25 October 2013 10:45 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has announced that its eighth annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film will be presented to Forest Whitaker on December 15. Oscar winner Whitaker has gained awards buzz for his turn as longtime White House butler Cecil Gaines in "Lee Daniels' The Butler." He was also selected this year as one of Indiewire's Influencers. He joins previous recipients Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Quentin Tarantino, Ed Harris, John Travolta and Kirk Douglas himself. The Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film serves as a fundraiser for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, running January 30 - February 9, 2014. More information is on the fest's website.  »

- Beth Hanna

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