Category Archives: Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Delroy Lindo to receive the illustrious American Riviera Award at the 36th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Delroy Lindo is set to receive the illustrious American Riviera Award at the 36th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival, April 8, 2021, and will be recognized for his many attributes to the art of film over the years, most recently, for his work in Spike Lee’s DA 5 BLOODS from Netflix.

An emotional Roger Durling, SBIFF Director, on the red carpet speaking about the Opening Night Film ‘Diving Deep: The Life And Times Of Mike deGruy’ during 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the historic Arlington Theatre, January 31, 2019, in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

SBIFF’s Executive Director Roger Durling. said, “I’ve been a big fan of Delroy since I saw him on stage on August Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” in 1988. He’s one of cinema’s most indelible actors.  This is an overdue recognition,”

Delroy Lindo can currently be seen in Spike Lee’s critically acclaimed film Da 5 Bloods available on Netflix.  Lindo has had memorable roles in films such as The Cider House Rules; Heist; and previously garnered critical acclaim in a trio of films with director, Lee: Clockers; Crooklyn and Malcolm X. He’ll be seen next in the Netflix film, The Harder They Fall.

On TV, Lindo appeared for 4 seasons as Adrian Boseman in CBS’ The Good Fight.

He debuted on Broadway, in Master Harold and the Boys; received Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations, playing Herald Loomis in August Wilson’s, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone; and played Walter Lee in the Kennedy Center and Los Angeles productions of A Raisin in the Sun (Helen Hayes Award Nomination and NAACP Image Award, Best Actor).

Mr. Lindo has an Honorary Doctorate in Arts and Humanities from Virginia Union University; a BFA degree from San Francisco State University; and an MFA from New York University’s Gallatin School.

The American Riviera Award was established to recognize actors who have made a significant contribution to American Cinema. Previous recipients include Renée Zellweger, Viggo Mortenson, Sam Rockwell, Jeff Bridges, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Robert Redford, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Annette Bening, Sandra Bullock, Mickey Rourke, Tommy Lee Jones, Forrest Whitaker, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kevin Bacon and Diane Lane.

The 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG, will take place March 31st through April 10th, 2021, online and at two free ocean-front drive-in theatres. More information, festival passes, and tickets are available at www.sbiff.org.

Noteworthy Performances Dot 2021 Santa Barbara Virtuosos

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Kingsley Ben-Adir (One Night in Miami), Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), Sidney Flanigan (Never Rarely Sometimes Always), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), Tahar Rahim (The Mauritanian), and Zendaya (Malcolm & Marie) are set to receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival Virtuosos Award presented by UGG®, on Saturday, April 3rd, during the festival.

SANTA BARBARA, CA – FEBRUARY 05: Moderator Dave Karger, Sam Elliot, Steven Yeun, John David Washington, Thomasin McKenzie, Richard E. Grant, Claire Foy and Elsie Fisher speak onstage at the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 5, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for SBIFF)

The Virtuosos Award is an honor created to recognize a select group of talent whose noteworthy performances in film have elevated them into the national cinematic dialogue. The tribute will be moderated for the 11th year by Turner Classic Movies host and IMDb special correspondent host Dave Karger.

“Even though the movie industry was turned upside down in 2020, this year’s impressive—and international—roster of Virtuosos proves that there is still a great deal of exciting rising talent delivering wonderful work. I can’t wait to gather this phenomenal group and introduce them to the Santa Barbara audience,” says Dave Karger.

The last two year’s Virtuosos have included Awkwafina, Taron Egerton, Cynthia Erivo, Beanie Feldstein, Aldis Hodge, George MacKay, Florence Pugh, Taylor Russell, Yalitza Aparicio, Sam Elliott, Elsie Fisher, Claire Foy, Richard E. Grant, Thomasin McKenzie, John David Washington, and Steven Yeun.

The 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG, will take place March 31st through April 10th, 2021, online and at two free ocean-front drive-in theatres. More information, festival passes, and tickets are available at www.sbiff.org.

