One of the main attractions of the Santa Barbara Film Festival is the way its timed right in the middle of Oscar season, so that the tributes that are planned frequently serve as showcases for recent nominees. Roger Durling's programming looks positively prescient many times, and this year was no exception. He books these things early, and his call to put together a big tribute to Sandra Bullock turned out to be right on the money.
Less of a gamble was the inclusion of James Cameron, whose "Avatar" is now pretty much the biggest damn thing in the history of biggest damn things. Even if he hadn't been nominated for Oscars this year, his work on "Avatar" would be worth the conversation, and the film's seismic impact on pop culture only makes it even more worthy of discussion.
The idea of getting the Governator to come down and actually present Cameron with the honor makes for an irresistible press opportunity. Dustin Hucks, our man at the Santa Barbara Film Festival this year, was on hand to witness the Q&A, and he's got a report for us this morning that does a pretty good job of giving us a taste of what was discussed and the mood of the event overall.
Take it away, Dustin: