Category Archives: #SBIFF

Outstanding Directors Announced for #SBIFF 2016

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In Santa Barbara, California, on Thursday, February 11, 2016 five Oscar-nominated directors will receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s (SBIFF) 2016 Outstanding Directors of the Year award.: Lenny Abrahamson, ROOM; Alejandro G. Iñárritu,THE REVENANT; Tom McCarthy, SPOTLIGHT; Adam McKay, THE BIG SHORT; and George Miller, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD.  They will each be celebrated individually for their films. The individual honors will be followed by a joint conversation between the directors about their craft and on the landscape of modern day filmmaking. The ceremony will take place at the historic Arlington Theatre. The evening is sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter. Click here for passes, ticket sales and/or more information.

Arlington

 

The Outstanding Directors of the Year award is given to directors not afraid to explore boundaries and push the envelope in the cinematic world.  They have a vision for the picture they want to present and then do so, with an expertise that happens to be both gracious and bold. Past recipients include Damien Chazelle (WHIPLASH), Richard Linklater (BOYHOOD), Bennett Miller (FOXCATCHER), Laura Poitras (CITIZENFOUR), Morten Tyldum (THE IMITATION GAME), David O. Russell (AMERICAN HUSTLE), Kathryn Bigelow (THE HURT LOCKER), and Danny Boyle (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE).

 

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SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling says, “These directors have each made their mark on the film canon and have solidified their standing as some of the best directors of our time. The fact that these films come on the heels of already illustrious and established careers makes this honor even more special.”

“The Directors Panel” completes this year’s panel line-up. SBIFF has become renowned for creating smart, insightful panels that feature a “who’s who” in the world of filmmaking, including many Oscar® contenders. The Panels are highly informative with wonderful interaction. Here’s an overview of the SBIFF 2016 panels:

The panel series begins on Saturday, February 6th with the “Movers and Shakers,” (Producers Panel), bringing together the industry’s most prolific producers to talk about current projects, hopes for the future of filmmaking, and insights into the creative process. Moderated by Los Angeles Times film writer Glenn Whipp.

That same day proceeds with “It Starts With the Script” (Screenwriters Panel), bringing together top writers to discuss their craft. The panel will be moderated by indieWIRE’s Anne Thompson.

On Saturday February 13, with Creative Forces: Women in the Business(Women’s Panel), moderated by Madelyn Hammond, President, Madelyn Hammond & Assoc., and Former Chief Marketing Officer for Variety. The Women’s Panel is sponsored by Brooks Institute.

For more information on tickets, passes and packages click here.

All panels take place at the Lobero Theatre, located at 33 E Canon Perdido St., in Santa Barbara.

 

 

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Montecito Award honoring Sylvester Stallone #SBIFF

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Sylvester Stallone is receiving the prestigious Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s (SBIFF) Montecito Award at the historic Santa Barbara Arlington Theatre on Thursday February 9, 2016 at 8:00 PM. Stallone will be honored for his critically acclaimed and Oscar nominated role in Ryan Coogler’s emotionally contoured boxing film Creed.

The Montecito Award is named after one of the most beautiful and stylish areas in Santa Barbara and is given to a person in the entertainment industry who has made a great contribution to film. Past recipients include Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey, Daniel Day-Lewis, Geoffrey Rush, Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet, Javier Bardem, Bill Condon, and Naomi Watts. Hennessy Paradis Imperial is presenting the award. Click here for tickets.

SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling had this to say about this year’s recipient:

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“Sylvester Stallone’s performance in Creed has reminded us of what a true talent he is and what a joy it is to share in his successes as the many beloved characters he has created.  Since he first hit the silver screen as Rocky Balboa nearly four decades ago, he has been a force in the industry both on film and behind the scenes.  He is a true legend in our field, and it is our privilege to present him with the Montecito Award, and to continue to honor his legacy.”

Stallone first established worldwide recognition as an actor and filmmaker when he starred in 1976’s “Rocky,” from his own screenplay.  Both a critical and box office hit, the film garnered 10 Academy Award nominations including Stallone for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay.  Most recently, Stallone received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for “Creed,” becoming only the sixth actor in Academy history to be nominated for playing the same role in two different films.

Stallone’s many film credits include the “Rocky” and “Rambo” films, “Copland,” “Tango & Cash,” “F.I.S.T.,” “Victory” and “Nighthawks.”

In addition to his extensive film career, Stallone is an accomplished artist, completing paintings on canvas as well as sculpture work.  He has had impressive exhibitions at Art Basil, The Russian State Museum and, most recently, at the Nice Museum of Contemporary Art in France.

