Tag Archives: Maltin Modern Master Award

SBIFF Modern Master Award Goes to Bill Murray


Posted by Larry Gleeson

Academy Award-nominated actor and American film legend Bill Murray received the prestigious Maltin Modern Master Award at the 36th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) Friday, April 2, 2021, in a live virtual tribute for his long-standing contributions to the film industry, most recently in the role of Felix Keane in Sofia Coppola’s ON THE ROCKS opposite Rashida Jones and Marlon Wayans, for which he received Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice nominations.

After an exceptionally riveting musical score accompanying the introductory frames, SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling introduced the tribute that “honors an individual who has enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry,” remarking Murray has been a Maltin Modern Master for years and this year was the year SBIFF bestowed the honor before giving way to the event’s moderator, Leonard Maltin.

In turn, Maltin introduced Murray including a montage of clips providing a warm fuzzy retrospective with some of Murray’s more memorable characters. Laments of not having an audience registered.


Nevertheless, hearing and listening to these two motion picture industry giants discussing a career that spans five decades with background details and anecdotes of Murray’s career was not diminished in the virtual format. Quite the opposite as Sofia Coppola popped in with an effervescence followed closely by her brother, Roman Coppola. As the Coppolas joined the conversation so did a wave of nostalgia as though the passing of the torch was occurring between generations.

The Maltin Modern Master Award is the highest award SBIFF bestows and Bill Murray was given his due this evening for decades of entertaining audiences across the globe.

Leonard Maltin celebrated his 31st year moderating at SBIFF. And, the Coppola siblings, Sofia and Roman, added a depth of presence to the special moment in time.

The event was presented by the Manitou Fund.

The 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG, will continue through April 10th, 2021, online and with the two ocean-front drive-ins sponsored by TOYOTA. Tickets and passes are available at SBIFF.org.