Category Archives: Film Festival

JAVIER BARDEM AND NICOLE KIDMAN ACCEPT  MALTIN MODERN MASTER AWARD AT THE 37TH ANNUAL  SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Posted by Larry Gleeson

JAVIER BARDEM AND NICOLE KIDMAN ACCEPT 

MALTIN MODERN MASTER AWARD AT THE 37TH ANNUAL 

SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (March 10, 2022) – The final tribute of the 37th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival presented by UGG featured a tribute to Academy Award winners, Javier Bardem and Nicole Kidman, who received the prestigious Maltin Modern Master Award. Bardem and Kidman were recognized for their long-standing contributions to the film industry, most recently in the roles of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball in Aaron Sorkin’s BEING THE RICARDOS from Amazon Studios, for which they both received individual Lead Actor SAG Award nominations.

They sat down with Leonard Maltin, who returned for his 32nd year to moderate the evening for an insightful conversation and look back at their careers.

SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 10: Todd Black (R) presents Javier Bardem with the Maltin Modern Master Award during the 37th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on March 10, 2022, in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Following the conversation with Maltin, Producer Todd Black presented both with the Maltin Modern Master Award. Todd remarked: “You’re [Nicole] probably one of the most humble people I’ve ever met in my career, and very kind…Every day walking on that set with Javier and being completely present, kind, and personable to every crew member…and delivering it 100% every day. It was kind of a dream come true for me,” and “Who he [Javier] is here is who he is. He’s as humble and sweet and gracious and funny and professional as any person I’ve ever met in my career.”

 

Upon accepting the award, Bardem said: “I’m very honored, I don’t want to leave this stage! …seeing these images on the big screen after two years, in a theater full of people… it’s a joy for an actor.”

The Modern Master Award was established in 1995 and is the highest accolade presented by SBIFF. Created to honor an individual who has enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry, it was re-named the Maltin Modern Master Award in 2015 in honor of long-time SBIFF moderator and renowned film critic Leonard Maltin. Past recipients include Bill Murray, Judy Garland, Brad Pitt, Glenn Close, Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton, Bruce Dern, Ben Affleck, Christopher Plummer, Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, Cate Blanchett, Will Smith, George Clooney, and Peter Jackson.

Still upcoming is the women’s panel. The 37th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG®, will take place IN-PERSON through March 12, 2022. 200+ films, filmmaker Q&As, industry panels, and celebrity tributes, will be held throughout Santa Barbara, including at the historic Arlington Theatre. This year’s lineup is available on SBIFF’s mobile app. For additional information or to buy passes, visit sbiff.org.

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, tributes and symposiums, 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.

(Press release courtesy of Michelle Tarangelo, Sunshine Sachs)

Jane Campion Presents Benedict Cumberbatch with Cinema Vanguard Award at 37th SBIFF

Posted by Larry Gleeson

JANE CAMPION PRESENTS BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

 WITH CINEMA VANGUARD AWARD AT THE 37TH ANNUAL 

SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (March 9, 2022) – Day 8 of the 37th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival presented by UGG featured a tribute to Benedict Cumberbatch, who received the Cinema Vanguard Award. Cumberbatch was honored for his remarkable career and most recent performance in Jane Campion’s THE POWER OF THE DOG on Netflix.

THE POWER OF THE DOG: BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH as PHIL BURBANK in THE POWER OF THE DOG. (Photo credit: KIRSTY GRIFFIN/NETFLIX © 2021)

 

During Cumberbatch’s conversation with Hammond, guests enjoyed clips from his acting career, including 12 Years A Slave, The Imitation Game, Sherlock, Dr. Strange, Patrick Melrose, Stephen Hawking’s Universe, and Power of the Dog.

Following Cumberbatch’s conversation with Hammond, Jane Campion presented him with the Cinema Vanguard Award. When presenting, Campion told Cumberbatch, “Every generation has their wunderkinder. First, there was Olivier, then there was Daniel Day-Lewis… and now there is you.”

