Category Archives: Arlington Theater

Santa Barbara Film Festival Kicking Off With THE PHANTOM OF THE OPEN

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The 2022 Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), featuring  48 world premieres and  95 U.S. premieres from over 54 countries, along with tributes featuring the year’s top talent, panel discussions, and free community education and outreach programs. The festival will start with the Opening Night Film, the U.S. Premiere of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPEN, a heartwarming British comedy starring Oscar winners Sally Hawkins and Mark Rylance, on Wednesday, March 2nd, 8:00 P.M., at the historic Arlington Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara, Calif. The Opening Night Film will be presented by UGG.

 

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPEN

 

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPEN is based on the true story of Maurice Flitcroft, a dreamer and unrelenting optimist, who managed to gain entry to the qualifying round of The British Open Championship in 1976, despite never having played a round of golf. He shot the worst round in Open history and drew the ire of the golfing elite, but he ultimately became a folk hero, and more importantly, he showed his family the importance of pursuing one’s dreams. Tickets are available HERE.

Masks and proof of vaccination will be required to enter  the theater.

 

 

About the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. Over the past 36 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States – attracting 100,000+ attendees and offering 11 days of 200+ films including 100+ premieres representing over 60 countries, tributes, and panel discussions, fulfilling their mission to engage, enrich, and inspire the Santa Barbara community through film.

In 2016, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre. After a capital campaign and renovation, the theatre is now SBIFF’s new state-of-the-art, year-round home, showing new international and independent films every day. In 2019, SBIFF opened its own Education Center in downtown Santa Barbara on State Street to serve as a home for its many educational programs and a place for creativity and learning.

 

SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2022 PROGRAM

Posted by Larry Gleeson

37TH FESTIVAL OPENS WITH THE U.S. PREMIERE OF “THE PHANTOM OF THE OPEN” AND CLOSES WITH “DIONNE WARWICK: DON’T MAKE ME OVER”

FESTIVAL TO PRESENT 95 U.S. PREMIERES AND 48 WORLD PREMIERES

 

Santa Barbara, CA. (Thursday, February 10, 2022) –The Santa Barbara International Film Festival ® (SBIFF), presented by UGG , announced today the highly anticipated lineup for the 37th edition, which will run March 2 to 12, 2022. The festival will feature 48 world premieres and 95 U.S. premieres from 54 countries, along with tributes featuring the year’s top talent, panel discussions, and free community education and outreach programs.

 

SBIFF’s Executive Director Roger Durling (Cr. Clint Wiseman Studio)

SBIFF’s Executive Director Roger Durling stated this morning,

“It brings us an unbridled joy to share our slate for this edition of SBIFF. After two years of incertitude, it feels good to know we can continue to count on film and the festival to give us a sense of comfort and continuity. We’re extremely proud of the offerings at the 37th fest.”

 

 

OPENING NIGHT

SBIFF 2022 will start with the Opening Night Film, presented by UGG , on Wednesday, March 2 with the U.S. Premiere of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPEN, a heartwarming British comedy starring Oscar winners Sally Hawkins and Mark Rylance. The film is based on the true story of Maurice Fitcroft, who entered the 1976 British Open despite never having played a round of golf before.

CLOSING NIGHT

SBIFF 2022 will close on Saturday, March 12 with DIONNE WARWICK: DON’T MAKE ME OVER, with the iconic singer in attendance. The documentary follows Warwick as she smashed through cultural, racial, and gender barriers to become the soundtrack for generations and a voice fighting for humanitarian causes. Featuring interviews with Burt Bachrach, Gladys Knight, Gloria Estefan, Snoop Dogg, Bill Clinton, and many more.

THE TRIBUTES

SBIFF is an important showcase for Academy Award frontrunners, many of whom have arrived as nominees and gone on to win the Oscar. The 37th SBIFF proudly celebrates some of the year’s finest work in film. All tributes will be in person at the historic Arlington Theatre as well as streamed live.

