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SBIFF: Montecito Award Honoring Angela Bassett

Red Carpet Coverage

The first celebrity interview Red Carpet of the 38th Santa Barbara Film Festival (SBIFF) was full of invigorating and empowering appearances. Honoree Angela Bassett, nominated as Best Supporting Actress for the upcoming Academy Awards and recipient of the Montecito Award, gracefully answered many professional and student news sources, including SBHS’s The Forge. When asked about strong women in the industry that she’d like to highlight, she responded that she appreciates all women in the filmmaking industry as it is such a challenging business. She is moved by the perseverance of women, especially women of color in the industry. She encourages young women to put themselves out there and try, try again. Bassett is an example of a genuinely hardworking, kind, and powerful actress. The director of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Creed, Ryan Coogler, made an appearance as presenter as well as many other influential directors and screenwriters. Moderator Roger Durling, executive director of the film festival, led the event and held the interview with Angela Bassett. 

The Forge interviews Angela Basset
Bassett being honored with the Montecito Award. [Image credit: Ella Bailey]

Event Coverage

The interview, held by Roger Durling, took the audience through Angela Bassett’s great timeline of success and excellence. Films such as Boyz ‘n the Hood, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, What’s Love Gotta Do with It and many more were highlighted and commented on by Bassett. Bassett took on many roles and persisted throughout her career to open her own doors with strength and intelligence. The opening scene that was screened from Waiting to Exhale, showed Bassett’s enraged character, Bernadine Harris, ripping clothes out of her unfaithful husband’s closet, throwing them in his car, and setting them on fire. Her recent work in Wakanda Forever shows the same spark of power. The interview and performances shown throughout the event captured Angela’s impassioned drive and soul-capturing acting. As a young person, she was inspired by seeing black actors on screen, and then became a representation for many people of color watching her performances. Ryan Coogler looked to her performances throughout his life and finished off the night with a beautiful speech honoring Basset and presenting her with the Montecito Award.

[Image Credit: Valeria Polanco]


  • Ella Bailey

    Ella is a VADA Senior here at SBHS. She was born and has roots in Sweden and moved to Santa Barbara when she was young. She chose to become a contributor to The Forge because she enjoys writing creatively and analytically in her free time. She loves to write about arts and culture, and hopes to bring her artistic passion to The Forge.

  • Valeria Polanco

    Valeria Polanco is a senior at Santa Barbara High School and the News Editor for The Forge. She hopes to further her education within the community and wants to use the skills she learned through the Forge throughout her educational and professional life in the future. Outside of the class she likes to read and hangout with her friends and family.

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