The five Best Director nominees at this year’s Oscars will all be awarded at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in February, it was announced Thursday. The directors will be receiving the Outstanding Director of the Year Award just a little over two weeks before Oscar Sunday.
The aforementioned directors — Lenny Abrahamson (“Room”), Alejandro G. Iñárritu (“The Revenant”), Tom McCarthy (“Spotlight”), Adam McKay (“The Big Short”) and George Miller (“Mad Max: Fury Road”) — will also take part in a panel discussion at the festival.
The individual awards will be given on Feb. 11 at Santa Barbara’s Arlington Theater.
This is not the first time the award has been given to multiple directors. Last year’s winners included Damien Chazelle for “Whiplash,” Richard Linklater for “Boyhood,” Bennett Miller for “Foxcatcher,” Laura Poitras for “Citizenfour,” and Morten Tyldum for “The Imitation Game.” Only Linklater, Tyldum and Miller were also nominated for Best Director at the Oscars last year.
The festival also announced this week that Sylvestor Stallone would be receiving the Montecito Award, which is given to “a person in the entertainment industry who has made a great contribution to film.” Previous winners include Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey, Daniel Day-Lewis, Geoffrey Rush, Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet, Javier Bardem and more. That award will be given Feb. 9.
The directors and Stallone join an already impressive list of attendees, including the Virtuoso Award winners. This year, stars such as Geza Rohrig (“Son of Saul”), Alicia Vikander (“Ex Machina,” “The Danish Girl”), O’Shea Jackson Jr. (“Straight Outta Compton”), Elizabeth Banks and Paul Dano (both from “Love & Mercy”), Joel Edgerton (“Black Mass”) and Jacob Tremblay (“Room”) will be receiving the honor.
The festival runs from Feb. 3-13. Abrahamson, Iñárritu, McCarthy, McKay and Miller will go head-to-head on Feb. 28, when the Oscar winners will be announced.