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2023 SBIFF Cinema Vanguard Award Honors Colin Farrell & Brendan Gleeson Presented by Martin McDonagh

By Tammy Reese


Colin Farrell & Brendan Gleeson was honored with the Cinema Vanguard Award at the 38th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival, on Thursday February 16th, 2023. The event was an in-person conversation about their careers where they spoke on their performances including Martin McDonagh’s THE BANSHEES OF INSHERIN.


“Gleeson and Farrell’s individual careers have been exemplary and their collaboration in two McDonagh films show us two actors perfectly in sync - in both pathos and humor. They’re a joy to behold and quite a treat for us to get to celebrate them together” SBIFF’s Executive Director Roger Durling noted.


Colin Farrell has had a distinguished career of nearly twenty-plus years in film and television. He can be seen in Warner Bros.’ The Batman for director Matt Reeves; in the MGM film Thirteen Lives for director Ron Howard; in the BBC / AMC drama “The North Water”; and After Yang which premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival and also made its North American debut at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Farrell was most recently seen in Tim Burton’s 2019 live action film Dumbo and Fox’s 2018 ensemble feature Widows, directed by Steve McQueen and co-starring Viola Davis. In 2017, Farrell made his second film with Yorgos Lanthimos, The Killing of the Sacred Deer opposite Nicole Kidman for A24. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival along with Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled in which he also starred with Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning, and Kirsten Dunst. That same year, he appeared opposite Denzel Washington in the Sony film Roman Israel, Esq., written and directed by Dan Gilroy.


Highlights:

  • Farrell addressed the idea that Pádraic is dull, sharing that he doesn't see that at all, as no one is really dull, even as we all are found and find others to be dull. In Pádraic, Farrell sees a man caught in the sort of archetypes we all create to move through life a bit easier. Colm leaving him is a big loss, robbing Pádraic of a protector. However, it also keeps Pádraic from seeing his best self, as this is something found, as so often is true, through the eyes of his friends.

  • Gleeson talked about the friendship between the two men, seeing Pádraic's innate joy as a real balm for Colm. Farrell noted that this became cloying after many long years, getting in the way of Colm's search for peace. He also shared how he saw the film as a sort of parable for the inevitability of affecting our communities. Colm's attempt to withdraw ends in violence. Kerry Condon's Siobhán is the only one able to escape, though this isn't without its consequences for her and those around her.

  • After the conversation, Martin McDonagh, director of In Bruges and The Banshees of Inisherin took the stage, sharing his deep love for both Gleeson and Farrell and noting their kindness, fun, talent, and wit. With that, he presented the two with the Vanguard Award.

 



 

A former teacher, Dublin-born Brendan Gleeson left the profession to pursue a career in his first love – acting. He joined the Irish theater company Passion Machine and has since starred on the stage, in films, and on television, winning fans and awards worldwide. Other recent films include: The Coen Brothers’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs for Netflix; Hampstead, opposite Diane Keaton; Paddington 2 also starring Hugh Grant, Sally Hawkins, and Julie Walters; Trespass Against Us opposite Michael Fassbender; Vincent Perez's Alone in Berlin opposite Emma Thompson; Assassin's Creed once again with Michael Fassbender; the Warner Bros. Ben Affleck starrer Live By Night; Ron Howard's In the Heart of the Sea; and Suffragette opposite Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep, once again winning the BIFA Award for Best Supporting Actor.


The Cinema Vanguard Award recognizes actors who have forged their own path, taking artistic risks and making a significant and unique contribution to film. Previous honorees include Benedict Cumberbatch, Carey Mulligan, Laura Dern, Michael B. Jordan, William DaFoe, Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Rooney Mara, Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Amy Adams, Jean Dujardin, Bernice Bejo, Nicole Kidman, Peter Sarsgaard, Christoph Waltz, Vera Farmiga, Kristin Scott Thomas, Stanley Tucci and Ryan Gosling.


The 38th Santa Barbara International Film Festival took place LIVE February 8 - February 18, 2023. Official events including screenings, filmmaker Q&As, industry panels, and celebrity tributes, were held throughout the city, including at the historic Arlington Theatre.


Last year, SBIFF had a triumphant return to in-person screenings, panels, and events. The festival had 48 world premiere, 95 U.S. premieres, with honorary awards feted on Javier Bardem, Nicole Kidman, Kristen Stewart, Penélope Cruz, Will Smith and Aunjanue Ellis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Caitriona Balfe, Ariana DeBose, Alana Haim, Ciarán Hinds, Emilia Jones, Troy Kotsur, Simon Rex, Saniyya Sidney, Paul Thomas Anderson, Kenneth Branagh, Jane Campion, Ryusuke Hamaguchi, and Steven Spielberg. Historically, organizers are expecting A-list guests to once again ascend to Santa Barbara, making it a must-stop location on the awards circuit, and delivering an unprecedented number of films with many World and U.S. premieres. The film lineup and schedule will be announced January, 2023.


About the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. Over the past 37 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States – attracting 100,000 attendees and offering 11 days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums, fulfilling their mission to engage, enrich, and inspire the Santa Barbara community through film.


SBIFF continues its commitment to education and the community throughout many free educational programs and events. In 2016, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre. After a capital campaign and renovation, the theatre is now SBIFF’s new state-of-the-art, year-round home, showing new international and independent films every day. In 2019, SBIFF opened its own Education Center in downtown Santa Barbara on State Street to serve as a home for its many educational programs and a place for creativity and learning.


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TAMMY REESE


Tammy Reese began her career as a theater actress performing in 60 live stage shows a year with The Media Unit TV and Stage Production Company. She also directed the weekly live TV show Rough Times Live.


Eventually, she went to Empire State College to obtain her degree in media studies. After graduation, she did more theater and wrote and produced her own videos to spread awareness on social issues through the arts.


Tammy is an award-winning journalist and is best known for her legendary interviews with Sigourney Weaver, Meagan Good, Jennifer Connelly, Laurence Fishburne, Mona Scott- Young, Geena Davis, Essie Davis, Vivica A. Fox, Omar Epps, Joseph Sikora, Nelly, Ryan Coogler, Carmen Electra, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Giancarlo Esposito, Dedee Pfeiffer, Leon, Patina Miller, La La Anthony, Neyo, Britt Lower, Michael James Shaw, Aleks Paunovic, Courtney Kemp, Janet Hubert, Tom Arnold, Michole Briana White, Matt Cedeño, Raven Goodwin, Amber Riley, Ross Marquand, Merritt Wever and many more.


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