(Sourced from SBIFF news release)

Carey Mulligan getting SBIFF Cinema Vanguard Award

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Carey Mulligan is set to receive the Cinema Vanguard Award at the 36th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF). Mulligan will be honored on April 5th and will be recognized for her remarkable career and most recent performance in Focus Features’ dark comedy Promising Young Woman written, produced, and directed by Emerald Fennell (Killing Eve, The Crown).

Mulligan’s performance in Promising Young Woman has already garnered significant awards recognition, including Best Actress from the National Board of Review, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and over 20 national and regional critics groups around the country. She has also received nominations for Best Actress from the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild®, and the Critics’ Choice Association.

An emotional Roger Durling, SBIFF Director, on the red carpet speaking about the Opening Night Film ‘Diving Deep: The Life And Times Of Mike deGruy’ during 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the historic Arlington Theatre, January 31, 2019, in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling said, “I saw Mulligan on stage in 2008 in ‘The Seagull’—she was such a magnetic combination of fearlessness and vulnerability there, and she continues to instill awe in all of us.  She delivers her best work so far in Promising Young Woman.

In Promising Young Woman, nothing in Cassie’s (Mulligan) life is what it seems. Following a mysterious event that abruptly derailed her future, she lives a secret double life, until an unexpected encounter gives her the chance to right the wrongs of the past in what will surely be a day of reckoning for everyone.

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 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, Bernice Bejo, Nicole Kidman, Peter Sarsgaard, Christoph Waltz, Vera Farmiga, Kristin Scott Thomas, Stanley Tucci and Ryan Gosling.

The 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG, will take place March 31st through April 10th, 2021, online and at two free ocean-front drive-in theatres. More information, festival passes, and tickets are available at www.sbiff.org.

HollywoodGlee Speaks with INVISIBLE VALLEY filmmakers Aaron Maurer and Zachary McMillan

Posted by Larry Gleeson

This year’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival presented by UGG, will open on March 31, 2021, with Invisible Valley, showcasing the work of Director Aaron Maurer and Producer Zachary McMillan.

Invisible Valley is set in the Coachella Valley: world-renowned for its extravagant golf resorts, unmatched winter weather, and A-list celebrity music festivals, projecting an image of money, class, and fame. From its earliest days as a health resort and continuing through a century of rapid growth and expansion, the Valley has retained its richly earned status as one of the leading winter playgrounds in the U.S., and the most desirable golfing destinations in the world. A prime affluent-tourist magnet demands caviar standards of taste and excellence and the Coachella Valley delivers.

Yet this outward image of luxury and leisure masks another reality. Field workers – many of them undocumented – constitute a large part of the Valley’s population. Living outside the gates of success, these immigrants bear the burden of harvesting a large amount of our country’s food source. Second and third jobs are common, and when the vacationing season ends and the crops have been harvested, most families must uproot their children, and travel north for the next season’s harvest. Many workers sleep in their trucks or in the fields, while others struggle to ensure housing for their families. The disruption to the stability of these families has resulted in poverty and puts the children into a category of risk across the board.

Invisible Valley weaves together the disparate stories of undocumented farmworkers, wealthy snowbirds, and music festival-goers over the course of a year in California’s Coachella Valley.  In exploring the history as well its imperiled future, the film uncovers an imminent environmental and social crisis and the looming consequences for the people who call it home.

What follows is a question and answer (Q&A) session by film critic Larry Gleeson (“LG”) with Director Aaron Maurer (“AM”) and Producer Zachary McMillan (“ZM”) on the film, the actors, the filmmakers’ sensibilities on making the film, and the impactful discoveries they made extending across the State of California and into the County of Santa Barbara.

 

Q & A with Director Aaron Maurer and Producer Zachary McMillan

 

LG: What initially sparked the idea for this story?

AM: I first got involved when Zach approached me with an initial idea; let’s look at the residents of the Coachella Valley as ‘migrants’ traveling in and out through the seasons. The word ‘Migrant’ has taken on such a loaded meaning over the last few years especially, that simple reframing of the word was a really interesting place to start from and generated a lot of ideas and questions. I knew right away there was something worth digging deeper into. From that launching point, we were able to weave a lot of ideas together and find stories in the Valley that added a sense of humanity and emotion to the conceptual ideas.

