Academy Award® winner Judi Dench will be honored with the twelfth annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film. The award will be presented at a black-tie gala dinner at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara on Thursday, November 30. Perhaps best known for her iconic roles in Shakespeare in Love, Philomena, Notes on a Scandal and Skyfall, Dench will next be seen as Queen Victoria in Stephen Frears’ Victoria & Abdul, in theaters on September 22, 2017.
Victoria & Abdul tells the extraordinary true story of the amazing and unlikely friendship between Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) and a young clerk, Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), who becomes her teacher, her spiritual advisor, and her devoted friend.
Since 2006, the annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film has been awarded to a lifelong contributor to cinema through their work in front of the camera, behind, or both. Past honorees include Warren Beatty, Jane Fonda, Jessica Lange, Forest Whitaker, Robert DeNiro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Quentin Tarantino, Ed Harris, and John Travolta.
“I am especially delighted to learn that Dame Judi Dench will accept the award that bears my name. She is a consummate artist of stage and screen who is a particular favorite of mine,” says Kirk Douglas, original award recipient. “I wish I could have had the joy of working with her, but I am happy for the pleasure of seeing my name coupled with hers in support of the Santa Barbara Film Festival.”