 

 

Upon accepting his award, Cumberbatch said: “Vanguard means to be at the front of something, doesn’t it? You can’t really be at the front of anything without anyone behind you… I do feel like I’m standing on the shoulders of many, many people… I thank every single one of you that has paid for a ticket and gone to a theater…”

 

 

The Cinema Vanguard Award recognizes actors who have forged their own path, taking artistic risks and making a significant and unique contribution to film. Previous honorees include Carey Mulligan, Laura Dern, Michael B. Jordan, William DeFoe, Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Rooney Mara, Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Amy Adams, Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, Nicole Kidman, Peter Sarsgaard, Christoph Waltz, Vera Farmiga, Kristin Scott Thomas, Stanley Tucci, and Ryan Gosling.

Upcoming live conversations and tributes will include presentations to Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem and the women’s panel. The 37th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG®, will take place IN-PERSON through March 12, 2022. 200+ films, filmmaker Q&As, industry panels, and celebrity tributes, will be held throughout Santa Barbara, including at the historic Arlington Theatre. This year’s lineup is available on SBIFF’s mobile app. For additional information or to buy passes, visit sbiff.org.

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, tributes and symposiums, 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.

(Press release courtesy of Sunshine Sachs, Michelle Tarangelo. Video courtesy of YTS Film)

Will Smith’s Big Personality on Full Display in Santa Barbara

Posted by Larry Gleeson

WILL SMITH AND AUNJANUE ELLIS ACCEPT OUTSTANDING PERFORMER OF THE YEAR AWARD AND ANIMATORS IN CONVERSATION AT THE 37TH ANNUAL SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

 

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (March 6, 2022) – Day 5 of the 37th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival featured a tribute presented by Manitou Fund to Will Smith and Aunjanue Ellis, who received the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award, for their outstanding performances in this year’s “King Richard” from Warner Bros Pictures.

Smith and Ellis sat down with The Hollywood Reporter’s longtime awards columnist and host of its popular Awards Chatter podcast, Scott Feinberg for an in-depth discussion about their cinematic careers.

Following their conversation with Feinberg, King Richard director Reinaldo Marcus Green presented them with the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award. Reinaldo opened his remarks by saying: “It is absolutely my pleasure and honor to present tonight’s award for Outstanding Performers of the Year to the stars of King Richard, Will Smith, and Aunjanue Ellis. Working with these two was like sitting in on a master class every day. We’ve all seen Will knock it out of the park for years, so I expected greatness. But when he stepped into the role as Richard Williams, I was blown away. The way he embodied this man, this father, with a commitment, it was truly special to see. Aunjanue Ellis, wow. As my mentor Spike Lee would say, she’s da truth. She brought this quiet intensity and absolutely crushed every scene she was in. Working with both Will and Aunjanue was truly one of the joys of my early career.”

 

 

The Outstanding Performers of the Year Award recognizes select individuals who have distinguished themselves with exceptional performances in film this past year. Past recipients of the award include Sacha Baron Cohen, Adam Driver, Rami Malek, Margot Robbie, and Allison Janney, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, Brie Larson and Saoirse Ronan, Steve Carell, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Viola Davis, James Franco, Colin Firth, Penelope Cruz, Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren, Heath Ledger, Kate Winslet, and Charlize Theron.

Earlier in the day featured the newest panel at the festival, the Animation Panel. Attendees gathered for Charise Castro Smith – Co-Writer/Co-Director (ENCANTO), Charlotte De Le Gournerie – Producer (FLEE), Enrico Casarosa – Co-Writer/Director (LUCA) Mike Rianda – Co-Writer/Co-Director (THE MITCHELLS VS. THE MACHINES), Don Hall – Co-Director (RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON) in conversation, led by SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling.

Upcoming live conversations and tributes will include presentations to Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Oscar-nominated artisans. The 37th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG®, will take place IN-PERSON through March 12, 2022. 200+ films, filmmaker Q&As, industry panels, and celebrity tributes, will be held throughout Santa Barbara, including at the historic Arlington Theatre. This year’s lineup is available on SBIFF’s mobile app. For additional information or to buy passes, visit sbiff.org.

 

 

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, tributes and symposiums, 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.

