Oprah Winfrey to Be Honored for The Butler at Santa Barbara Film Festival

The actress is generating Oscar buzz for her role as Gloria Gaines.

Posted: 11/13/2013 01:30 PM EST

Oprah Winfrey will be honored by the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for her role in The Butler, the fest announced on Tuesday. The media mogul and actress, who returned to the big screen after fifteen years to play Gloria Gaines in the epic film, is generating Oscar buzz for her performance.

“Ms. Winfrey, the actress, inhabits Gloria Gaines with such gusto, she makes you forget Oprah the impresario,” the festival's executive director Roger Durling said in a statement.

The Oscar nominee (for her debut role in 1985's The Color Purple) is a sometimes-resident of the quaint California hamlet. Past recipients of the honor include Daniel Day-Lewis, Geoffrey Rush, Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet, Jarvier Bardem, Naomi Watts and Annette Bening.

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival runs January 30 through February 9.


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(Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

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