LG: Why did you decide to focus the story around the Coachella Valley and the migrant underclass? 

 ZM: Aaron and I both grew up in the Midwest, in Minneapolis, which is known for its winters and is the habitat of quite a few Snowbirds – people who head to warmer climates during the coldest months. My mother-in-law, Mary Ingebrand-Pohlad, is one such Snowbird and has been going to the Palm Springs area for the greater part of her adult life. However, about a decade ago she read an advertisement on her church bulletin for a program called Read With Me in Palm Desert. She then volunteered in this literacy advocacy program and was amazed by how many students in the Valley came from migrant farm working families. Suddenly her eyes opened to a new world: one that had almost literally existed across the street from her own community. As she became more involved with the schools and became closer to the students and the teachers, she increasingly felt the desire to make a bigger impact, and eventually, this led her to think that a documentary could be the best medium to show the other side of a place that is world-renowned for its golf courses and music festivals. After she talked to me about this idea, I went exploring around the Valley, driving out to the unincorporated town of Mecca trying to meet people, talk to people and realized there was something fascinating, and fascinatingly complex, about the relationships that exist in that area… of course things change a bit when you bring cameras around. But we were lucky enough to meet incredible people who welcomed us into their lives, into their homes. It’s still almost staggering that they did this.

LG: How much research and preparation did you do before starting?

AM: This was our first documentary and it really was a trial by fire. We had no script, no outline even, it was just a matter of spending time in the communities of the Valley and getting as much footage as we could. There was little planning you could do in advance because you are working with migrant families who are living on the move and below the poverty line, they don’t always access to phone or internet. So, we needed to be there meeting people and making connections. Gradually ideas started to form around how this mosaic of people and themes could fit together.

LG: What most surprised you about the Coachella Valley and those featured in Invisible Valley?

 ZM: The Coachella Valley is an extreme place, and yet the most surprising thing for me was the day-to-day reality of those extremes. In the grocery store, when you think about how the food, how the produce and the vegetables actually arrived there in front of you, it is possible to imagine the fields, the labor, the picking, and the packaging that goes into it. It is possible but it is completely abstract. Spending time with families that actually do this work, waking up at four in the morning, getting to the bell pepper fields before sunrise, and working into the heat that gets up to 110, 120 degrees Fahrenheit, is surprising. It is surprising when, after that day of work, they would invite us home, make dinner, welcome us like family.

LG: What was a particular challenge you faced while making the film?

AM: The places where we received the most pushback were certainly from the farm owners. Some of the key imagery in the film is of the harvests and we didn’t get any footage of that until after a year of filming. There was a constant fear that we were coming to expose something, although that wasn’t our angle, there just wasn’t any trust there or interest in ‘helping’. Eventually, we made connections to some smaller farms that allowed us in and I’m so grateful we got to capture a bit of the reality of that work.

Why are documentary films so vitally important in today’s world?

ZM: Documentary as a genre is becoming more and more popular, and in turn more and more documentaries are going to be made. As a form, filmmakers will continue pushing what documentary “is” and what it can mean – pushing against what it means to be a nonfiction film – and this is an exciting time for any art form. I don’t know if documentary is specifically more important in today’s world than any other day’s world, but certainly with the heightened attention on it, substantive, thoughtful, challenging, expansive, or otherwise good documentaries are more important than ever

LG: How did you find and connect with the subjects you profiled in your film?

 ZM: It really took time and patience, and then more time. As complete outsiders to the East side of the Valley, we needed to just kind of hang around enough, for long enough, to alert people that we were more than tourists. We needed to meet people, engage with people, and earn people’s trust. One person might introduce us to another person, and then that would lead to another person, but almost all of this wouldn’t be filmed. Over time, we became friends, real friends, with people that lived and worked in the area, and that is when people began to open up a bit: by people vouching for us, lending us their credit. The school teachers Sky and Jose Gijon, Hernan Quintas, who became our field producer, were instrumental. And it wasn’t until we met Angelica Ortiz-Cichocki, our (brilliant and sensitive and nuanced) translator and language consultant, that the interviews really started to feel like a connection.