(Press release provided by Michelle Tarangelo, Sunshine Sachs)

 

 

Catching Up With SBIFF Panels and Virtuosos

Posted by Larry Gleeson

OSCAR NOMINATED PRODUCERS AND WRITERS IN CONVERSATION AND CAITRIONA BALFE, ARIANA DEBOSE, CIARAN HINDS, ALANA HAIM, EMILIA JONES, TROY KOTSUR, SIMON REX AND SANIYYA SIDNEY RECEIVE VIRTUOSOS AWARD AT THE 37TH ANNUAL SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

TRIBUTES TO WILL SMITH, AUNJANUE ELLIS, PENELOPE CRUZ, BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH, JAVIER BARDEM AND NICOLE KIDMAN STILL TO COME THROUGHOUT THE 10-DAY FESTIVAL

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (March 5, 2022) – Day 4 of the 37th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival presented by UGG began with the Writers panel conversation on Saturday morning. Cinephiles gathered together for Oscar-nominated producers Kenneth Branagh (BELFAST), Siân Heder (CODA), Adam McKay (DON’T LOOK UP), Denis Villeneuve (DUNE), Zach Baylin (KING RICHARD), Maggie Gyllenhaal (THE LOST DAUGHTER), Jane Campion (THE POWER OF THE DOG) and Eskil Vogt (THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD) in a conversation led by Los Angeles Times writer Glenn Whipp.

 

SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 05: (L-R) Becca Kovacik, J. Miles Dale, Kevin Messick, Sara Murphy, Mary Parent, Tanya Seghatchian, Patrick Wachsberger, Tim White and Teruhisa Yamamoto speak onstage at the SBIFF Producers Panel during the 37th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on March 05, 2022 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for SBIFF)

 

In the afternoon, the festival continued with the Producers panel conversation with Laura Berwick (BELFAST), Patrick Wachsberger (CODA), Kevin Messick (DON’T LOOK UP), Teruhisa Yamamoto (DRIVE MY CAR), Mary Parent (DUNE), Tim White (KING RICHARD), Sara Murphy (LICORICE PIZZA), J. Miles Dale (NIGHTMARE ALLEY), Tanya Seghatchian (THE POWER OF THE DOG) and Rita Moreno (WEST SIDE STORY). The conversation was led by Indiewire Editor-at-Large Anne Thompson.

 

SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 05: (L-R) Anne Thompson, Zach Baylin, Kenneth Branagh, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Sian Heder, Adam McKay, Denis Villeneuve and Eskil Vogt appear onstage at the Writers Panel during the 37th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on March 5, 2022 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

 

The evening concluded with the presentation of and interviews with the recipients of the Virtuosos Award, an honor created to recognize a select group of talent whose noteworthy performances in film have elevated them into the national cinematic dialogue. Caitriona Balfe (Belfast), Ariana DeBose (West Side Story), Ciaran Hinds (Belfast), Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza), Emilia Jones (CODA), Troy Kotsur (CODA), Simon Rex (Red Rocket), and Saniyya Sidney (King Richard) discussed their work with Turner Classic Movies host and IMDb special correspondent host Dave Karger, who joined the conversation for his 11th year.

 

[L-R: Emilia Jones, Alana Haim, Ariana DeBose, Caitriona Balfe, Saniyya Sidney]

Check out their conversations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming live conversations and tributes will include presentations to Will Smith, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz, Aunjanue Ellis, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Oscar-nominated animators. The 37th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG®, will take place IN-PERSON through March 12, 2022. 200+ films, filmmaker Q&As, industry panels, and celebrity tributes, will be held throughout Santa Barbara, including at the historic Arlington Theatre. This year’s lineup is available on SBIFF’s mobile app. For additional information or to buy passes, visit sbiff.org

 

 

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, tributes and symposiums, 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.

(Press release provided by Michelle Tarangelo, Sunshine Sachs)

Big Crow World Premiere Captures A Teen’s Energy and Dream For The Future at Santa Barbara

Posted by Larry Gleeson

SuAnne Big Crow, a standout girl’s high school basketball player from the Lakota Reservation in South Dakota, was the primary subject matter and/or spiritual energy behind Kris Kaczor’s 69- minute documentary Big Crow making its World Premiere at the 37th Santa Barbara International Film Festival sponsored by UGG.

 

(Left to right) Big Crow Director, Kris Kaczor, Story Developer, Ilan Wakan, and SBIFF Programming Director, Claudia Puig discuss the legacy of SuAnn Big Crow at the 37th Santa Barbara Film Festival, on March 4, 2022. (Photo cr. Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

 

SuAnne Big Crow once scored 67 points in one game and led her high school team to the state championship as she hit a buzzer-beating game-winning shot allowing the high school to win its first-ever state title. SuAnne was also a cheerleader and three-sport athlete for the Lady Thorpes. In addition, she was an advocate for life without alcohol and drug abuse.

