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Jeff Bridges honored at Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Academy Award-winning actor — and Santa Barbara County resident — Jeff Bridges was honored Thursday evening at the 32 nd Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

The Big Lebowski star was presented with the American Riviera Award at the Arlington Theater in Santa Barbara.

Bridges was honored for his illustrious career which includes multiple Academy Award nominations and a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Otis “Bad” Blake in the film Crazy Heart.

His newest film, Hell or High Water, is nominated for a Best Picture Oscar at the 89 th Academy Awards and Bridges himself is nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

Presenting the award was Bridges’ Hell or High Water costar, actor Gil Birmingham. Birmingham is perhaps best known for his roles in the blockbuster Twilight franchise and Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

The American Riviera Award recognizes actors who have made a significant contribution to American Cinema. Bridges joins a group of past recipients, including 2016 honorees Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, and Mark Ruffalo.

Additional guests at Thursday’s event included Alex Rapaport, director of cinematography for The Cat that Changed America, film producer Tony lee and subjectof the film, Beth Pratt. Also present were House of Others producer Nadezhda Gorshkova, producer Katerina Gecmen-Waldeck and actress Salome Demuria.

Bridges is a well-known native to the coast of California, having lived in the area for over two decades. In 2015, Bridges listed his Montecito home for sale at the bargain price of $29.5 million.

“Santa Barbara is a wonderful community and so supportive of everyone who lives here and we have lived here now 23 years and we just love it. It’s great to get an “atta boy” from your town,” Bridges said.

After accepting the award, Bridges said his next mission is to eradicate childhood hunger in Santa Barbara County.

Bridges said Santa Barbara County needs to be an example for everyone else when it comes to feeding hungry children.

His full acceptance speech can be found here.

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