The festival previously honored Jane Fonda (Youth) with its Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film and will honor Johnny Depp (Black Mass) with the Maltin Modern Master Award; Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams (Spotlight) with the American Riviera Award; and Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl, Ex Machina), Géza Röhrig (Son of Saul), Elizabeth Banks and Paul Dano (Love & Mercy), Joel Edgerton (Black Mass),  O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight Outta Compton) and Jacob Tremblay (Room), with its Virtuosos Award.

The Opening night film is Paramount Pictures in conjunction with On Animation Studio’s U.S. premiere of  “The Little Prince”. 

“The Little Prince” is based on Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s classic tale Le Petit Prince. Writers Irena Brignull and Bob Persichetti have created an original narrative interfused with elements of the novel.

 

The 2016 Santa Barbara International Film Festival Announces Line-up

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Above, Barbara Boros, left, of Barbara Boros Art and Design, stands next to Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Executive Director, Roger Durling, as they unveil the 31st edition’s banner during a press conference at the Hotel Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, California, January 12, 2016. (Photo Credit: Larry Gleeson)

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), presented by UGG, has released its highly-anticipated line-up for its 31st edition running from February 3rd through February 13th.

The festival will offer an array of films representing 60+ countries, 52 world premieres and 53 US premieres, including tributes with the year’s top talent, panel discussions, and free community education and outreach.

SBIFF 2016 will kick off on Wednesday, February 3rd, at the historic Arlington Theatre with the US Premiere of THE LITTLE PRINCE, directed by Mark Osborne and featuring the voices of Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Ricky Gervais, James Franco, Mackenzie Foy and Benicio Del Toro.  THE LITTLE PRINCE is based on the classic tale of the same name by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

For the complete line up visit: http://sbiff.org/

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.

THE TRIBUTES

SBIFF has become an important showcase for Academy-Award® front-runners, many of whom have arrived as nominees and gone on to win the Oscar.   The 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival proudly celebrates some of the year’s finest work in film.

The complete list of 2016 Honorees (in date order) is as follows:

  • Scott Cooper will present Johnny Depp with the esteemed Maltin Modern Master Award sponsored by UGG, moderated by longtime friend and film historian Leonard Maltin on Thursday, February 4th.
  • Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams will receive the American Riviera Award sponsored by Engel & Völkers on Friday, February 5th.
  • The 2016 Virtuosos Award sponsored by Travel + Leisure will be presented to Elizabeth Banks (LOVE & MERCY), Joel Edgerton (BLACK MASS), Paul Dano (LOVE & MERCY, YOUTH), Jacob Tremblay (ROOM), Alicia Vikander (THE DANISH GIRL, EX MACHINA), O’Shea Jackson Jr. (STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON) and Géza Röhrig (SON OF SAUL) in recognition of the year’s emerging film artists. The evening will be moderated by Dave Karger, Chief Correspondent and host of “The Frontrunners” on Fandango on Saturday, February 6th.
  • Brie Larson and Saoirse Ronan will receive the Outstanding Performers of the Year Award, moderated by Pete Hammond, on Monday, February 8th.
  • The Montecito Award will be Tuesday, February 9th and is sponsored by Hennessy. Honoree to be announced.
  • The Variety Artisans Awards will take place on Wednesday, February 10th and will be moderated by Variety’s Sr. VP Awards Editor, Tim Gray. Honorees to be announced.
  • The Outstanding Director of the Year Award sponsored by The Hollywood reporter will be Thursday, February 11th and will be moderated by THR’s Scott Feinberg. Honorees to be announced.
  • Rooney Mara will receive the Cinema Vanguard Award, presented to her by Cate Blanchett, on Saturday, February 12th.

For information on tickets, passes and packages click here.

All tributes take place at the historic Arlington Theatre, located at 1317 State Street, Santa Barbara, California (except the Variety Artisans Award which will be at the Lobero Theatre).

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A general view of atmosphere at the premiere screening of ‘McFarland, USA’ at the 30th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 7, 2015 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for The Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

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.

The panel series begins on Saturday, February 6th with the “Movers and Shakers,” (Producers Panel), bringing together the industry’s most prolific producers to talk about current projects, hopes for the future of filmmaking, and insights into the creative process. Moderated by Los Angeles Times film writer Glenn Whipp.

That same day proceeds with “It Starts With the Script” (Screenwriters Panel), bringing together top writers to discuss their craft. The panel will be moderated by indieWIRE’s Anne Thompson.

