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“Sideways” star Paul Giamatti returns to Santa Barbara to pick up SBIFF honor

Paul Giamatti fans enjoy his attention at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Fans await Paul Giamatti's arrival at SBIFF

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.-Alexander Payne's "Sideways" put Santa Barbara's wine country, The Hitching Post and other popular spots on the map. 

As Sideways celebrates its 20th anniversary, it seems fitting its star Paul Giamatti is picking up the Cinema Vanguard Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festivals.

"The Hitching Post was fantastic, Solvang is a place that for some reason I remember really well and that motel with windmill," said Giamatti," I remember every second of making that."

"Sideways" star Virginia Madsen came out to present the award and shared fond memories, too.

."I think it was a cultural phenomenon that happened I knew this are very very well and the Santa Ynez Valley but that was before the movie. It was my little get away," said Madsen, " I knew Frank from The Hitching Post and I had friends who lived there and all of the sudden I had a job there "

Giamatti is up for an Academy Award thanks to Payne's latest film "The Holdovers."

Giamatti's portrayal of a boarding school instructor watching over kids during a holiday break is getting rave reviews by people of all ages.

Giamatti studied acting at Yale where his late father served as the university's president. Later his father became the commissioner of major league baseball.

His talent also paid off on the small screen in 'Billions' and has elevated many other productions.

His tribute coincided with Valentine's Day and fans say they love him in everything.

He signed his autograph on movie posters and pictures and he also posed for photos with fans who will be cheering him on at the Oscars.

Article Topic Follows: SBIFF

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here


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