David Fincher is named guest director and will be the subject of a retrospective. Fincher's latest release The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button heads into the weekend's Golden Globes awards ceremony on five nominations.
The Reader and Revolutionary Road star Kate Winslet will receive the The Montecito Award; Vicky Cristina Barcelona's Penelope Cruz will collect the Chopin Outstanding Performer Of The Year Award; and Kristin Scott Thomas, who starred in I've Loved You So Long, will receive the Cinema Vanguard Award.
The Virtuosos 2009 Award in honour of 2008's emerging film artists goes to Viola Davis for Doubt, Rosemarie DeWitt for Rachel Getting Married, Sally Hawkins for Happy-Go-Lucky, Richard Jenkins for The Visitor, Melissa Leo for Frozen River and Michael Shannon for Revolutionary Road.
Clint Eastwood, an awards season candidate this year with Changeling and Gran Torino, will receive the Lucky Brand Modern Master Award and The Wrestler star Mickey Rourke will receive the American Riviera Award.
All in all more than 200 films will screen including 21 world premieres and 29 US premieres. Programmes will focus on the cinema of Eastern Europe, Asia, Latino America, nature, extreme sports and Santa Barbara film-makers.
Among the world premieres are Ryan Pettey's US boxing documentary After The Round, Harrod Blank's car lovers documentary Automorphosis from the US-UK, Mikhail Kosyrev-Nesterov's tragedy Ocean from Russia and Hiroshi Nishitani's thriller Suspect X from Japan.
The international line-up includes Jan Troell's Swedish drama Everlasting Moments, Matteo Garrone's Italian crime epic Gomorrah, Sima Urale's New Zealand family drama Apron Strings, Anthony Fabian's South Africa-UK drama Skin starring Sophie Okonedo, Vinko Moderndorfer's Slovenian mystery Landscape No. 2, and Andrea Martinez' drama Insignificant Things from Mexico.
Jury and audience awards will be announced at the end of the festival.