The Lord Of The Rings trilogy director Peter Jackson has been honoured with yet another award - this time at the Santa Barbara Film Festival on Saturday (31JAN04).

The New Zealander accepted the MODERN MASTER AWARD from actor Sean Astin, who plays hobbit SAMWISE GAMGEE in the blockbusting movies.

And cheeky organisers also presented the 42-year-old with a stuffed kiwi.

Jackson told the audience at the ARLINGTON THEATRE anecdotes about the making of the adventure films, including one where GANDALF actor SIR IAN McKELLEN asked why he was involved in hand-to-hand combat.

Jackson said, "He said, 'Why am I hitting these people, and not just blasting them with my staff?'

"I told him, 'The batteries have run out.' He just looked at me and said, 'Right, then.'"

The last film in the trilogy, THE RETURN OF THE KING, was last week (27JAN04) nominated for 11 OSCARs, including BEST PICTURE and BEST DIRECTOR.

02/02/2004 17:23