LG: What challenges did you experience filming in private community settings in an area that values privacy? 

AM: I’d say that most people were hesitant, at best, to be on camera. Between undocumented workers and extremely wealthy folks in the resorts, we had a lot of initial pushback. It took time to gain trust and it usually took a connection of some kind that we’d formed through meeting people along the way. The farmworkers and folks in the East valley, although hesitant at first, were very quick to warm up once they realized we were honestly interested in hearing their stories. By the end of the day, we’d be treated like an extended member of the family. That certainly wasn’t the case when filming at the resorts. There’s so many security, privacy issues, there’s a fear there that we were there to exploit something. And it was actually the opposite. One of our main goals was to not vilify anyone in the film, it’s easy to make rich people look bad if you’re contrasting them with poverty, but it’s a cheap shot. It’s not reflective of the real issues.

LG: Why are documentary films so vitally important in today’s world?

 ZM: Documentary as a genre is becoming more and more popular, and in turn, more and more documentaries are going to be made. As a form, filmmakers will continue pushing what documentary “is” and what it can mean – pushing against what it means to be a nonfiction film – and this is an exciting time for any art form. I don’t know if  documentary is specifically more important in today’s world than any other day’s world, but certainly, with the heightened attention on it, substantive, thoughtful, challenging, expansive, or otherwise good documentaries are more important than ever.

LG: What do you want viewers to learn from seeing your film?

AM: I hope people will be inspired to think differently about the communities around them they see as ”other”. It’s very easy for us to live in our own bubbles, social media and quarantine can amplify those echo chambers, but can also be tools for understanding our neighbors if used with the right intention. As human beings, we all have blinders on some of the time, how else could we get through the day? But it’s important to know they’re on and take them off every once in a while. Although sometimes it may not seem like it, we’re all on this journey together.

LG: What reaction to the film do you expect at SBIFF?

 ZM: There are so many parallels between the Coachella Valley and Santa Barbara and the neighboring areas. Almost all the people we spoke with moved up to more central or northern California as the seasons and the harvests changed. I expect people will see something very familiar in the film, but hopefully, it will spark conversations that come from seeing something from a different angle, in a different light, at a slant.

LG: What does it feel like to bring the film to SBIFF?

AM: It’s really exciting to open SBIFF, this project has been many years in the making so we’re thrilled to be able to start sharing it with audiences and believe Invisible Valley will really resonate with the community in Santa Barbara.

The 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG, will take place March 31st through April 10th, 2021, online and at two free ocean-front drive-in theatres. More information, festival passes, and tickets are available at www.sbiff.org.

Until next time, I look forward to seeing you at the drive-in!

Larry Gleeson at the Hollywood Drive-in Cinema in the heart of Hollywood, Calif., for the special screening of Philippe Lecote’s epic drama, Night of the Kings, Friday, January 8, 2021. (Photo by Valerie Rapalee)

(*Photos and intro material courtesy of Linda Brown, Indie-PR)

 

 

36TH SBIFF TO OPEN WITH THE WORLD PREMIERE OF “INVISIBLE VALLEY”

Posted by Larry Gleeson

36TH SBIFF TO OPEN WITH
THE WORLD PREMIERE OF “INVISIBLE VALLEY”
AND CLOSE WITH SANTA BARBARA
DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILMS

FESTIVAL TO PRESENT 47 WORLD PREMIERES
AND 37 U.S. PREMIERES

SCREENING ONLINE AND AT TWO FREE
OCEAN-FRONT DRIVE-IN THEATRES

The 2021 Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) will take on an entirely new look this year with the build-out of two state-of-the-art, beachside drive-in theaters sponsored by Toyota Mirai, where every film screening will be offered to the community for free, alongside a ticketed online component that will feature the entire film program in addition to SBIFF’s notable celebrity tributes, industry panels, and filmmaker Q&As.

