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Rush at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will honor Academy Award® winning actor Geoffrey Rush with the Montecito Award at the 26th edition of the Festival, which runs January 27– February 6, 2011.

The Montecito Award was created in recognition of a performer who has given a series of classic and standout performances in his/her career, and has previously been presented to Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet, Javier Bardem, Naomi Watts and Annette Bening, who was the very first recipient in 2005.

“I feel like Royalty’s coming to SBIFF,” remarked SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “Having been an admirer of everything Geoffrey Rush has done (including his Tony-winning performance in Exit The King), we’re truly blessed to get to celebrate him this year where he once again reminds us in The King’s Speech that he’s one of our greatest actors.”

Geoffrey Rush’s most recent work includes his portrayal of Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue in the Tom Hooper film The King’s Speech. In the film, Lionel is recruited to help the man who would become King George VI (Colin Firth) get over his incredible stammer. Like his character in the film, Rush proves to be a true master of his craft, forging an incredible relationship with not only his pupil, but the audience itself.

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