    • Outstanding Directors of the Year Award sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter – Thursday, March 3, at 8:00 pm. Honorees to be announced. Moderated by Scott Feinberg.
    • ●  American Riviera Award honoring Kristen Stewart – Friday, March 4 at 8:00 pm. Moderated by Anne Thompson.®
    • ●  Virtuosos Award presented by UGG, honoring Caitriona Balfe (Belfast), Ariana DeBose (West Side Story), Jamie Dornan (Belfast), Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza), Emilia Jones (CODA), Troy Kotsur (CODA), Simon Rex (Red Rocket), and Saniyya Sidney (King Richard) – Saturday, March 5 at 8:00 pm, moderated by Dave Karger.
    • ●  Variety Artisans Award sponsored by Variety – Monday, March 7 at 8:00 pm. Honorees to be announced. Moderated by Jazz Tangcay.
    • ●  Montecito Award – Tuesday, March 8 at 8:00 pm. Honoree to be announced.
    • ●  Outstanding Performers of the Year Award presented by Manitou Fund honoring Will Smith and Aunjanue Ellis – Sunday, March 6 at 8:00 pm. Moderated by Scott Feinberg.
    • ●  Cinema Vanguard Award sponsored by Deadline honoring Benedict Cumberbatch -Wednesday, March 9 at 8:00 pm. Moderated by Pete Hammond.
    • ●  Maltin Modern Master Award presented by Manitou Fund honoring Javier Bardem and Nicole Kidman – Thursday, March 10 at 8:00 pm. Moderated by Leonard Maltin.
    • THE PANELS
      SBIFF has become renowned for creating smart, insightful panels that feature a who’s who in the world of filmmaking, including many Oscar contenders. Returning will be our annual Producers Panel, Writers Panel, and Women’s Panel. All Panels will be in person at the historic Arlington Theatre as well as streamed live. Panelists to be announced. Writers Panel – Saturday, March 5 at 11:00 am – Moderated by Anne Thompson Producers Panel – Saturday, March 5 at 2:00 pm – Moderated by Glenn Whipp Women’s Panel – Sunday, March 12 at 11:00 am – Moderated by Madelyn Hammond.

SPECIAL SCREENINGS AND Q&A’s

  • ●  THE POWER OF THE DOG followed by a Q&A with Jane Campion – Thursday, March 3 at 2:00 pm – FREE admission
  • ●  10th Anniversary screening of SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK followed by a Q&A with DAVID O. RUSSELL – Date and Time to be announced – FREE ADMISSION
  • ●  More to be announced
    GREG NAVA RETROSPECTIVE
  • Also, slated are Greg Nava’s seminal immigration saga, EL NORTE, and SELENA, the riveting biopic about the famous Tejano music legend who met a tragic end at only 23, starring Jennifer Lopez and Edward James Olmos. Olmos will be in attendance at the screening.

SELENA – Tuesday, March 8 at 2:00 pm – FREE admission

EL NORTE – Wednesday, March 9 at 2:00 pm – FREE admission

Nava will be present for a Q&A following each of the screenings. Edward James Olmos will also be joining the SELENA Q&A.

Free Screenings made possible with support from John C. Mithun Foundation.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS, FREE PROGRAMS, AND OTHER MENTIONS

SBIFF Poster Designed by Acclaimed Artist Hank Pitcher

The 2022 SBIFF poster was painted by acclaimed artist and Santa Barbara resident Hank Pitcher. He remarked, “Standing on a beach, looking out to sea, or sitting in a theater looking at the screen, we project our hopes and dreams out onto those vast surfaces. It is like waiting in line to buy a ticket, then walking through the lobby into the auditorium to find a seat, or going to the shore and walking down to stand by the water. Both are about desire and discovery. I love big old movie theaters like the Riviera and the Arlington and the Granada. I have long thought of my painting as a way to stop the film at my favorite part and walk up on the stage and into the scene to look around.”

Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies – Named for renowned nature cinematographer Mike deGruy, Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies uses filmmaking to nurture creative, confident, and culturally aware thinkers. This year’s MFT Program will be offered to 2,000 4th–6th-grade students from Title I (low-income) schools throughout Santa Barbara County. This year’s program will feature critically acclaimed films and live Q&As with their directors, recorded discussions with the filmmakers and artisans from this year’s top animated films, along film education study guides. Sponsored by Montecito Bank & Trust, Patagonia, Union Bank, Bentson Foundation, and Volentine Family Foundation.

Film Studies Program – The Film Studies Program will invite 30 undergraduate film students from across the country to the Film Festival where they’ll take part in a packed curriculum that turns the festival into an interactive classroom. Participants receive priority access to the films, panels, filmmaker seminars, tributes, as well as intimate Q&As with filmmakers, talent, and other professionals. Sponsored by Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin.