 

SBIFF Director Roger Durling on the red carpet at the Opening Night Film ‘Diving Deep:The Life And Times Of Mike deGruy’ during 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the historic Arlington Theatre, January 31, 2019, in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

SBIFF’s Executive Director Roger Durling stated, “This year’s Festival will look different on many fronts, but we are unchanged when it comes to what’s most important: our love of film, and our dedication to bringing forward a program of unmatched quality and sharing it with our community. We are so excited to have the opportunity to be a source of joy and optimism.”

OPENING NIGHT

SBIFF 2021 will start with the Opening Night Film, presented by UGG®, on Wednesday, March 31, online and at both Drive-in theatres with the WORLD Premiere of INVISIBLE VALLEY directed by Aaron Maurer.

INVISIBLE VALLEY skillfully weaves together the seemingly disparate stories of undocumented farmworkers, wealthy snowbirds, and music festival-goers over the course of a year in California’s Coachella Valley. The intimate, on-the-ground profiles drive home the incongruity of the lifestyles that coexist in an affluent community. In exploring the history of the region as well as its future, the film uncovers an undercurrent of a looming ecological crisis threatening it all.

CLOSING NIGHT

Closing Night Film on Saturday, April 10, the spotlight is on Santa Barbara to highlight a series of short documentaries by local filmmakers. This distinctive selection of films covers a range of iconic people and places in the Santa Barbara area including the Chumash people’s annual trip to their historical village site, one woman’s journey to restore ecosystems with her flock of sheep, a local musician who received care and support from Hospice of Santa Barbara, the story of a community surviving 2020 through outdoor dancing, an artist who specializes in miniature diorama art, and a celebrated local roller-skating icon who sparked a community group known as the SB Rollers.

FREE OCEAN-FRONT DRIVE-IN THEATRES

Check out the schedule for the drive-ins. RSVPs for each film will open 24 hours in advance of showtime. Stay tuned for more!

 

SBIFF 2021 Announces Outstanding Directors of the Year Honorees – Chloé Zhao, David Fincher, Lee Isaac Chung and Thomas Vinterberg

Posted by Larry Gleeson

CHLOÉ ZHAO, DAVID FINCHER, LEE ISAAC CHUNG, AND THOMAS VINTERBERG

TO BE HONORED WITH THE OUTSTANDING DIRECTORS OF THE YEAR AWARD

AT 2021 SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

SANTA BARBARA, CA (Tuesday, March 23, 2021) – The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is thrilled to announce this year’s recipients of the Outstanding Directors of the Year Award, sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter. This honor was created to recognize a select group of directors who have pushed the boundaries in their storytelling and created films that showcase the art of filmmaking at its best. Chloé Zhao (Nomadland), David Fincher (Mank), Lee Isaac Chung (Minari), and Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round) will receive their awards and discuss their work on Tuesday, April 6th at 6:00 pm PST in a live-streamed event. The tribute will be moderated by The Hollywood Reporter’s longtime awards columnist and host of its popular Awards Chatter podcast, as well as a professor at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Scott Feinberg.

Get Tickets Here

SBIFF Director Roger Durling on the red carpet at the Opening Night Film ‘Diving Deep: The Life And Times Of Mike deGruy’ during 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the historic Arlington Theatre, January 31, 2019, in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

“In this past difficult year, these four exemplary storytellers showed us ways to dream and reevaluate our perception of the world at large. They’re all rewriting cinema history, and lucky for us to get to hear them converse with one another.” comments Roger Durling, SBIFF’s Executive Director.

 

Chloé Zhao is a Chinese writer, director, editor, and producer.  She was born in Beijing, raised there, and in Brighten, England.  After moving to the US, she studied Political Science at Mount Holyoke College and Film Production at NYU.  Her feature debut Songs My Brothers Taught Me premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for Best First Feature at the Independent Spirit Awards.  Her second feature, The Rider, premiered at Directors Fortnight at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and was awarded the Art Cinema Award as well as Best Feature Film at the 2018 Gotham Awards. Her most recent film Nomadland premiered at the 2020 Venice Film Festival and was awarded the Golden Lion. Chloé went on to win the Golden Globe award for Best Director in addition to the film winning for Best Picture – Drama and recently received 4 Oscar nominations, including Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Picture. Chloé wrote and directed Marvel Studios’ Eternals, which is expected to release November 5, 2021.

