The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has selected Yalitza Aparicio (Roma) Sam Elliott (A Star is Born), Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade) Claire Foy (First Man), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie (Leave No Trace), John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman) and Steven Yeun (Burning) to receive the 2019 Virtuosos Award at the upcoming 34th edition of the festival.
This illustrious group of individuals will be recognized for their breakthrough roles in 2018 and careers on the silver screen thus far. Fresh on the scene, Yalitza Aparicio makes her Hollywood debut in Alfonso Curan’s Roma as a domestic worker and centerpiece of the highly personal film. Sam Elliott’s visceral performance in A Star is Born lent itself to one of his most outstanding performances to date, while Elsie Fisher portrayed such honesty in indie hit Eight Grade. Although mostly known for her roles on television, Claire Foy’s nuanced yet dramatic performance steals the screen in Damien Chazelle’s First Man, a story based on NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon. British thespian Richard E. Grant, who was recently nominated for a Golden Globe and a Critics’ Choice Award thrives in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, building an unlikely friendship with author Lee Israel, while Thomasin Harcourt McKenziewas recently acknowledged by The National Board of Review for her “Breakthrough Performance” in Leave No Trace. Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman sees John David Washington in his first major lead role as real life police detective Ron Stallworth, and Steven Yeun’s breakthrough role in Cannes Winner Burning is unexpected and transformative.
Prior recipients of The Virtuosos award include Timothée Chalamet, John Boyega, Mary J. Blige, Hong Chau, Daniel Kaluuya, Kumail Nanjiani, Dev Patel, Mahershala Ali, Saoirse Ronan, Casey Affleck, and Viola Davis, Aaron Taylor Johnson, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Dano, Jacob Tremblay, Chadwick Boseman, Rosamund Pike, and Jared Leto.