10–10–10 Student Screenwriting and Filmmaking Mentorship and Competition – The 10-10-10 Program is made up of 20 area high school and college screenwriters and filmmakers. This year’s program includes virtual workshops, individual mentorship, and access to casting, visual effects, producing, and sound mentors. The student screenwriters and directors are paired together and guided through the process of making a film from script to screen. Other program highlights include pitching sessions, table reads, guest speaker Q&As and film talks. Sponsored by Kaleidoscope Productions.

Free Filmmaker Seminars – SBIFF will again present educational seminars with filmmakers premiering at this year’s festival. These seminars will be FREE to the public and will take place on each weekday during the Festival at Casa de la Guerra in downtown Santa Barbara just off the State Street Promenade.

The ADL Stand Up Award sponsored by ADL Santa Barbara/Tri-Counties – This award will be presented to a dramatic film in the festival that represents an important message consistent with ADL’s efforts “to secure justice and fair treatment for all.” The winner will be announced during the Festival.

Visit sbiff.org for more information on the 2022 Program of Films!

(Press release provided by Brooke Blumberg, Sunshine Sachs)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Santa Barbara Honors Rami Malek

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Rami Malek Receives Outstanding Performer of the Year for his work as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody

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Rami Malek arrived in Santa Barbara amidst a light rain making his way to a busy red carpet and getting under cover.

The uber-talented Malek, gracious and eloquent, posed for pictures and brief interviews before taking the stage with The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg at the historic Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara, California, last night, February 1st.

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Rami Malek, left, and moderator Scott Feinberg, enjoy a moment onstage during the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Outstanding Performer of the Year Tribute at the historic Arlington Theatre, February 1, 2019, in Santa Barbara, Calif. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

In what might have been Feinberg’s best tribute conversation, The Hollywood Reporter Awards Columnist, showed his knowledge of Malek’s work and personal life while gently nudging Malek. Slowly, Malek began to open up and the enthusiastic crowd warmed up with more than one female voice calling out their love for the honoree.

Malek continued his steady composure sharing his experience in his auditions and with his directors with humor and a steadfast commitment to his craft. After watching several clips and the audience hanging on every Malek word, Feinberg addressed “the elephant in the room,” which turned out to be the firing of Bryan Singer as Director of Bohemian Rhapsody.

Out of his respect and admiration for Freddie Mercury and the band, Queen, Malek preferred to keep the attention and focus on them.

Malek accepted the award presented by friend and actor Joseph Mazzello. Malek seemed a little pensive afterwards as he thanked the audience and exited stage right with Mazzello. Seems as though we haven’t heard the last from Rami Malek….

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2017 #SBIFF Cinema Vanguard Award honoring Casey Affleck and Michelle Wiliams

Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams will be honored with SBIFF’s Cinema Vanguard Award on Sunday, February 5, 2017 at the 32nd Festival.  The two actors will be celebrated for their remarkable roles in Kenneth Lonergan’s deeply poignant Manchester by the Sea and will be feted with a tribute at the Arlington Theatre. This announcement comes on the heels of their respective Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress.
The Cinema Vanguard Award was created in recognition of actors who have forged their own path – taking artistic risks and making a significant and unique contribution to film. Previous honorees include Rooney Mara, Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, Amy Adams, Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo, Nicole Kidman,Christoph Waltz, Vera Farmiga, Stanley Tucci, Peter Sarsgaard, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Ryan Gosling.

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Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Executive Director, Roger Durling. (Photo credit: The SB Independent)

SBIFF’s Executive Director Roger Durling commented, “Throughout their respective careers, Casey and Michelle have impressed audiences with distinct, personal roles and we are excited to bring them together to honor their sublime performances in Manchester by the Sea.”

The Cinema Vanguard Award honoring Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams will be held at the histroric Santa Barbara Arlington Theatre, Sunday February 5, 2017 at 8:00 PM. The event will be moderated by Pete Hammond.

Click here to attend

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Santa Barbara Film Festival 2017 to close with Their Finest

The 32nd SBIFF will close with the Lone Scherfig’s romantic comedy THEIR FINEST at the Arlington Theatre on Saturday, February 11 in advance of the film’s March 24 stateside release.

11162014-Roger-Durling_t479SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling stated, “Lone’s deeply touching film is authentic, funny and depicts the power that cinema has to bring people together and share their stories.  It was the perfect choice to close this year’s festival.”