On Saturday February 13, with Creative Forces: Women in the Business (Women’s Panel), moderated by Madelyn Hammond, President, Madelyn Hammond & Assoc., and Former Chief Marketing Officer for Variety. The Women’s Panel is sponsored by Brooks Institute.

For more information on tickets, passes and packages click here.

All panels take place at the Lobero Theatre, located at 33 E Canon Perdido St., in Santa Barbara.

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HIGHLIGHTS & LOCAL OFFERINGS

Student Film Studies Program – Returning for its second year, the student film studies program will bring undergraduate film students from across the country for a three day symposium with a focus on film appreciation, criticism, and analysis. Students will have the opportunity to learn from notable industry professionals and get a behind-the-scenes look at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival through a unique mix of guided and self-guided opportunities, allowing students to customize the experience and benefit from all the Festival has to offer. Students will have access to screenings, panels, Q&A sessions, celebrity tribute events, and private sessions with filmmakers and media professionals in a classroom setting. Due to the generosity of Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin, the amount of students allowed has doubled and the program will be completely FREE including travel and lodging.

Free Public Screenings – Sponsored by Cox Business, SBIFF will again offer critically acclaimed films FREE to the public at the Lobero Theatre everyday throughout the Festival..

Seminars – SBIFF will again present educational seminars that will be FREE to the public and will take place in the Visit Santa Ynez Valley Lounge at the Engel & Völkers Pavilion throughout the Festival at 11:00am.

The Jury – Films in several of the Festival’s film categories are in competition. These categories are viewed by a hand selected group of industry professionals including: Sean Baker, James Morrison, Johannes Kuhnke, Neil Konigsberg, Margaret Lazarus, Geoffrey Cowper, Alan Marshall, Anthony Zerbe, Perry Lange, Mimi deGruy, and Phyllis de Picciotto. On the last day of the Festival, the award winning films will be announced at the annual SBIFF awards breakfast.

SBIFF Acquisitions Program – SBIFF presents the 5th Annual Acquisitions Program on the first weekend of the festival, February 5 – February 7.  Since it began five years ago, this weekend long event has grown significantly with a number of films from last year’s program going on to receive distribution. The program was created to allow the acquisitions community easy, industry-friendly access to films at SBIFF.

Super Silent Sunday – On Sunday February 7th, SBIFF will present a classic silent film at the Arlington Theatre completely FREE to the public.  Live accompaniment will be provided by Adam Aceto on the theatre’s Wonder Morton pipe organ, which is one of only five in existence, and is a unique opportunity to connect with the rich history of cinema.

Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies – More than a decade ago, SBIFF first introduced “Field Trip to the Movies,” the brainchild of renowned nature cinematographer Mike deGruy, whose passion for exploring and sharing those adventures with audiences through filmmaking was the inspiration for this fascinating and thought-provoking program.  Now renamed “Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies,” the goal of the program, which is offered to 4,000 5th and 6th grade students from throughout Santa Barbara County, is to use filmmaking to stimulate creative, confident and culturally aware thinkers and empower students and teachers with a novel approach to education.

AppleBox Family FilmsFREE family films on the weekends of the Festival. This year, SBIFF will screen Animated Feature front-runners Inside Out (10:00am Feb. 6), Minions (1:00pm Feb. 6), The Peanut Movie (10:00am Feb. 7), and The Good Dinosaur (10:00am Feb. 13) Sponsored by Cox, KPMR Univision, Metropolitan Theatres, MOXI, and Rincon Broadcasting.

Santa Barbara Filmmakers – The Santa Barbara filmmaking community provides a diverse, thought-provoking series of features and shorts. Their programs underscore the emerging talent of up-and-coming filmmakers as well as seasoned veterans, and will be part of the juried competition this year for the first time.

10-10-10 Student Screenwriting and Filmmaking Competition sponsored by Montecito Bank & Trust, Final Draft, and The Riordan Foundation. The Competition is comprised of 20 high school and college students chosen from 120 submissions. The filmmakers and screenwriters are then paired and they will then produce a 10-minute film during the 10 days of the Festival. On Tuesday, February 2 the 10-10-10 Press Conference will introduce the screenwriting and filmmaking finalists. On Saturday, February 13 at the Arlington Theatre, all ten completed films will be screened and the winners will be announced.