Director Kris Kaczor captures SuAnne’s legend through archival newsreels of her athletic prowess, her advocacy via a public service announcement, and her galvanizing energy across the Great Plains through the plethora of first-person interviews and her undying Lakota pride.

Due to a tragic and fatal car accident on her way to receive a Miss South Dakota basketball honor, SuAnne’s earthly bodily form was rendered lifeless. Nevertheless, her spirit did not die and Kaczor captures the life-changing energy SuAnne emanated into the Lakota people and how it has exhibited an expansiveness to cross over into today’s Lakota culture.

Big Crow starts out as a simple modern-day reflection on Native people. What emerges is a Spirit with a vision for a better way of life, a zest for living, a sharp poignant sense of humor, and who continues to smile and lead the charge for a better, more hopeful life for her Lakota people.

Best of Fest. Highly recommended!

 

 

Charlize Theron Presents Kristen Stewart with the America Riviera Award at the 37th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

CHARLIZE THERON PRESENTS KRISTEN STEWART WITH THE AMERICAN RIVIERA AWARD AT THE 37TH ANNUAL SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

 

 

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (March 4, 2022) – Day 3 of the 37th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival presented by UGG concluded with a live tribute to Kristen Stewart, who received the American Riviera Award. Stewart was honored at an in-person conversation with Indiewire Editor-at-Large Anne Thompson for an in-depth discussion about her career leading up to this year’s performance as Princess Diana in Pablo Larraín’s SPENCER from NEON. (Michelle Tarangelo, Sunshine Sachs)

Stewart arrived in glamour sporting Chanel S22 Couture receiving a warm Santa Barbara welcome!

Stay tuned!

Upcoming live conversations and tributes will include presentations to Will Smith, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz, Aunjanue Ellis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ciarán Hinds, Caitriona Balfe, Ariana DeBose, Alana Haim, Emilia Jones, Troy Kotsur, Simon Rex, Saniyya Sidney and Oscar-nominated producers, writers, and animators. The 37th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG®, will take place IN-PERSON through March 12, 2022. 200+ films, filmmaker Q&As, industry panels, and celebrity tributes, will be held throughout Santa Barbara, including at the historic Arlington Theatre. This year’s lineup is available on SBIFF’s mobile app. For additional information or to buy passes, visit sbiff.org.

 

 

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, tributes and symposiums, 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.

A Place in The Field is a “must-see” selection at the 2022 Santa Barbara Film Festival!

Posted by Larry Gleeson

A Place in the Field made its World Premiere yesterday evening at the 2022 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG, and is the feature directorial debut of female Latina, Nicole Mejia, an American Film Institute Fellow and recipient of an Audi Award Scholarship.

Mejia tackles a difficult subject with tenderness and grace. Post-traumatic stress disorder and veteran suicide have a long history with our nation’s war efforts. Films such as the Marlon Brando led The Men to tend to portray these issues in cold and harsh depictions. Mejia gently offers another way of coping experientially without debilitating pharmaceuticals and/or intensive cognitive psychotherapy – both of which arguably can exacerbate the underlying condition with unwanted and oftentimes debilitating side effects.

Don DiPetta portrays Gio the film’s central character, an Afghanistan combat veteran, and true to the character displays an intense focus – one that his employer likes to put to good use! Notwithstanding, flashbacks of battlefield situations are surfacing calling out for resolution.

Gio’s attentive girlfriend, Jessica, portrayed convincingly by Mishel Prada, notices Gio’s condition and suggests a move to the city. Gio isn’t ready – until he receives his battle buddy’s ashes and a farewell suicide note bidding Gio go to the places they had always talked about during their war-time mission.

So Gio with his strong sense of commitment to duty and to loyalty sets out to fulfill his battle buddy’s dying wish. Along the way, Gio meets colorful characters while discovering holistic and experiential coping mechanisms allowing him to reconcile the unresolved conflicts from his battlefield experience.

