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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Forest Whitaker, whose role as an unassuming White House butler in "Lee Daniels' The Butler" has catapulted him into the thick of the Oscar race, received the eighth annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The award, which was handed out at a dinner in advance of the film festival happening on Jan. 30, has previously been given to Robert DeNiro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Quentin Tarantino and Kirk Douglas himself. It was a busy 2013 for Whitaker, who was seen in the crime drama "Out of the Furnace," opposite Christian Bale and the musical, "Black Nativity," opposite Jennifer Hudson. He also produced the highly acclaimed "Fruitvale Station." Whitaker previously won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Idi Amin in "The Last King of Scotland."