The Stand Up Award sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League – The Santa Barbara Tri-Counties Region of the Anti-Defamation League will be sponsoring and presenting the new ‘ADL Stand Up Award‘ to a dramatic film in the festival that represents an important addition to the efforts of the ADL “to secure justice and fair treatment for all.”  ADL has a one hundred year history of standing up to bigotry, hatred, and discrimination. The purpose of this award is to recognize and celebrate the impact that story telling can have in fostering mutual understanding and respect.

Irish Animated Short Films – Santa Barbara’s Irish sister city of Dingle will make a presentation of Ireland’s top animators at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. From The West Coast of Ireland, sitting along The Wild Atlantic Way, Dingle International Film Festival will bring its showcase of Irish Animation to The West Coast of America in California. The selection of animation films by Maurice Galway, Director Dingle IFF, includes some of the top names in animation here in Ireland today whilst also giving a nod to up-and-coming talent.

Santa Barbara Local Heroes: Documentary Shorts – Directed by Phyllis de Picciotto and Stan Roden, these sixteen short documentaries are inspired, guided and determined by the Santa Barbara Independent’s 30-year tradition of honoring Local Heroes. The 2015 Santa Barbara Local Heroes are: Diana Basehart, Dr. Joe Blum, Don Bushnell, Rodney Chow, Frank Goss, David Hopkins, Jimmy Jennings, Santa Barbara High School Don’s Net Cafe (Lee Ann Knodle), Irene Macias, Marcel Meier, Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, Suzanne Riordan, Santa Barbara Conservancy, Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol (Jan Martinez and Anthony Lombardi), Josette Tkacik, Friends of the Carpinteria Library (April Ueoka and Susan Williams). These short documentary portraits will screen periodically throughout the festival before the Santa Barbara Features/Shorts.

Youth CineMedia SBIFF presents a documentary film series produced entirely by teens involved in the Youth CineMedia program.  Striving to help children transition away from gang life, drugs and alcohol and into college and careers in music, photography and video production, the organization offers creative tools, training and support for underprivileged and at-risk teens.  Free to the public with Q&A following.

3RD Weekend – SBIFF will once again present “3RD Weekend,” which will feature the highlights of the 31st Festival for Santa Barbara residents.  The films will be screened throughout the weekend of February 19-21 at the Riviera Theatre.  Screenings are FREE and seating is available on a first come, first served basis.  Screening times will be posted sbiff.org in the days following Closing Night.

FILM CATEGORIES AND SIDEBARS

SBIFF features exciting, culturally enlightening, and entertaining programming and sidebars.  207+ films from around the world will be brought together to form an incredibly unique and diverse festival experience.

  • ABOVE AND BEYOND: A selection of exhilarating documentaries that capture the challenges of endurance sports as well as the adventure, beauty and thrills of the outdoors.
  • APPLEBOX: A series of free award-winning animated films for families.
  • CINEMATIC OVERTURES: A selection of films that showcase the world of performance including, music, theater and dance.
  • DOCUMENTARY: A selection of US and International documentaries.
  • GLOBAL HOLLYWOOD: A selection of documentaries that explore key figures from Hollywood history as well as the global dimensions of Hollywood.
  • INDEPENDENT: A selection of Independent feature films.
  • INTERNATIONAL: A selection of International feature films.
  • KOLNOA: A selection of feature films and documentaries that examine Israel from a variety of diverse historical, cultural and political perspectives.
  • NOIR: An international selection of neo-noirs filled with gritty underworlds, hard-boiled criminals, femme fatales and moral nihilists.
  • NORDIC: A selection of contemporary cinema from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.
  • REEL NATURE: A selection of natural history documentaries that highlight key issues facing the environment and wildlife.
  • SANTA BARBARA FEATURES: A selection of films from Santa Barbara filmmakers.
  • SCREEN CUISINE: An international selection of feature films and documentaries that examine the cultural layers of cuisine and craft spirits.
  • SOCIAL JUSTICE: A selection of international documentaries that address critical social justice issues, including activism, environmentalism, equality, freedom of speech and human rights.
  • SPANISH/LATIN AMERICA: A selection of Spanish language films from Spain and Latin America.
  • SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS: A selection of international award winning feature films and documentaries.

For the complete list of films, along with their descriptions and a preliminary screening schedule, visit www.sbiff.org. Please note that this is subject to change.

For more 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) from February 2nd through February 16th, 2016. Book by February 16, 2016.  Click here. Discounts are automatically applied. Restrictions apply. See site for details.

