Tag Archives: Master Filmmaking

2016 #SBIFF Draws To A Close

Last night the 31st edition of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) drew to a close at the historic Arlington Theater in Santa Barbara. Festival Director Roger Durling welcomed and expressed his gratitude to the festival’s Board of Directors and to everyone who came out and supported the 200+ films and all the filmmakers from around the world. And, without missing a beat, Durling demonstrated his appreciation for the 700+ volunteers who provide additional support to his staff during the eleven day cinema celebration saying, “We couldn’t do it without the support of our volunteers…I salute you.”

(Photo Credit: William Conlin, YDL Digital Film)

The closing night film, Marguerite, started with a subtitles glitch. After a restart and a technical adjustment the film ran in its entirety and proved to be a crowd pleaser.

Next weekend several popular festival films are screened for the public free of charge at the scenic Riviera Theatre as part of the festival’s 3rd Weekend. Admission to the 3rd Weekend is on a first come first served basis. Here is a listing of films showing:


Fri Feb 19 – 5:00 PM – Talion – Winner of the Nueva Vision Award for Spanish/Latin American Cinema
Fri Feb 19 – 7:30 PM – Mammal – Winner of the Panavision Independent Spirit Award
Fri Feb 19 – 9:30 PM – Award Winning Shorts (Graffiti, Lebanon Wins the World Cup, The Orchestra)

Sat Feb 20 – 11:00 AM – Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt – Winner of the Best Documentary Award
Sat Feb 20 – 2:00 PM – Viva – Winner of the ADL Stand-up Award
Sat Feb 20 – 5:00 PM – Ville-Marie – Winner of the Best International Film Award
Sat Feb 20 – 7:30 PM – The Culpable – Winner of the Audience Choice Award
Sat Feb 20 – 9:30 PM – Crossing Bhutan

Sun Feb 21 – 11:00 AM – 10 Billion: What’s on Your Plate? – Winner of the Social Justice Award
Sun Feb 21 – 2:00 PM – TBD
Sun Feb 21 – 5:00 PM – Harold and Lilian: A Hollywood Love Story
Sun Feb 21 – 7:30 PM – Bad Seeds


In addition, the festival is actively engaged throughout the year with its weekly Showcase Series and additional screenings with Q & A’s through Cinema Society and the SBIFF Wave Festivals.  One of the tenants to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival is giving back to the community and showcasing the art of film through it’s various outreach programming including its 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting Competitions, Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies, National Film Studies Program, AppleBox Family Films, and its educational seminars.

Patrons of the AppleBox Family Films at the Arlington Theater, on February 6th, 2016. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson)

Keep in mind, it’s only 364 days until the 2017 Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s 32nd edition. Until then….I’ll see you at the movies!

(Source: Santa Barbara International Film Festival)


Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Michael Albright Moderates Documentary Filmmakers Seminar

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) Film Studies Program filled the Engels and Volkers Pavilion on Friday, February 5th, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. for Documentary Filmmakers. Documentary Filmmakers was the second topic in the *Free Admission Filmmakers Series following yesterday’s Conversation with Mark Osborne, Director of The Little Prince (SBIFF’s Opening Night Film). The Filmmakers Seminar will resume on Monday, February 8th with Social Justice Documentaries.

SBIFF Programming Director, Michael Albright, a Santa Barbara City College Associate Film Studies Professor of Documentary Film, moderated a widely diverse, yet talented panel of documentary filmmakers this morning at the Engels and Volkers Pavilion as part of the SBIFF *Free Admission Filmmakers Seminars before an audience including many students in the Santa Barbara City College Film Studies Film Festival Course and several participants from the SBIFF Film Studies Program as well as a throng of Santa Barbara community filmmakers.

The panel was comprised of Jeff Bowden, Executive Producer, A Single Frame; Jeffrey Brown, Producer/Director, Vinyl Generation; Lilibet Foster, Director, Writer, Producer, Be Here Now (The Andy Whitfield Story); Laura Gabbert, Director, City of God; and, Leanne Pooley, Director, 25 April. The films are screening during the festival. Visit the festival site for a complete, up-to-date film schedule: http://sbiff.org/

Albright introduced the participants to the audience and proceeded to politely ask the panel members to introduce themselves respectively. Jeff Bowden started revealing the inspiration behind his film – a photograph given to him by his daughter. It wasn’t just a photograph, however. The photo was hanging in a War Photo Limited gallery in Dubrovnik, Croatia when War Photo was exhibiting work by female photographers. Among the cataclysmic cover photos of bombed out buildings and incinerated automobiles was the face of an Albanian boy with an expression Bowden has carried with him ever since. In an effort to uncover the boy’s identity, Bowden embarked upon a journey that has inckuded six trips to Kosovo and has culminated in A Single Frame.

Next, Jeffrey Brown, a veteran filmmaker with over 20 films including a number of award-winning global features and documentaries. His latest work Vinyl Generation, examines the influence a renewed interest in vinyl LP’s had on Czech Generation X during the 1980’s.

Picking it up, Academy Award Nominated and multi-award winning filmmaker Lilibet Foster captured the moment as she shared her emotional, heartfelt journey in capturing the wrenching saga, Be Here Now (The Andy Whitfield Story).

Not one to sit idly by, Laura Gabbert, grabbed a hold of the microphone and mesmerized the audience with her shot description showcasing the City of Angels – Los Angeles, California – in City of God, her expose of flamboyantly Old World, Pulitzer Prize winning food critic, Jonathan Gold.  The film premiered at Sundance 2015 and was picked up by IFC/Sundance Selects and is slated for a March 2016 theatrical release. Also, Gabbert received her MFA from the UCLA School of Theater, Television and Film.

Wrapping up the introductions was Leanne Poooley, a New Zealand filmmaker with over 20 films under her belt including her the recent 25 April,  an animated excursion into a retelling of the bloody and ill-fated Gallipoli campaign form the annals of World War I.

Seemingly, such an extraordinary self-described introduction would have been satisfactorily enough for most audiences. Albright, however, with a keen sense of his audience demographic, peppered the panel with intelligent questions to draw out the inner workings of these successful, highly charged filmmakers. For example, how do you as filmmakers balance creativity with financial realities? It appeared as though a strong illumination surrounded the group as the response button was activated immediately after the question left Albright’s lips. Answers varied from panelist to panelist eventually segueing into narrative structure, storytelling versus topical material, film distribution channels, production, post-production and the ensuing miracle inherent to the magic of filmmaking. And, what started out as a Filmmaking Seminar on Documentary Film morphed into a master filmmaking class running the gamut from the inspirational spark to finished product. Stay tuned!

Until next time….I’ll see you at the movies.