The year is 1940, Britain. With the nation devastated by the war, the British ministry turns to propaganda films to boost morale at home. Realizing their films could use “a woman’s touch,” the ministry hires Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) as a scriptwriter in charge of writing the female dialogue. Although her artist husband looks down on her job, Catrin’s natural flair quickly gets her noticed by charming lead scriptwriter Buckley (Sam Claflin). Catrin and Buckley set out to make an epic feature film based on the Battle of Dunkirk starring pretentious fading movie star Ambrose Hilliard (Bill Nighy). As bombs are dropping all around them, Catrin, Buckley and their colorful cast and crew work furiously to make a film that will warm the hearts of the nation.

The film is produced by Stephen Woolley, Amanda Posey, Finola Dwyer and Elizabeth Karlsen. Christine Langan, Ed Wethered, Robert Norris, Ivan Dunleavy, Peter Watson, Zygi Kamasa and Thorsten Schumacher serve as executive producers. The film is produced by Number 9 Films and Wildgaze Films.

The 32nd Santa Barbara International Film Festival is slated to run February 1st through February 11th, 2017.

For Passes and Packages click here.

About the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. Over the past 30 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States – attracting 90,000 attendees and offering 11 days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums, fulfilling their mission to engage, enrich, and inspire the Santa Barbara community through film.

SBIFF continues its commitment to education and the community through free programs like its 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting Competitions, Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies, National Film Studies Program, AppleBox Family Films, 3rd Weekend and educational seminars. This past June, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre.  The theatre is SBIFF’s new home and is the catalyst for program expansion and marks the first time that Santa Barbara has had a 24/7 community center to expand their mission of educational outreach.

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(Source: sbiff.org press release)

Santa Barbara Film Festival 2017 Virtuosos Announcement

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Virtuosos Award is going off tonight at the Arlington Theater in Santa Barbara at 8PM!

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SBIFF Executive Director Roger During noted,

“This year has been monumental in the breadth of talent breaking through in distinct and emotional roles. We are excited to honor both new and familiar faces, and look forward to celebrating them and their contribution to the craft.”

This year’s recipients include Aaron Taylor Johnson (Nocturnal Animals), Dev Patel (Lion), Janelle Monáe (Hidden Figures, Moonlight), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Ruth Negga (Loving), Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins), and Stephen Henderson (Fences).  The Award presentation, which will be moderated for the seventh year by Dave Karger, will take place February 4, 2017 at the Arlington Theatre at the 32nd edition of the festival, which runs February 1 to February 11, 2017.

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The diverse group will be recognized for their breakthrough roles in 2016 and careers thus far. Aaron Taylor Johnson delivers a fearless and menacing performance as the villainous sociopath Ray Marcus in the psychological thriller Nocturnal Animals.  Based on the true story of Saroo Brierley, Dev Patel brings an emotional sentimentality and soulful depth to his role in Lion. Janelle Monáe has had a banner year with star-making performances as Mary Jackson in the biographical drama Hidden Figures along with the brilliantly crafted Moonlight, in which she brings sensitivity and sincerity to the role of Teresa. In Moonlight, Mahershala Ali gives a captivating and moving turn as Juan, a man struggling to find his place in the world, and Naomie Harris mesmerizes with her touching and harrowing performance as the mother of a young man navigating his sexuality.  Ruth Negga delivers a mesmerizing and resilient portrayal of Mildred Loving in the biographical drama, Loving.  Simon Helberg won critical raves and audiences’ hearts with his charming performance opposite Meryl Streep as Cosme McMoon – the very expressive pianist in Florence Foster Jenkins.  After decades on Broadway, renowned character actor Stephen Henderson reprises the role of Jim Bono in Denzel Washington’s upcoming Fences, which earned the actor a Tony nomination.