 

 

 

 

 

“The Little Prince” To Open 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival

 

Paramount Pictures in conjunction with On Animation Studio’s U.S. premiere of  “The Little Prince” is slated to open the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) at 8PM on February 3rd, 2016 at Santa Barbara’s historic Arlington Theater. The animated film’s star-studded cast features the voices of Jeff Bridges, Marion Cotillard, Bernicio Del Toro, Rachel McAdams, Mackenzie Foy, Ricky Gervais, Paul Rudd and James Franco. Click here for tickets, passes and packages.

The Opening Night Film + Gala is co-sponsored by Bella Vista Designs. “The Little Prince” is scheduled for theatrical release March 18, 2016.

“The Little Prince” is based on Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s classic tale Le Petit Prince. Writers Irena Brignull and Bob Persichetti have created an original narrative interfused with elements of the novel.

SBIFF Executive Director, Roger Durling, had this to say about  “The Little Prince:”

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(Photo Credit: The Santa Barbara Independent)

                   “Saint-Exupery’s novel is one of the most beloved works of the 2oth century. What Mark (Dir. Osborne) has done with this story is extraordinary and moving, and we think it provides a perfect tie-in to AppleBox, our free family screening program, and to the festival’s other philanthropic efforts. We are thrilled to have this film kick off our festival.”

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(Photo Courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

The festival’s 31st edition is scheduled to run from February 3rd through February 13th, 2016.  For more information on tickets, passes and packages click here.

If air travel is required, 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) from February 2nd through February 16th, 2016. Book by February 16, 2016.  Click here. Discounts are automatically applied. Restrictions apply. See site for details.

 

SBIFF Adds Second Group To 2016 Virtuosos

              Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) just announced Alicia Vikander, O’Shea Jackson, Jr. and Geza Rohrig as the second group of recipients for its 2016  Virtuoso Award. The Viruoso Award recognizes performers who have distinguished themselves through their film performances in the past year. Vikander has had a sizzling year with searing roles in the sci-fi thriller “Ex Machina,” the coming-of-age “Testament of Youth,” and in the groundbreaking transgender saga “The Danish Girl.”  O’Shea Jackson, Jr. is receiving accolades for his work in “Straight Outta Compton,”  while Geza Rohrig is being honored for his work in “Son of Saul.”

            In addition to the recently announced second group, SBIFF had previously announced Elizabeth Banks (“Love & Mercy,” ) Joel Edgerton (“Black Mass,” ), Paul Dano (“Love & Mercy,” & “Youth,” ) and Jacob Tremblay (“Room” ) would be honored for their respective work. Past recipients of the award include Ellar Coltrane, Rosamund Pike, Jared Leto, David Oyelowo, Eddie Redmayne, Rooney Mara, Brie Larson and Marion Cotillard. The award presentation is scheduled for February 6th, 2016, 8 PM, at the historic Arlington Theater in Santa Barbara.This year’s talented and diverse and talented honorees are being recognized for their overall career as well as their breakout year.

Festival Executive Director, Roger Durling, says, ““These performers have used their craft and respective roles to transport us through the varied lives of their characters. We have followed them along their artistic pursuits and are excited to join them in next steps of their journeys.”

 Click here for more information and for tickets

alicia-vikander-759(Alicia Vikander)

O'SheaJackson(O’Shea Jackson, Jr.)

GezaRohrig(Geza Rohrig )

elizabeth-banks-movies-wallpaper-1(Elizabeth Banks)

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(Joel Edgerton)

PaulDano

(Paul Dano)

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 9.56.23 PM(Jacob Tremblay with J.J. Abrams)

            If air travel is required, 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) from February 2nd through February 16th, 2016. Book by February 16, 2016.  Click here. Discounts are automatically applied. Restrictions apply. See site for details.

Rooney Mara Receiving SBIFF’s Cinema Vanguard Award

 

Actress Rooney Mara is set to receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s (SBIFF) prestigious Cinema Vanguard Award. The diminutive Rooney will join a notable group of honorees including last year’s recipients Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones.  Other recipients include Amy Adams, Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Kidman, Ryan Gossling and Stanley Tucci.

The award was created to recognize “actors who have forged their own path – taking artistic risks while making a significant and unique contribution to film.”

In 2012 Mara was nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for her work in The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo (2011).

