While most of Hollywood was enjoying the 2011 SAG Awards Sunday evening, Christopher Nolan was being lauded at this year's Santa Barbara Film Festival where he was honored with the festival's Modern Master Award.  

The "Inception" filmmaker, who was snubbed by his peers in the Academy's directing branch less than a week ago, seemed in good spirits as he engaged in a Q&A about his critically acclaimed thriller and his upcoming films "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Superman," which he is producing.

While Awards Campaign was back in LA with eyes glued to the SAG Awards, the always classy Pete Hammond reminded Nolan that he'd seemed set on ending his journey with the Caped Crusader after "The Dark Knight Returns."  What changed his mind exactly?

"I think really it was about finishing the story. For me it's about…knowing where I want to go with the thing and I think with Batman the story we're going to tell is Bruce Wayne's story. So, that's what gets me excited about getting back into something," Nolan says. "The sequel thing is rather interesting because there is a lot of comfort in the familiarity of it, but there is also a challenge of reinventing it for yourself as well as the audience.  You just can't do the same things again. But once you start thinking about Bruce Wayne's story you want to see where that goes."

Nolan was also asked about his involvement on the new "Superman."  He clearly wants everyone to know this is Snyder's movie -- a director looking out for another director -- but did sound like he's excited about the new Man of Steel.

"What I'm doing on that is that I hired a great director to take it on and it's more his problem than mine hopefully," Nolan says laughing. "I'm going to be very busy, but I'm super excited to watch Zack's movie when its done and I think Henry [Cavill] is going to be amazing."


And when asked if he'd want to just take a break from large scale productions and shoot a small romantic comedy with, say, Jennifer Aniston sometime, Nolan paused and than wryly responded, "Not really."

The event also featured Nolan's "Inception" leading man, Leonardo DiCaprio, driving up to Santa Barbara to present him with the honor.  You can watch video of his introduction speech as well as Nolan's thoughts embedded throughout this post.

Things won't be slowing down up the coast anytime soon.  James Franco was honored Saturday night, but tonight will find the entire cast of "The King's Speech" cast gathered for a public Q&A all together for the first time.  And with Rush, Carter and Firth on the stage, you can expect lots of witty repartee for the packed Santa Barbara Festival audience.