Santa Barbara Film Festival director Roger Durling has won the 2009 Mensch Award for Compassionate Programming by deciding to open the festival (1.22 through 2.1) with Rod Lurie‘s Nothing But The Truth. A first-rate political drama, NBTT was dealt a severe blow last month when its distributor, the Yari Film Group, filed for bankruptcy. “It deserves to be seen,” Durling told me earlier today.