Oscar contender Annette Bening will receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s (SBIFF) American Riviera Award.

Bening is riding high following critical acclaim for her performances in The Kids Are All Right and Mother And Child and will be in town to collect the honour on January 28, 2011. She was previously honoured in 2005.

“I fell in love with Annette Bening the moment I saw her on Broadway in Coastal Disturbances in 1987,” SBIFF executive director Roger Durling said. “It was one of those ‘a star is born’ moments. Ever since, she’s been one of my favorite actresses, and she will always have a home here at the festival.”

The American Riviera Award was established to recognise an actor who has had a strong influence on American Cinema.Prior recipients include Sandra Bullock, Mickey Rourke, Tommy Lee Jones, Forrest Whitaker, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kevin Bacon and Diane Lane.