 

David Fincher directs movies, commercials, and music videos. He hopes that people like them, but if they don’t, it is not for lack of effort.

 

Lee Isaac Chung grew up in Lincoln, Arkansas, on a small farm in the Ozark Mountains. He is an award-winning writer and director. His first feature film was the Rwandan family drama Munyurangabo, which premiered at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival to great acclaim. His other feature films are Lucky Life and Abigail Harm. He received his BA in Biology at Yale University and his MFA in Film Studies at the University of Utah. He was awarded a USA Artist Ford Fellowship In 2012 for his work.

 

Thomas Vinterberg is one of Denmark’s most important, award-winning, and internationally celebrated directors. His latest effort was the large-scale, international drama Kursk (2019), about the Russian submarine tragedy in the year 2000. Another recent success of his, The Commune (2016), was selected for the main competition at the Berlin Film Festival and netted Trine Dyrholm, a Silver Bear for Best Actress. In 2012, Thomas Vinterberg won worldwide acclaim for this Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated drama The Hunt (2013), which also won Mads Mikkelsen the Award for Best Actor at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. Other notable works include the adaptation of the Thomas Hardy novel Far from the Madding Crowd (2015), which Matthias Schoenaerts and Carey; Dear Wendy (2005); and It’s All About Love (2003). Vinterberg got his international breakthrough in 1998 with Festen – the world’s first Dogme 95-film, which received several international awards, including the Cannes Jury Prize. Thomas Vinterberg made his feature debut with The Biggest Heroes (1996), after graduating from the National Film School of Denmark in 1993.

SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 23: Scott Feinberg and Bong Joon-ho onstage at the Outstanding Directors of the Year during the 35th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Arlington Theatre on January 23, 2020 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

The 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG, will take place March 31st through April 10th, 2021 online and at two free ocean-front drive-in theatres. More information, festival passes, and tickets are available at www.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 34 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States – attracting 95,000 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 many free educational programs and events. 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 Sunshine Sachs)

SBIFF’s Maltin Modern Master Award announced!

Posted by Larry Gleeson

BILL MURRAY
MALTIN MODERN MASTER AWARD
FRIDAY, APRIL 2, 2021
TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON

Academy Award-nominated actor and American film legend Bill Murray is set to receive the prestigious Maltin Modern Master Award at the 36th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Murray will be honored on Friday, April 2nd for his long-standing contributions to the film industry, most recently in the role of Felix Keane in Sofia Coppola’s ON THE ROCKS opposite Rashida Jones and Marlon Wayans, for which he received Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice nominations. Leonard Maltin will return for his 30th year to moderate the evening.

SANTA BARBARA, CA – FEBRUARY 02: Leonard Maltin and Glenn Close speak onstage at the Maltin Modern Master Award Honoring Glenn Close during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 2, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

“Bill Murray is one of a kind,” says Leonard Maltin. “He developed a comic persona early on that’s still as potent as ever, while expanding his reach and range as an actor. The boyish goofball in CADDYSHACK has become a playboy dad in ON THE ROCKS, with many dazzling and daring stops along the way. I have been an unabashed fan, from GHOSTBUSTERS to LOST IN TRANSLATION, so it is a privilege and honor to present Bill Murray with this year’s Maltin Modern Master Award.”

Murray, who received his first Academy Award nomination for Coppola’s LOST IN TRANSLATION in 2004, is also a six-time Golden Globe Award nominee, and a three-time Screen Actors Guild Award nominee. His iconic filmography includes roles in MEATBALLS, CADDYSHACK, STRIPES, TOOTSIE, GHOSTBUSTERS, THE RAZOR’S EDGE, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, SCROOGED, WHAT ABOUT BOB?, GROUNDHOG DAY, MAD DOG AND GLORY, ED WOOD, KINGPIN, WILD THINGS, RUSHMORE, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, LOST IN TRANSLATION, COFFEE AND CIGARETTES, THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU, BROKEN FLOWERS, THE DARJEELING LIMITED, FANTASTIC MR. FOX, GET LOW, MOONRISE KINGDOM, HYDE PARK ON HUDSON, THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, ST. VINCENT, ISLE OF DOGS, and THE DEAD DON’T DIE.