Virtuosos Award
honoring:
Aaron Taylor Johnson (Nocturnal Animals)
Dev Patel (Lion)
Janelle Monáe (Hidden Figures, Moonlight)
Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
Ruth Negga (Loving)
Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins)
and Stephen Henderson (Fences)

Moderated by Dave Karger
Saturday February 4, 2017
Arlington Theatre

Click Here To Attend

Prior recipients for the award include Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Dano, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Géza Röhrig, Jacob Tremblay, Chadwick Boseman, Ellar Coltrane, Logan Lerman, David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, J.K. Simmons, Jenny Slate, Ann Dowd, Elle Fanning, Ezra Miller, Eddie Redmayne, Omar Sy, Quvenzhane Wallis, Demian Bichir, Rooney Mara, Melissa McCarthy, Shailene Woodley, Andy Serkis, Patton Oswalt, Andrew Garfield, John Hawkes, Lesley Manville, Hailee Steinfeld, Jacki Weaver, Emily Blunt, Carey Mulligan, Saoirse Ronan, Gabourey Sidibe, Michael Stuhlbarg, Casey Affleck, Marion Cotillard, Viola Davis, Rosemarie DeWitt, Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Melissa Leo, James McAvoy, Ellen Page, Amy Ryan, Michael Shannon, Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, Jared Leto, and June Squibb.
(Source: press release sbiff.org)

Sylvester Stallone Receives 2016 Montecito Award #SBIFF

Last night was a total knockout at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival with Sylvester Stallone receiving the festival’s esteemed  Montecito Award.

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SANTA BARBARA, CA – FEBRUARY 09: Actor Sylvester Stallone attends the Montecito Award at the Arlington Theater at the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 9, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Stallone arrived arm-in-arm with his wife Jennifer and made their way into the historic Arlington Theater where Sylvester took the stage and carried a heartfelt dialogue with Deadline’s Pete Hammond.

The 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival - Montecito Award
SANTA BARBARA, CA – FEBRUARY 09: .Actor Sylvester Stallone and model Jennifer Flavin attend the Montecito Award at the Arlington Theater at the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 9, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

At the end of the conversation, the original Apollo Creed Carl Weathers recounted his audition for the role of Apollo Creed and presented Stallone with the award.

(Video Credit: YSL Digital Films – Gary, Harlene and William Conlin. Titles by Larry Gleeson)

Guests made their way to the festival’s Hennessey Lounge afterwards to celebrate the evening.

(Source: Press release provided by Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

 

Outstanding Performers of the Year #SBIFF

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(Credit: YSL Digital – Gary, Harlene and William Conlin)

Monday night at the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival started off with a bang as hundreds of fans lined the streets to get a glimpse of Oscar nominated actresses Saoirse Ronan (BROOKLYN) and Brie Larson (ROOM). The leading ladies were presented with the Outstanding Performers of the Year Award sponsored by Dom Perignon.

In almost matching shoulder-baring white dresses, Ronan (wearing a Chloe dress and Jimmy Choo shoes), walked the carpet in Santa Barbara while Larson (wearing an Emilia Wiskstead jumpsuit) was regrettably unable to attend in person. She did, however, Skype, a first at SBIFF, into the presentation moderated by Pete Hammond. The irony of the space Larson was Skyping from was not lost on Hammond, who commented that it looked like she might have been back on the set of ROOM.

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SANTA BARBARA, CA – FEBRUARY 08: Moderator Pete Hammond speaks with Actor Brie Larson at the Outstanding Performer of the Year ceremony at the Arlington Theater during the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 8, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

Larson discussed her favorite movies as a child, one being GONE WITH THE WIND. She followed up by sharing that the physicality of her role in ROOM was incredibly intense and was a vital part of understanding her character.

 

Following Larson’s conversation, Ronan took the stage. Ronan not only touched on the power of story telling but laughed about the fact it has taken almost 11 years for her name to be pronounced correctly in the business – going through each iteration.

 

The 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival - Outstanding Performer Of The Year
SANTA BARBARA, CA – FEBRUARY 08: Actress Saoirse Ronan of “Brooklyn” speaks at the Outstanding Performer of the Year ceremony at the Arlington Theater during the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival. on February 8, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

 

Accepting her award with tears in her eyes, Ronan closed the evening with heartfelt words and expressed how grateful she was to be a part of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

 

The 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival - Outstanding Performer Of The Year
SANTA BARBARA, CA – FEBRUARY 08: Actress Saoirse Ronan of “Brooklyn” receives the Outstanding Performer of the Year ceremony at the Arlington Theater during the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival. on February 8, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

(Source: Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

#SBIFF Virtuosos Award

(Credit: YTS Digital)

It was a busy night in Santa Barbara, as the 31st annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival feted its Virtuosos at the historical Arlington Theater.  Elizabeth Banks, Paul Dano, O’Shea Jackson, Jr, Géza Röhrig, Jacob Tremblay, and Alicia Vikander took to the stage for discussions with moderator Dave Karger and to be presented with their awards by Leonard Maltin.   

