Home Entertainment Film Festivals Cate Blanchett Received the 2023 Sbiff Outstanding Performer of the Year Award Last Night to a Sold Out Crowd!

Cate Blanchett Received the 2023 Sbiff Outstanding Performer of the Year Award Last Night to a Sold Out Crowd!

SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 10: Cate Blanchett attends the Outstanding Performers of the Year Award tribute during the 38th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 10, 2023, in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for SBIFF)

 Cate Blanchett received the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award at the 38th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Blanchett was honored on Friday, February 10, 2023, for her critically acclaimed portrayal of Lydia Tár in Todd Feld’s TÁR from Focus Features. Setting a historic record, this is the second time Blanchett will be feted at the festival as the Outstanding Performer of the Year. In 2014, she received the honor for her role as Jasmine French in BLUE JASMINE. In 2008, she was crowned the Modern Master Award for her role as Queen Elizabeth in ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE and as multi-faceted Bob Dylan in I’M NOT THERE. 

“Cate Blanchett is an artist that has nothing left to prove; she is one of the most brilliant actresses ever – yet she keeps challenging herself and proving over and over again that she’s the most outstanding performer!” SBIFF’s Executive Director Roger Durling noted. 

Cate Blanchett is an internationally acclaimed, Academy Award-winning actor, producer, artistic director, humanitarian, and dedicated member of the arts community. Blanchett plays the titular role and executive produces Todd Field’s highly anticipated feature film “TÁR,” which marks the writer-director-producer’s first film in over 15 years. The film was warmly welcomed at the Telluride Film Festival and Venice International Film Festival, where Blanchett was awarded the Coppa Volpi for Best Actress for her second time since I’m Not There. This fall, Blanchett will appear in Guillermo Del Toro’s latest film, “PINOCCHIO,” and the mockumentary hit series “Documentary Now!” She has now begun production in Australia on Warwick Thornton’s “The New Boy,” in which she stars and produces via the production company Dirty Films. She most recently wrapped production on “Disclaimer,” directed by Alfonso Cuaron, in which she also stars and executive produces. In 2021, Blanchett appeared in Adam McKay’s smash hit, Don’t Look Up, as well as Guillermo Del Toro’s Nightmare Alley.

Highlights from the award presentation: 

  • The tribute began with an introduction from Roger Durling, in which the Festival Director praised Cate Blanchett. Durling also noted her history with the festival, with this being her third honor here.
  • After another introduction from Durling, Scott Feinberg, executive editor of awards at the Hollywood Reporter, took the stage to begin his conversation with Cate. Feinberg walked both audiences and Blanchett herself through the actress’ storied career, bringing up stories, memories, and insights from across her impressive filmography. This included deep dives into projects like Elizabeth, Blue Jasmine, TÁR, and more, alongside a few different clip packages.
  • Throughout, Cate shared insights into her work, noting things like the sort of embodied nature of her approach and the eclectic quality of her career, collaborating with filmmakers like Anthony Minghella and Peter Jackson to defy expectations surrounding her career.
  • Blanchett also touched on the role of theater in her life, giving the actress her first job, helping to shape her understanding of key building blocks of the dramatic form, and even pushing her to take a break from the silver screen to head up the Sydney Theater Company.
  • Eventually, TÁR director and collaborator Todd Field took the stage to present the award and deliver some heartfelt remarks. As a part of this speech, Field called out four key things Blanchett is, being an activist, a humanitarian, a working mother, and, finally, the best-dressed woman in the world. Field also mentioned something especially key to Cate – her informed heart.
  • To close things out, Cate took the stage herself, thanking SBIFF and Field and leaving the audience with one last note. Speaking to everyone in the room, Blanchett advocated for approaching film through the lens of examining what is being done on screen, not just resorting to reductive “likes” and “dislikes,” a message echoed earlier on in the festival.

The Outstanding Performer of the Year Award recognizes select individuals who have distinguished themselves with exceptional performances in the film. Past recipients of the award include Will Smith and Aunjanue Ellis, Sacha Baron Cohen, Adam Driver, Rami Malek, Margot Robbie and Allison Janney, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, Brie Larson and Saoirse Ronan, Steve Carell, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Viola Davis, James Franco, Colin Firth, Penelope Cruz, Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren, Heath Ledger, Kate Winslet, and Charlize Theron.

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The 38th Santa Barbara International Film Festival takes place LIVE February 8 – February 18, 2023. Official events including screenings, filmmaker Q&As, industry panels, and celebrity tributes, will be held throughout the city, including at the historic Arlington Theatre. Passes for the 2023 Festival are on sale now at sbiff.org

Last year, SBIFF had a triumphant return to in-person screenings, panels, and events. The festival had 48 world premieres, 95 U.S. premieres, with honorary awards feted on Javier Bardem, Nicole Kidman, Kristen Stewart, Penélope Cruz, Will Smith and Aunjanue Ellis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Caitriona Balfe, Ariana DeBose, Alana Haim, Ciarán Hinds, Emilia Jones, Troy Kotsur, Simon Rex, Saniyya Sidney, Paul Thomas Anderson, Kenneth Branagh, Jane Campion, Ryusuke Hamaguchi, and Steven Spielberg. Historically, organizers are expecting A-list guests to once again ascend to Santa Barbara, making it a must-stop location on the awards circuit, and delivering an unprecedented number of films with many World and U.S. premieres. The film lineup and schedule will be announced January, 2023.

About the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. Over the past 37 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States – attracting 100,000 attendees and offering 11 days of 200+ films, tributes, and symposiums, fulfilling their mission to engage, enrich, and inspire the Santa Barbara community through film.

SBIFF continues its commitment to education and the community throughout many free educational programs and events. In 2016, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre. After a capital campaign and renovation, the theatre is now SBIFF’s new 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 many educational programs and a place for creativity and learning.

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