SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) – Will Smith was honored with the Modern Master Award – an honor that says he is a master of his craft – at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Smith is nominated for a best-actor Oscar for his performance in “The Pursuit of Happyness” as a struggling single father in San Francisco who beats the odds and goes from rags to riches.

Asked what it takes to be a good father, Smith said patience, compassion and commitment. He’s the father of three in real life, including 7-year-old Jaden, who co-stars in the movie.

“You’ve got to really want to be a good father,” he told reporters on the red carpet outside the Arlington Theatre on Saturday night.

Tom Cruise presented the festival’s Modern Master Award to Smith.

Smith said he was pleased with the film’s success.

“People are enjoying the film and it’s reached a level of critical acclaim; it can’t get any better than this,” he said.

“This is such a glorious time, it feels almost like emotional, spiritual greed.”

AP-ES-01-28-07 1648EST