Posted by Larry Gleeson
The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) opened last night with a plethora of acting talent. For weeks cinephiles wondered if the festival would take place due to the catastrophic Thomas Fire and the tragic Montecito mudslide. SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling made the decision to hold the festival and allow for the healing process to begin for a fractured community.
The Opening Night Film, the public, followed a group of homeless library patrons who decide to Occupy the library refusing to leave at closing time on a blistering cold winter night. A ragtag group of men, including several military veterans, forced a standoff between the public library and the Cincinnati Prosecuting Attorney.
The festival is in full swing through February 10th offering a full slate of films and film-related programming for an entire spectrum of film appreciation. Tonight’s SBIFF tribute, The Cinema Vanguard Award, will honor Willem Dafoe for his remarkable role in Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, an A24 Films release, which opened in October to critical acclaim. The Tribute will be held at the historic Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara, Calif.