Gio completes his “stateside mission” in spreading his battle buddy’s ashes. Through the experience, the actions taken, the words spoken, and the colorful characters engaged,  Gio comes out the other side ready to face the new challenges ahead with his civilian life. Interestingly, Director Mejia also embodied the role of Pavla, a captivating shaman/goddess, who gently steers Gio toward the challenging path of healing without any reservations after a mechanical failure with his vehicle.

 

Nikki Mejia

 

I have not seen a bad film at the 2022 Santa Barbara International Film Festival – and I have seen several thus far. I will say right now – A Place in The Field is exquisite! It is beautifully shot by Kadri Koop –  full of symbolism and metaphors, spoken and unspoken. Khori Ellis is credited as the writer with Don DiPetta, Xochitl Portillo, and Bluesmon Del Vecchio receiving writing credits also. The casting is spot-on as DiPetta looks and personifies, Gio,  with grace and ease. The supporting cast all look the part. Kuddos to Costumer Kaja Sondergaard.

In addition, the soundtrack adds subtle ambiance and augments and amplifies tone in various scenes with a Southwestern musical sensibility. Matt Glanvill and Miguel Angel Rodriguez are credited with sound.  A Place in The Field is produced by Heliya Alam, Niyah Edwards, Michael Fishman, Nikki Mejia, along with a slew of executive producers including Don DiPetta.

A Place in The Field is a “must-see” selection for the 2022 Santa Barbara Film Festival! The film is scheduled for a second screening at 2:40 P.M. on Monday, March 7th, 2022, at the Metro 4 in Auditorium 3. Get there! You’ll be glad you did!

Until next time, I’ll see you at the movies!

 

Patagonia Films Unveils Three-piece Film Set for 2022 Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Patagonia Films Unveils Three-piece Film Set for 2022 Santa Barbara International Film Festival

 

As the Santa Barbara Film Festival is kicking off THE PHANTOM OF THE OPEN at 8 P.M. tonight at the historic Arlington RTheatre in downtown Santa Barbara, Patagonia Films announced it is showcasing three films:

 

The Yin and Yang of Gerry Lopez – World Premier
Directed by Stacy Peralta 
Thurs, March 3 – 8:40 PM (followed by a post-screening Q&A with Gerry Lopez and Stacy Peralta)
Sat, March 5 – 8:20 AM 
Location: Metro 4
From Award-Winning documentary filmmaker Stacy Peralta comes Patagonia’s The Yin and Yang of Gerry Lopez, a film that lifts the veil on one of surfing’s most enigmatic heroes. Known as Mr. Pipeline for his calm demeanor in the tube, Gerry Lopez built his career with aggressive surfing that left behind a trail of blood and tears. He is one of the most influential surfers and surfboard shapers of all time, an entrepreneur, a family man, a movie star, and a lifelong yogi who brought surfing to new frontiers. For the first time, the story of this enigmatic hero is being told in full. 

 

Newtok

Directed by Andrew Burton and Michael Kirby Smith 
Locations: Metro 1, Tues, March 8 – 5:00 PM
                   Fiesta 2, Thurs, March 10 – 8:30 AM
Water will erase Newtok, Alaska. Built on a delta at the edge of the Bering Sea, the tiny Yup’ik village has been dealing with melting permafrost, river erosion, and decaying infrastructure for decades. To keep their culture and community intact, the 360 Yup’ik residents must relocate their entire village to stable ground upriver while facing a federal government that has failed to take appropriate action to combat climate change. In moving their village, they will become some of America’s first 21st-century climate refugees. It is a verité portrait of a village seeking justice in the face of climate disaster.
The Ocean Solution
Part of the ‘Nature Shorts’ 
Directed by Darcy Hennessey Turenne
Locations: Tuesday, March 8 – 11:20 AM, Metro 2
                  Thursday, March 10 – 7:20 PM, Fiesta 2
Farming under the sea? Meet Bren Smith, the ocean farming pioneer whose vertical kelp and shellfish farms can transform the way food is produced. As a commercial fisherman, Bren’s career was nearly wrecked by the crashing cod stocks in the North Atlantic; he then turned to oyster farming, just in time for catastrophic, climate-driven storms to show him there wasn’t a solid future in that, either. Unwilling to tether himself to land, he took the hard lessons learned and returned to the sea with a new method of restorative ocean farming. What he discovered is a way to produce large quantities of nutritious food that also fights the climate crisis, cleans the ocean, creates aquatic habitat and sustains his sea-going way of life.

