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Bill Murray stars with Rashida Jones in "On The Rocks"
Bill Murray stars with Rashida Jones in “On The Rocks”

Academy Award-nominated actor Bill Murray will receive the prestigious Maltin Modern Master Award at the 36th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Murray will be honored on Friday, April 2nd for his long-standing contributions to the film industry, most recently in the role of Felix Keane in Sofia Coppola’s On The Rocks opposite Rashida Jones and Marlon Wayans, for which he received Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice nominations. Leonard Maltin will return for his 30th year to moderate the evening.

“Bill Murray is one of a kind,” says Leonard Maltin. “He developed a comic persona early on that’s still as potent as ever, while expanding his reach and range as an actor. The boyish goofball in Caddyshack has become a playboy dad in On The Rocks, with many dazzling and daring stops along the way. I have been an unabashed fan, from Ghostbusters to Lost in Translation, so it is a privilege and honor to present Bill Murray with this year’s Maltin Modern Master Award.”

In his latest role as Felix Keane in Coppola’s On The Rocks, which made its world premiere at the 2020 New York Film Festival, Murray received some of the best reviews of his career. Justin Chang at the Los Angeles Times wrote, “You see in Felix the deadpan anarchic streak that has made Murray a force in American comedy for decades.”

On The Rocks was released in Fall 2020 by Apple TV+ and A24, produced by Coppola and Youree Henley, and features an original screenplay by Coppola.

The Modern Master Award was established in 1995 and is the highest accolade presented by SBIFF. Created to honor an individual who has enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry, it was re-named the Maltin Modern Master Award in 2015 in honor of long-time SBIFF moderator and renowned film critic Leonard Maltin. Past recipients include Brad Pitt, Glenn Close, Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton, Bruce Dern, Ben Affleck, Christopher Plummer, Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, Cate Blanchett, Will Smith, George Clooney and Peter Jackson.

The 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place March 31st through April 10th, 2021.

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