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James Franco is Santa Barbara’s “Outstanding Actor” this January

James Franco is Santa Barbara's "Outstanding Actor" this January

James Franco will be the recipeient of the 2011 Outstanding Performance of the Year Award for his performance in Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours” at the 26th edition of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, taking place January 27 – February 6, the event’s executive director Roger Durling said Tuesday. Franco will be presented with the honor on January 29.

“127 Hours” will open theatrically this fall, in which Franco stars in the true story of adventurer, Aron Ralson. After embarking on a journey through the Moab Desert, Ralson becomes trapped and alone after a boulder crushes his arm deep inside a canyon. In order to survive, he must consider all options.

“A truly, exceptional actor who embraces the character and lives the story to tell it,” commented Durling in a statement. “James Franco eases onto the screen, seducing the audience no matter if he is the hero, the villain or the victim.”

In 2011, Franco will star in “Your Highness” with Natalie Portman and the “Planet of the Apes” prequel “Caesar: Rise of the Apes.”

Past SBIFF Outstanding Performance Award recipients include: Colin Firth (2010), Penelope Cruz (2009), Angelina Jolie (2008), Helen Mirren (2007), Heath Ledger (2006), Kate Winslet (2005) and Charlize Theron (2004).

The annual SBIFF presents American independent, Spanish and Latin American, European, World and Documentary cinema, as well as nature and surf films, in the picturesque seaside community of Santa Barbara, CA.

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