SBIFF is recognizing Mara for her work in the recently released film Carol, a melodrama from acclaimed director Todd Haynes. Mara will receive the award from her co-star, Cate Blanchett, February 12, 2016 at the historic Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara, CA. For information on attending click here: Tickets

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Review: THE PEARL BUTTON

“The Pearl Button,” viewed as part of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival Showcase Series, is the follow up work by renowned Chilean writer/director and documentarian, Patricio Guzman. Much like his mesmerizing 2010 documentary, “Nostalgia for the Light,” “The Pearl Button,” starts out showcasing the brilliance and natural beauty of the Chilean night sky. Only this time Guzman juxtaposes it against the cool, sensual freshness of the land’s natural, cascading waterways. Gently, Guzman shifts gears and slips in interviews with the indigenous Chileans and learns of a cosmic edifying way of life through the eyes of the elder Kawesqars, the ancient water nomads of Patogonia. Romantic stories of 600 mile journeys along the coastal seascape in miniature paddle boats were relived as if they emanated from another time and space that couldn’t exist today. And for all intents and purposes, it doesn’t, except in the minds and lore of the elder Kawesqars. Due to modern shipping lanes and commercial fishing rights, the boat people are no longer allowed to freely travel. Many younger members would hardly know how. It seems the modern generation is so busy surviving that they have forgotten how to live.

The film comes in at a fast moving eight-two minutes. It is shot in color with minimal color correction that deftly enhances the strong cinematography provided by Katell Djian. Unsurprisingly, the look and feel of the shooting is similar to Nostalgia for the Light, as Djian worked both. Yet, there is more to both films than gorgeous night sky spectacles and rich, ripe waterways or vast, barren deserts. Both films call attention to the brutality of the Pinochet regime. Nostalgia for the Light, provides a beautiful segue into the search for disappeared bodies much like the Chilean government searches the sky for disappeared stars. In “The Pearl Button,” Guzman connects the cosmos and the essence of life to water calling to mind that humans ultimately evolved from aquatic life forms. And, the aquatic life forms sprang forth from a cosmic impulse detonated from a massive energetic collision resulting in the first precursor of life, water, entering into the planetary environment. Water is the essence of life. And it remembers.

However, as colonialism began to encroach, a new way of life emerged that was far different that the life the cosmos had revealed. Here Guzman indulges himself in a little Chilean lore of the legend of Jemmy Button. Jemmy Button was the representation of an ordinary indigenous Chilean. He was taken under the protection of a British naval officer in exchange for a fancy pearl button. The officer took Jemmy back to Britain and learned Jemmy the ways of a British gentlemen. Jemmy attended the finest school and was dressed accordingly and even given a respectable haircut. After a year Jemmy was returned to his family and community. He never fit in again and lived the rest of his days as an outsider.

Much can be made of the plight of Jemmy Button as Guzman uncovers and delivers another horrifying example of Pinochet’s brutal attack on dissidents. Unnervingly and in a manner akin to a medical coroner, a recreation of  how a body, not necessarily a corpse, would be disposed of seemingly without a trace. True to most crimes, however, an error occurred in the process and a body washed a shore eventually revealing another episodic disappearance of dissidents.  Most estimates agree that somewhere between 12,000 to 14,000 bodies were disposed into these once life giving waters. Nevertheless, Guzman finds optimism and hope for the future. During reclamation efforts, one of the instruments used to hasten the drowning and to keep the body submerged, was recovered without the typical barnacles attached. It was recovered with a pearl button attached.

Guzman, once again, proves himself a gifted, master storyteller with both earthly and cosmic sensibilities. Highly recommended.

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Maltin Modern Master Award

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(Photo credit: http://www.latino-review.com)

 

       Johnny Depp has been named this year’s recipient of the newly renamed Maltin Modern Master Award for the 31st annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF). Previously known as The Modern Master Award, it is the highest accolade presented by the SBIFF and is presented to “an individual who has enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry.”
       SBIFF Executive Director, Roger Durling, says, “Johnny Depp is a true embodiment of a modern master. He has had a long and storied career that has shown his commitment to taking on compelling and dynamic roles. But in the gripping film BLACK MASS under the skillful direction of Scott Cooper, Johnny Depp delivers his defining performance to date.”
       The award was renamed this year to honor the long-time, well known film critic, Leonard Maltin, who moderated the event for over 25 years and will be presented on Saturday, February 6th at Santa Barbara’s historic Arlington Theater. For more information on how to get tickets click here.

 

Santa Barbara International Film Festival

 

31st SBIFF

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

The 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival 

The 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival is set to open Wednesday February 3, 2016 and run through Saturday February 13, 2016. There will be 200 Films, Filmmaker Q&A’s, Panel Discussions, Celebrity Tributes,  Daily FREE Community Events, and  Educational Programs FOR ALL AGES.

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(Photo credit: Noozhawk.com)
Click here for more information: http://sbiff.org/