Murray, who is a comedy and acting icon, began his career in 1975 on the ABC Variety Show Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell. One year later, Murray joined the cast of NBC’s long-running and award-winning Saturday Night Live, which then was only in its second season. In 1979, Murray landed his first lead role in a feature film as Tripper Harrison in Harold Ramis’ MEATBALLS. He has gone on to star in nearly 70 feature films, for directors ranging from Jim Jarmusch and Wes Anderson, to Tim Burton and Frank Oz, Ivan Reitman and Peter and Bobby Farrelly, to Richard Donner and Sofia Coppola. His role in Coppola’s LOST IN TRANSLATION, opposite Scarlett Johansson, earned Murray a Screen Actors Guild nomination, a Golden Globe and BAFTA award, and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

In his latest role as Felix Keane in Coppola’s ON THE ROCKS, which made its world premiere at the 2020 New York Film Festival, Murray received some of the best reviews of his career. Mick LaSalle at the San Francisco Chronicle said, “Coppola brings out all of Murray’s many colors, sometimes all at once – his flippancy, his authority, his warmth, his isolation, his expressiveness, his inability to say everything he wants to say.” Johnny Oleksinski of the New York Post said, “in the pantheon of perfect Bill Murray roles – ‘Caddyshack,’ ‘Groundhog Day,’ ‘Lost In Translation’ – his smooth-talking character in the new comedy ‘On The Rocks’ ranks as one of the best.” Justin Chang at the Los Angeles Times wrote, “You see in Felix the deadpan anarchic streak that has made Murray a force in American comedy for decades.” Alonso Duralde at The Wrap wrote, “One suspects we will think of Murray’s work here alongside the likes of Bette Davis in All About Eve.”

ON THE ROCKS was released in Fall 2020 by Apple TV+ and A24, produced by Coppola and Youree Henley, and features an original screenplay by Coppola.

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 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.

The 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place March 31st through April 10th, 2021. More information as well as Festival passes and tickets, will be available in the coming weeks at www.sbiff.org.

 

SBIFF’s Montecito Award announced!

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Actress Amanda Seyfried will receive the Montecito Award at the 36th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF). Seyfried will be honored on Friday, April 9th, 2021, and will be recognized for her impressive career and performance in David Fincher’s MANK from Netflix, for which she recently received Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice nominations.

 

 

“Amanda gives one of the best performances of 2020 in “Mank,” and makes us do a double-take about her whole career. This is a defining moment for her, and a rediscovery for us,” comments SBIFF’s Executive Director Roger Durling.

SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling delivers introductory remarks at the 35th Santa Barbara International Film Festival on January 16th, 2020, at the historic Arlington Theatre, in Santa Barbara, Calif. (Photo by Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

 

The Montecito Award is named after one of the most beautiful and stylish areas in Santa Barbara. Past recipients include Lupita Nyong’o, Melissa McCarthy, Saoirse Ronan, Isabelle Huppert, Sylvester Stallone, Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey, Daniel Day-Lewis, Geoffrey Rush, Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet, Javier Bardem, Bill Condon, and Naomi Watts.

The 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place from March 31st through April 10th, 2021. More information, as well as Festival passes and tickets, will be available in the coming weeks at www.sbiff.org.

 

(Source: SBIFF News Release)

SBIFF’s Outstanding Performer of the Year announced!

Posted by Larry Gleeson

SACHA BARON COHEN
OUTSTANDING PERFORMER OF THE YEAR AWARD
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7, 2021
TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON

Sacha Baron Cohen will receive the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award at the 36th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Baron Cohen will be honored on Wednesday, April 7 for his critically acclaimed work in both Aaron Sorkin’s THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 from Netflix and BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM from Amazon Studios.

Roger Durling (photo by Clint Weisman Studio)

“In 2020, Mr. Cohen twice was able to capture our interest, our imagination as well as the zeitgeist. His work in both films is timely, urgent, and nuanced,” noted SBIFF’s Executive Director Roger Durling.

An Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and Golden Globe-winning actor, Sacha Baron Cohen is unmatched in his skills as a multi-hyphenate actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer. He is best known for his portrayal of iconic characters Ali G, Borat Sagdiyev, Brüno Gehard, Admiral General Aladeen, and Erran Morrad. Baron Cohen has also starred in Adam McKay’s TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBYMartin Scorsese’s HUGO, Tom Hooper’s LES MISÉRABLES, and Tim Burton’s SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET.

Most recently, Baron Cohen starred in two politically driven and emotionally resonate films. Among a brilliant ensemble of actors in Aaron Sorkin’s THE TRIAL OF CHICAGO 7, Baron Cohen shines as real-life yippie activist Abbie Hoffman. Critics hailed his performance noting he is “savvy and soulfully aware of his urgency” and that he “brought deep resonance” with his performance as Hoffman. Similarly, Baron Cohen returned as his iconic character, “Borat,” in the global hit satire BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime For Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, which he produced and co-wrote, and according to The New York Times’ AO Scott was “the best film of the year.” Additional critics declared Baron Cohen is “a brave comic genius, a new-age Peter Sellers” and “a master.”

Sacha Baron Cohen, above, named the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Outstanding Performer of the Year for his work in two socio-political films, The Chicago 7, and, Borat Subsequent Movie Film. The award will be presented on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. (Photo: LA Times)

“It’s an honor to be recognized and to stand in the company of such incredible past recipients,” said Baron Cohen. “I’m very grateful to Roger, SBIFF, and everyone who believes that cinema, whether drama or satire, can shine a light on injustice and bigotry and even provide a laugh or two along the way.”

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 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.

Margot Robbie, left, and Allison Janney, are introduced at the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award Tribute for the 2018 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, at the Arlington Theatre, in Santa Barbara, Calif. (Photo by Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

The 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place from March 31st through April 10th, 2021. More information, as well as Festival passes and tickets, will be available in the coming weeks at www.sbiff.org.

(From SBIFF news release)

 

SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL SHIFTS DATES TO MARCH 31 – APRIL 10, 2021

Posted By Larry Gleeson

SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES DATE SHIFT TO MARCH 31 – APRIL 10, 2021 FOR 36TH ANNUAL EVENT

SANTA BARBARA, CA (June 17, 2020) – The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), presented by UGG®, today announced a shift in dates for the 36th annual event, which will now take place from March 31 – April 10, 2021.

The festival, which typically occurs in January, has adjusted its 2021 dates in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the concern for the health and well-being of the community. This shift from the previously announced dates (January 27 – February 6, 2021) recognizes the impact the global pandemic has had on the film community and beyond.

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SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling.

“Like so many other prestigious ceremonies and events, we’ve had to adjust our plans in this extremely unprecedented era,” said SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “There has never been a more critical time to celebrate cinema and its ability to get us through extremely challenging circumstances, whether on a personal level or on a global scale, by keeping us entertained, informed and inspired.”

SBIFF will once again bring 200+ films featuring over 120 world and US premieres, industry panels, celebrity tributes, and educational and free community programs to Santa Barbara, with screenings and events held throughout the city, including the Arlington and Lobero Theatres.

Last year’s 35th annual festival included nightly tributes honoring artists including Brad Pitt, Renee Zellweger, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o, Laura Dern, Bong Joon-ho, Aldis Hodge, George MacKay, Cynthia Erivo, Beanie Feldstein, Taron Egerton, Awkwafina, Florence Pugh, Taylor Russell, and more.

For more information and to purchase tickets, festival passes, and packages, please visit www.sbiff.org.

*Featured photo: Writer/Director Vanessa Filho on the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival Red Carpet for the U.S. Premiere of Baby Face, starring Marion Cotillard and Ayline Aksoy-Etaix. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson)

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 35 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.

SBIFF continues its commitment to education and the community throughout many free educational programs and events. 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.

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(Source: Press release provided by Blair Bender, Sunshine Sachs)