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SBIFF honorees take home Oscars

Roger Durling has done it again. The executive director of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival has a knack for predicting the Oscar’s big winners. Four out of five honorees at this year’s festival took home the Academy Award Sunday night.

Actress Jennifer Lawrence first took home SBIFF’s Outstanding Performance of the Year for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook” before winning the Oscar. Durling contacted Lawrence last March to invite her to Santa Barbara.

“That was so special because we started believing in her so early,” says Durling.

Quentin Tarantino, Ben Affleck and Daniel Day Lewis were also honored at the festival before Sunday’s event.

“I think people take us more seriously, and people understand the importance of coming to Santa Barbara.”

Durling says getting the reclusive Day-Lewis made this years event bigger and more significant.

“That was definitely the biggest get in 10 year’s of the festival’s history,” says Durling.

The SBIFF continues to gain momentum, thanks in large part to Durling, whose long history of predicting Oscar winners dates back to his childhood.

“All I wanted to talk about was the Oscars and once one was done I would talk about the next year.”

Durling says he puts a lot of pressure on himself. He couldn’t watch the Academy Awards Sunday night because he was too nervous.

But he woke up Monday morning with plenty to celebrate. Durling is already thinking about 2014’s festival.

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