Gary Oldman Receives Modern Master Award at Santa Barbara Film Festival

We may know him best as Sirius Black from the Harry Potter movies, but Gary Oldman is an incredibly versatile actor. He was recently honored for all of his wonderful contributions to the film industry at the 2018 Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) as the recipient of the Maltin Modern Master Award. Oldman was specifically recognized for his recent portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, a role for which he also received an Oscar nomination for Actor in a Leading Role.


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According to the SBIFF, the Modern Master Award is currently the highest honor bestowed by the organization. The award was established in 1995 in order to honor an individual in the motion picture industry who has made exceptional contributions to our culture through their accomplishments in film. It was renamed the Maltin Modern Master Award in 2015 in honor of Leonard Maltin, a long-standing SBIFF moderator and film critic.  Past recipients include Johnny Depp, Peter Jackson, James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, George Clooney, Will Smith, Ben Affleck, Cate Blanchett, Michael Keaton, Bruce Dern, Christopher Plummer, Christopher Nolan, and Denzel Washington.

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is one of the most recognized film festivals in the United States, offering 11 full days of films, tributes, and symposiums and attracting over 90,000 attendees. On the third day of the festival, Maltin presented Oldman with the award followed by an interview focusing on his involvement in the film industry.


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According to Noozhawk, Oldman wanted to be an actor ever since he was 13 years old after watching Malcolm McDowell in The Raging Moon. Eventually, he attended Rose Bruford Drama College in Kent, where he received a BA in theater arts in 1979. Oldman made his film debut in Remembrance but admitted that his most memorable role from early in his career was Sid Vicious from Sid and Nancy. Some of his other films include True Romance, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, JFK,  and Air Force One.

I think I have the greatest job in the world. Sometimes I have to pinch myself. I have been able to work with the best, like Denzel Washington, Anthony Hopkins, and so many others. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Oldman’s renown grew after his involvement in two popular films series with his role as Jim Gordon in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight and his role as Sirius Black in the Harry Potter series.

I wanted an acting job that would keep me close to the home that was familiar to my children. Working in the Harry Potter films was just magical and allowed me to not have to travel to acting jobs. I could spend time with my sons.

You can read more about Gary Oldman’s struggles during drama school here, and to learn more about the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and the Maltin Modern Master Award. you can visit their website or facebook.