Jeffrey Barbakow, Chairman of the 29th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and close personal friend of Oprah Winfrey, presented her with The Montecito Award recognizing and honoring her outstanding body of work in film. Two thousand people packed the Arlington Theatre to see the star receive her award, and enjoy her exchanges with John Horn, Los Angeles Times interviewer.
Moët & Chandon honored Montecito Award winner Oprah Winfrey at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival with a customized golden jeroboam in honor of the occasion, and upon being presented with her customized golden jeroboam the TV mogul raised her golden goblet and exclaimed, “It’s pronounced Mo-wet?! For all of these years I’ve been saying Mo-way?! I can’t believe it. Here’s cheers to MO’ MOET!
Oprah Winfrey with SBIFF Montecito Award

Oprah Winfrey with her Moet & Chandon customized golden jeroboam

Oprah, a Montecito resident, was overwhelmed to be honored by her own community. The star told the audience, “This was the most amazing invitation I’ve had lately… I get asked to do a lot of ‘stuff.’ Tonight I just drove down Foothill Rd and turned onto State St and here I am! Y’all should have just come to my house!” During the tribute Oprah danced onto the stage to Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” setting the high energy tone for the whole night.
Film clips from her films were presented and she commented on them by saying “The Color Purple changed my life. I have never been happier than when I was on the Color Purple. Getting that role was an epiphany for me.” “I think I was poorly cast as the goose in Charlotte’s Web. The Goose needed to be rounder!” “On tapping into the emotions needed for The Butler I remembered holding on to  the bumper of my ex-boyfriends Datson Z as he was pulling away from me. Lord have mercy! I tapped into that experience!”
While accepting her award she stressed the importance of living her life with intention, which leads to all good things. She also expressed a wish to do more acting, and thanks everyone for honoring her.
By Bonnie Carroll