Joel Edgerton was regrettably unable to attend, but a taped interview with Karger played during his portion of the tribute evening, which was sponsored by Travel and Leisure.

With honoree ages ranging from nine to 48, the evening began with Elizabeth Banks, who told the audience that the LOVE AND MERCY script was one of only two scripts she has ever fallen in love with (the other was ZAC AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO) and the success of the first film as a director, PITCH PERFECT 2.  Paul Dano followed and talked about the three months of preparing he did with the music of The Beach Boys for LOVE AND MERCY.

After Joel Edgerton’s taped conversation played, O’Shea Jackson, Jr explained that it was his father’s idea that Jackson, Jr play him in STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, not the other way around!  He discussed studying screenwriting at USC and how he needed to grow confidence to become an actor.  As the audience applauded at the end of his conversation, he exclaimed, ‘I feel like The Rock!’

Géza Röhrig spoke to Karger about how he had already been a musician, poet, and teacher, and joked that yes, he did expect to one day be sitting on a stage in Santa Barbara accepting an award for acting.  Before SON OF SAUL, Géza had only acted once before, 25 years ago in a Hungarian mini-series.  Next up, Jacob Tremblay charmed the crowd while describing the emotionally stressful ROOM.  ‘If you’re an adult or a mom you understand what’s happening, but if you’re a kid you’re like, ‘oh whatever’,’ he said about his viewing experience.

Last to the stage, but certainly not least, Alicia Vikander spoke about how her background in dance has helped her as an actress.  She mentioned in particular that it helped her with the physicality of her character in EX-MACHINA.  She also discussed the challenges of playing such a range of emotions in THE DANISH GIRL.

The fourth day of the festival began with a breakfast where filmmakers around the world bonded over bagels and coffee in the Lobero Courtyard.

The Lobero also played host to the esteemed writer’s and producer’s panels.  LA Times’ Glenn Whipp moderated a panel of producers from some of this year’s most buzzed about movies, Finola Dwyer (BROOKLYN), Ed Guiney (ROOM), Jeremy Kleiner (THE BIG SHORT), Steve Golin (SPOTLIGHT) and Mary Parent (THE REVENANT). The panel discussed what makes a good producer, “making it work” even under difficult circumstances, and diversity in filmmaking. On the latter, Mary Parent said “as a woman, I’m thrilled the conversation is happening”.

Festival goers were then treated to the “It Starts With the Script” Writers Panel.  IndieWIRE’s Anne Thompson led a conversation with some some of the year’s  top screenwriters including Pete Docter (INSIDE OUT), Emma Donoghue (ROOM), Alex Garland (EX MACHINA), Drew Goddard (THE MARTIAN), Jonathan Herman (STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON), Charlie Kaufman (ANAMOLISA), Phyllis Nagy (CAROL), Charles Randolph (THE BIG SHORT), and Josh Singer (SPOTLIGHT).  Audiences were captivated by the group’s discussion of  the process of giving life to a film, the challenges that arise on the journey to the big screen, and what it takes to succeed.

Throughout the day as well, SBIFF volunteers handed out free popcorn and soda to families and festival goers as they stormed the Arlington Theater to catch two of this past year’s biggest animated hits, INSIDE OUT and MINIONS, at the community AppleBox screenings. (Source: SBIFF Press Office)

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(Photo Credit: Larry Gleeson)

#SBIFF American Riviera Award – Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams & Mark Ruffalo

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SANTA BARBARA, CA – FEBRUARY 05: Actress Rachel McAdams walks the red carpet for the American Riviera Award at the Arlington Theater at the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 5, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matthew Simmons/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

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.

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SANTA BARBARA, CA – FEBRUARY 05: Actor Michael Keaton, Actress Rachel McAdams and SBIFF Director Roger Durling speak onstage at the American Riviera Award at the Arlington Theater at the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 5, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

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.

The 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival - American Riviera Award
SANTA BARBARA, CA – FEBRUARY 05: Actor Michael Keaton receives the American Riviera Award from Director Tom McCarthy and Actress Rachel McAdams at the Arlington Theater at the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 5, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

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)