara Film International Festival tribute to him on January 30 to receive the American Riviera Award. While last year Leonardo DiCaprio presented the Master Award to his “Inception” director Christopher Nolan, this marks the first time the fest has given the Riviera award, recognizing an artist who has had a strong influence on American Cinema, to a director. Other recipients include Annette Bening (2011), Sandra Bullock (2010), Mickey Rourke (2009), Tommy Lee Jones (2008), Forrest Whitaker (2007), Philip Seymour Hoffman (2006), Kevin Bacon (2005) and Diane Lane (2004).
Scorsese’s homage to silent cinema, 3-D “Hugo,” is doing well in the awards season, winning the National Board of Review award for Best Film and Scorsese for Best Director; both the New York Film Critics Circle and the American Film Institute included the film among their top ten for 2011. Scorsese also directed the HBO documentary “George Harrison: Living in the Material World.”
“Honoring Scorsese has been a dream of SBIFF’s for many years,” said Fest Executive Director Roger Durling. “We’re thrilled that it’s happening during a year when this contemporary master of cinema is breaking new ground with ‘Hugo.’”
Scorsese, who has been lauded for directing such films as “Mean Streets,” “Taxi Driver,” “Raging Bull,” “Goodfellas,” “Casino,” “Gangs of New York,” “The Aviator” and “Shutter Island,” was nominated for the Best Director Oscar seven times before earning one in 2007 for “The Departed.” Scorsese also won the Golden Lion from the Venice Film Festival (1995), the AFI Life Achievement Award (1997), was honored with the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s 25th Gala Tribute (1998), the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award (2003), The Kennedy Center Honors (2007) and the HFPA Cecil B. DeMille Award (2010).
Scorsese is also founder and chair of The Film Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of motion picture history and launched the World Cinema Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of neglected films from around the world, at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.