Excitement and anticipation abound Friday evening as Rachel McAdams electrified the red carpet at the Arlington Theater in Santa Barbara, CA for the American Riviera Awards at the 31st annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF). McAdam’s stunning Jonathan Simkhai gown awed the crowd as the Canadian actress gracefully made her way from her limousine greeting the onlooking crowd and signing autographs for adoring fans.
A near capacity crowd jostled into the 2000+ seat venue as bags were checked and festival passholders were granted priority access. Roger Durling, Executive Director of SBIFF and moderator for the evening, greeted the audience and provided a short discourse on the importance of film and its ability to unite communities across the globe and proceeded to introduce the evening’s honored guests, Rachel McAdams and Michael Keaton. The Arlington audience welcomed the pair with a rousing wave of applause. Unfortunately, Mark Ruffalo could not be in attendance.
Durling began the tribute with insightful remarks about SPOTLIGHT delving into what attracted them to the story and their experience in working with director Tom McCarthy. McAdams spoke specifically about the real-life character she portrays, reporter Sacha Pfeiffer, who sat in the audience this evening.
As an added caveat, the audience was treated with a trip down memory lane as a montage of film clips highlighting significant moments in their respective careers including MEAN GIRLS and THE PAPER. McAdams recounted her memorable role in THE HOT CHICK and how it was “probably the scariest job she’s ever had because she had to become Rob Schneider” and Keaton commented on his Boston accent in SPOTLIGHT, and why he “prayed that he would never have to do one”. In rounding out the 2016 American Riviera Award conversation Keaton and McAdams shared stories about their favorite filmmakers.
Tom McCarthy came on stage to present the honorees with their American Riviera Award, an SBIFF award established to recognize actors who have made a significant contribution to American Cinema. McCarthy shared a few words about Ruffalo’s incredible determination as a performer, McAdam’s unique listening ability and her space as the heart of SPOTLIGHT, and Keaton’s remarkable energy and tenacity that he brings to the film.
On Sunday, February 7th, Terrance Malick’s experiential KNIGHT OF CUPS will have its US Premiere at the Arlington Theatre as the festival’s Centerpiece Film. The highly anticipated film stars Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Frieda Pinto, Isabel Lucas, Imogen Poots, Wes Bentley, Brian Dennehy and Teresa Palmer, among others. Xavier Giannoli’s funny and emotional drama MARGUERITE will close out the festival on Saturday, February 13th. 1921, the beginning of the Golden Twenties. Not far from Paris. For information on tickets, passes and packages click here.
If air travel is required for your attendance, Alaska Airlines, the official airline for the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival, is offering 10% discounts on airfare between Santa Barbara, Los Angeles or Burbank, California and any of Alaska Airlines departure cities (excluding Hawaii, Mexico, Costa Rica and Prudhoe Bay) now through February 16th, 2016. Click here. Discounts are automatically applied. Restrictions apply. See site for details.
(Source: Santa Barbara International Film Festival)