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Santa Barbara Festival to Open with 'Disconnect'; Honors DiCaprio with American Riviera Award

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood January 3, 2013 at 12:47PM

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (January 24 - February 3) will open the 2013 fest with the U.S. premiere of "Disconnect," directed by Henry-Alex Rubin and starring Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, Frank Grillo, Paula Patton and Alexander Skarsgard. Additionally, Leonardo DiCaprio will receive the American Riviera Award on February 1, which recognizes an artist with a strong influence on American cinema.
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Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (January 24 - February 3) will open the 2013 fest with the U.S. premiere of "Disconnect," directed by Henry-Alex Rubin and starring Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, Frank Grillo, Paula Patton and Alexander Skarsgard. Additionally, Leonardo DiCaprio will receive the American Riviera Award on February 1, which recognizes an artist with a strong influence on American cinema.

DiCaprio is currently garnering Oscar buzz for his flamboyant, hilarious yet sinister turn as antebellum slave owner Calvin Candie in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained." SBIFF executive director Roger Durling states that DiCaprio's performance in the film "reaffirms that he is the most relevant actor of his generation."

Past recipients of the American Riviera Award include Martin Scorsese, Annette Benning and Sandra Bullock.

Here's the official synopsis for "Disconnect":

"Disconnect" holds a mirror up to our community and our obsession with all things technical. The story introduces us to a vast collection of characters: A lawyer, an estranged couple, a widowed ex-cop and an ambitious journalist who are all strangers, neighbors and colleagues whose stories collide in this compelling drama about ordinary people desperate for human connection.

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This article is related to: Awards, Festivals, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Leonardo DiCaprio, Awards


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.