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"Manchester By The Sea" lead stars Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams to receive the "Cinema Vanguard Award" at the 32nd SBIFF

Photo: Michelle Williams and Casey Affleck in a scene from "Manchester By The Sea"

Santa Barbara, CA (December 15, 2016) - The Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced today that it will honor Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams with the Cinema Vanguard Award on Sunday, February 5, 2017.

The two actors will be celebrated for their remarkable roles in Kenneth Lonergan’s deeply poignant Manchester by the Sea and will be feted with a tribute at the Arlington Theatre during the 32nd year of the festival, which will run Wednesday, February 1 through Saturday, February 11. This announcement comes on the heels of their respective Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress.

The Cinema Vanguard Award was created in recognition of actors who have forged their own path - taking artistic risks and making a significant and unique contribution to film. Previous honorees include Rooney Mara, Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, Amy Adams, Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo, Nicole Kidman,Christoph Waltz, Vera Farmiga, Stanley Tucci, Peter Sarsgaard, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Ryan Gosling.

SBIFF's Executive Director Roger Durling commented, “Throughout their respective careers, Casey and Michelle have impressed audiences with distinct, personal roles and we are excited to bring them together to honor their sublime performances in Manchester by the Sea.”

After the death of his older brother Joe (Kyle Chandler), Lee Chandler (Affleck) is shocked to learn that Joe has made him sole guardian of his nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges). Taking leave of his job, Lee reluctantly returns to Manchester-by-the-Sea to care for Patrick, a spirited 15-year-old, and is forced to deal with a past that separated him from his wife Randi (Williams) and the community where he was born and raised. Bonded by the man who held their family together, Lee and Patrick struggle to adjust to a world without him.

The festival previously honored Warren Beatty (Rules Don’t Apply) with its Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film and has announced that it will honor Isabelle Huppert (Elle) with its Montecito Award, Denzel Washington (Fences) with its Maltin Modern Master Award; Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone (La La Land) with its Outstanding Performers of the Year Award; and Aaron Taylor Johnson (Nocturnal Animals), Dev Patel (Lion), Janelle Monáe (Hidden Figures, Moonlight), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Ruth Negga (Loving), Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins), and Stephen McKinley Henderson (Fences), with the Virtuoso Award, among additional, yet to be announced, honorees.

For more information, and to purchase tickets, festival passes and packages, please visit
12.24.16 by OC