Ben Affleck to receive Modern Master honour

Ben Affleck Affleck previously directed 2007's Gone Baby Gone and 2010's The Town

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US actor Ben Affleck is to receive the Modern Master award from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the highest honour the event bestows.

Organisers described the 40-year-old as "a multi-dimensional artist" who had "come into his own" with the release of Argo, his third film as director.

It tells of a secret mission to spirit American diplomats out of Iran in 1979.

Its star and director will be honoured on 26 January at the Californian city's historic Arlington Theatre.

Affleck first made his name as the co-writer of Good Will Hunting, for which he and co-star Matt Damon won an Oscar for best original screenplay.

He went on to star in such big-budget blockbusters as Armageddon and Pearl Harbor before turning his hand to directing.

First presented in 1995, the Modern Master Award aims to honour "an individual who has enriched our culture through his/her multi-faceted accomplishments in the motion picture industry".

Previous recipients of the accolade include James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, Peter Jackson and Christopher Nolan.

Argo was released in the UK and Ireland last week and earned £1.28 million from its first five days in cinemas.

However, that was not enough to dislodge the latest James Bond film Skyfall from the top of the chart.

The latest 007 adventure has now made £72m at the UK box office since its release on 26 October.

The film opened in the US and Canada on Friday, taking a spectacular $87.8m (£55m) in its first three days.

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