Santa Barbara Film Festival honcho Roger Durling has gone all in on Denzel Washington. The Fences director-star will receive the Maltin Modern Master Award on Thursday, February 2nd at the 2017 Santa Barbara Film Festival (2.1 thru 2.11). This is tantamount to Durling placing a Nick the Greek-like bet on Washington’s shot at landing a Best Director or Best Actor Oscar, or Fences itself landing a Best Picture Oscar…who knows? When “Nick” bets, the elite award-season blogaroos listen, and they in turn pass their excitement along to Academy and guild members. SBIFF tributes always inject an aura of heft, esteem and good favor, and the Maltin is the SBIFF’s highest honor. It’ll be a hot time in Denzelville that night…wine, excitement, a knockout tribute reel, hail fellow well met, etc. The last time Hollywood Elsewhere witnessed a Denzel q & a in front of an audience was in December 2007 at Harvard University. The Santa Barbara event will be an even bigger lollapalooza.