Carey Mulligan is set to receive the Cinema Vanguard Award at the 36th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Mulligan will be honored on April 5th and will be recognized for her remarkable career and most recent performance in Focus Features’ dark comedy “Promising Young Woman” written, produced and directed by Emerald Fennell (Killing Eve, The Crown). Mulligan’s performance in “Promising Young Woman” has already garnered her significant awards recognition, including Best Actress from the National Board of Review, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and over 20 national and regional critics groups around the country. She has also received nominations for Best Actress from the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild®, and the Critics’ Choice Association. In “Promising Young Woman,” nothing in Cassie’s (Mulligan) life is what it seems. Following a mysterious event that abruptly derailed her future, she lives a secret double life, until an unexpected encounter gives her the chance to right the wrongs of the past in what will surely be a day of reckoning for everyone.

“I saw Mulligan on stage in 2008 in ‘The Seagull’—she was such a magnetic combination of fearlessness and vulnerability there, and she continues to instill awe in all of us.  She delivers her best work so far in ‘Promising Young Woman.’” states SBIFF’s Executive Director Roger Durling.

The Cinema Vanguard Award recognizes actors who have forged their own path, taking artistic risks and making a significant and unique contribution to film. Previous honorees include Laura Dern, Michael B. Jordan, William DeFoe, Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Rooney Mara, Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Amy Adams, Jean Dujardin, Bernice Bejo, Nicole Kidman, Peter Sarsgaard, Christoph Waltz, Vera Farmiga, Kristin Scott Thomas, Stanley Tucci and Ryan Gosling.

The 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place March 31st through April 10th, 2021. More information as well as Festival passes and tickets, will be available in the coming weeks at

About Carey Mulligan

Carey Mulligan is an Academy Award®-nominated actress who first broke out in a starring role in the critically-acclaimed film An Education. The role garnered her the BAFTA Award for Best Actress and nominations for an Academy Award®, Golden Globe Award and SAG Award.

Mulligan will next star opposite Bradley Cooper in the Netflix feature Maestro. Written and directed by Cooper, Maestro will tell the complex love story of Leonard Bernstein (Cooper) and his wife Felicia Montealegre (Mulligan). This year, Mulligan appears in The Dig opposite Ralph Fiennes for Netflix. Based on a true story, the film is set during World War II and focuses on a widow (Mulligan) who follows a hunch that her land contains buried artifacts.

In 2018, Mulligan received rave reviews and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead for her role in IFC’s Wildlife opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and directed by Paul Dano. The film premiered at Sundance, Cannes, TIFF, the New York Film Festival and the London Film Festival. Also that year, Mulligan garnered rave reviews for her one-woman show, Girls & Boys, written by Dennis Kelly and directed by Lyndsey Turner. The show premiered at the Royal Court Theatre on West End and later, on Broadway. She also starred in the four-part BBC miniseries Collateral written by David Hare. 

In 2017, Mulligan starred as Laura in the Netflix original film Mudbound, directed by Dee Rees. The film was honored with the Robert Altman Award at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, and the ensemble won a Special Gotham Jury Award at the Gotham Awards, as well as earning a SAG Award nomination.

In 2015, Mulligan starred in Suffragette, directed by Sarah Gavron, portraying the role of Maud alongside Meryl Streep which garnered her a nomination for Best Actress from the British Independent Film Awards. That same year, she starred in Thomas Vinterberg’s Far from the Madding Crowd, alongside Matthias Schoenarts, earning a nomination for Best Actress from the London Critics Circle awards for her performance.

Other film credits include; Inside Llweyn Davis alongside Oscar Isaac directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, The Great Gatsby alongside Leonardo DiCaprio directed by Baz Luhrmann, Shame alongside Michael Fassbender, directed by Steve McQueen, Drive alongside Ryan Gosling directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, Wall Street: Money Never SleepsNever Let Me GoBrothersPublic EnemiesThe GreatestAnd When Did You Last See Your Father? and Pride & Prejudice. Her television credits include My Boy JackDoctor WhoNorthanger AbbeyThe Amazing Mrs. PritchardWaking the DeadMiss MarpleBleak House and Trial & Retribution.

Mulligan made her West End stage debut in 2014 alongside Bill Nighy in the critically acclaimed revival of David Hare’s Olivier Award-winning play Skylight, directed by Stephen Daldry. A year later, the play transferred to Broadway, for which Mulligan received Drama League, Drama Desk and Tony Award nominations. In 2008, Mulligan made her Broadway debut in the revival of The Seagull as Nina, in which she played the same role in The Royal Court Theatre’s production of the play a year prior. Other theater credits include the off-Broadway production of Through a Glass Darkly in 2011, The Almeida theatre’s The Hypochondriac in 2005, and her first on-stage production, The Royal Court Theatre’s Forty Winks in 2004. 

She is a supporter of the Alzheimer’s Society as her grandmother, Nans, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2004. She has fronted the Society’s Dementia Awareness Week campaigns in addition to raising awareness on national television. She is also an ambassador for War Child, a family of independent humanitarian organizations that work together to help children affected by armed conflict. War Child exists to create the conditions that will fulfil the protection, development and survival rights for children and young people who are living with or recovering from the effects of armed conflict.

About the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. Over the past 35 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States – attracting 100,000+ attendees and offering 11 days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums, fulfilling their mission to engage, enrich, and inspire the Santa Barbara community through film.

In 2016, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre. After a capital campaign and renovation, the theatre is now SBIFF’s new state-of-the-art, year-round home, showing new international and independent films every day. In 2019, SBIFF opened its own Education Center in downtown Santa Barbara on State Street to serve as a home for its many educational programs and a place for creativity and learning.