– by Joseph Jammer Medina

santa barb weekend 1At first glance, the quiet city of Santa Barbara looks like a simple town filled with a bunch of retired people spending the rest of their days near the beautiful Pacific Ocean. But when their annual film festival rolls around, the city goes from a quaint little community to a an active place housing some of the biggest names in the industry for a week and a half. While they may not show off some of the bigger and newer movies that one would see at Sundance or SXSW, they still have a good collection of films for those who didn’t have the pleasure of going to last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, etc.

One of the biggest draws of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival is their awards events. Each year they dish out awards to Hollywood’s best and brightest. This first weekend was no exception as both Daniel Day-Lewis and Ben Affleck received separate awards for their amazing contributions to film.

On Friday Ben Affleck was given the Modern Master Award, an honor that many directors and actors have received in the past. But one of the many unique things about Mr. Affleck is his skill in front of and behind the camera, which has given him even more recognition in recent years between his work on “The Town” and now “Argo.” After Ben Affleck sat down and talked with moderator and entertainment journalist Leonard Maltin, Matt Damon came out and presented him with the fine award. Check out the video below for some of the event’s highlights (via You’re The Star Video).

The next night Daniel Day-Lewis was presented with the Montecito Award which, in some ways, is kind of the same as the Modern Masters Award. Seriously, we’re not sure the difference between the two but at least they’re honoring great people as a result. Daniel Day-Lewis has cemented himself as a brilliant actor who’s made one memorable performance after another in a flurry of films for roughly near thirty years.

“Lincoln” co-star Sally Field presented the award to her friend and colleague with director Michael Mann in attendance. Both of them spoke kind words about the actor and congratulated him with numerous bear hugs after receiving the award. Needless to say it was a super cute scene when Sally Field completely wrapped herself around her co-star.

The awards coming out of this film festival aren’t done quite yet. Expect more coverage on these ceremonies as the week goes on which includes Quentin Tarantino getting his hands on the American Riviera Award.

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.