TheSanta Barbara International Film Festival has announced plans to inaugurate itsnew Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film with a presentation to Douglasthis summer.

Thefestival will present Douglaswith the new award at a black-tie gala on July 30. The award is expected to begiven to other honourees in subsequent years.

Theaward will recognise his contributions as an actor, producer and director.

'Ifeel so privileged that we are able to celebrate a man whose work not onlyspans so many years but also is varied in the characters he has chosen to play.Mr Douglas is truly an actor's actor,' said the festival's director Roger Durling. 'Whether it was playing the role of theindomitable Spartacus, or helping to break the power of the shameful Hollywoodblacklist, Kirk Douglas has always been the epitome of the 'tough guy.' As heonce said, 'I've made a career of playing sons of bitches.' From this dayforward it will be an honour for all future recipients of this award, which wascreated to recognize Mr. Douglas's work and influence.'