Free SBIFF Filmmaker Seminars!

Posted by Larry Gleeson

 

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is once again offering free filmmaker seminars. In previous years, the seminars were held behind the Lobero Theatre.

 

 

This year, however, the conversations will be held outside at Casa de la Guerra located at 15 East De La Guerra Street in downtown Santa Barbara.

The topics reflect films and highlights from the various sections and sidebars programmed for this year’s festival.

 

Topic – Diversity
Thursday, March 3 – 11:00 AM

Topic – Women Filmmakers
Friday, March 4 – 11:00 AM

Topic – Independent Filmmakers
Monday, March 7 – 11:00 AM

Topic – The Future of Theaters (In this Age of Streaming)
Tuesday, March 8 – 11:00 AM

Topic – International Filmmaking
Wednesday, March 9 – 11:00 AM

Topic – Documentary Activism
Thursday, March 10 – 11:00 AM

Topic – How to Make a Great Short
Friday, March 11 – 11:00 AM

 

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.

 

(Sourced from SBIFF.org)

 

“Citizen Penn” Wants Ukraine Supported Against Russia

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Hollywood actor and producer Sean Penn visits positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces near the frontline with Russia-backed separatists in Donetsk region, Ukraine, on Nov. 18, 2021. Sean Penn came to Ukraine to shoot a film.
(Ukrainian Joint Forces Operation Press Service via AP)

 

Hollywood film humanitarian (Citizen Penn), Sean Penn, is smack-dab in the middle of the most dangerous region on the planet, the battlefields of Ukraine. As the Russian military apparatus surrounded and consequently invaded its western-looking, democratic neighbor, Penn was working in Ukraine on a documentary exploring “the consequences of Russian agression” for Vice Studios when hostilities were happening.

 

In a publicly issued statement, Penn declared,

Sean Penn is visiting Ukraine for a new documentary for Vice Studios on the consequences of Russian aggression. (Photo @AP)

“Already a brutal mistake of lives taken and hearts broken, and If he doesn’t relent, I believe Mr. Putin will have made a most horrible mistake for all of humankind…President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people have risen as historic symbols of courage and principle. Ukraine is the tip of the spear for the democratic embrace of dreams. If we allow it to fight alone, our soul as America is lost.”

 

Often characterized and stereotyped by early-career exploits of consistently making news headlines for punching cameramen, his political viewpoints, and marrying the world’s most recognizable pop star of the time, Madonna, Penn has diligently changed his image through extensive efforts to aid assistance to his fellow ‘man’ in war-torn, disaster laden, disaffected countries beginning in 2002 with the war in Iraq, adding a herculean Haitian earthquake response effort, and more recently expanding the availability  COVID-19 vaccines to 1.3 million disadvantaged and low-income Los Angeleans through his CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort). CORE emanated from Penn and international aid worker, Ann Lee’s experiences in their Haitian relief and recovery efforts.

In today’s LATimes article, “Actor Sean Penn wants U.S. to help rescue Ukraine from Russian invasion,” journalist Meg James expounds upon Penn’s efforts to reach out to Ukraine. Ukrainian citizens and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky lament the feelings of isolation as they fight for their freedom and the survival of their beloved Ukraine.

“America isn’t here. The European Union isn’t here,” a 24-year-old hotel employee in Kharkiv, Ukraine, named Alexander (he declined to give his last name)…So we’re fighting on our own.” Zelensky communicated that Ukraine needed more people like Penn and the true friends who support Ukraine’s struggle to maintain its freedom in the face of the Russian onslaught via a Facebook post, “Sean Penn demonstrates the courage that many others, including Western politicians, lack.

 

 

This afternoon, the German government announced a shipment of 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine “as quickly as possible.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a statement. “In this situation, it is our duty to help Ukraine, to the best of our ability, to defend itself against Vladimir Putin’s invading army.”

As reported in The Wrap, a recent petition by the Ukrainian government has called for producers, exhibitors, and world film festivals from screening and distributing Russian Federation cultural cinema and its distorted propaganda messaging. Russia has a long and storied cinema tradition of using the apparatus to further the ambitions of the federation. In recent years, several Russian films made their appearance at top world festivals.