Cate Blanchett, expected to be a leading Oscar contender this season
for key roles in two upcoming prestige releases, will receive the 2008
Santa Barbara International Film Festival's (SBIFF) highest honour,
the Modern Master Award, on Jan 26 2008.

Blanchett won the Coppa Volpi at Venice last month for her performance
as Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes' ensemble biopic I'm Not There, and has
drawn favourable reviews for her reprised role as the 16th century
English monarch in Elizabeth: The Golden Age.

Both films open in the US in the next two months.

She won a best supporting actress Oscar for The Aviator in 2005 and
earned a lead actress nomination for Elizabeth in 1999 and a second
supporting actress nomination for Notes On A Scandal in 2007.

SBIFF executive director Roger Durling called Blanchett 'the most
consummate actor,' adding that her two major roles this year
represented 'pure alchemy'.

The Modern Master Award was established in 1995 and has previously
gone to Michael Douglas, Peter Jackson, Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins,
Sean Penn, Jeff Bridges, Diane Keaton, George Clooney, and Will Smith.
SBIFF is scheduled to run from Jan 24 to Feb 3, 2008.