SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival presented David O. Russell with the Outstanding Director Award. The festival's second night tribute took place at the Arlington Theater.

Russell is being recognized for his excellence in directing. His last three films The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle have garnered 25 Oscar nominations. His latest American Hustle is in the Oscar running with 10 nods including  Best Director and Best Picture.

Actress Melissa Leo who won an Oscar for Best Supporting actress in The Fighter presented the award to him. During the tribute fans got a chance to see a lighter side of Russel and watched some of his work.

Russel,  who came to the festival last year to present Jennifer Lawrence an award, said Santa Barbara is Los Angele's secret weapon and a palace for cinema!

NewsChannel 3's Shirin Rajaee reports.