Tag Archives: Santa Barbara

Mark Wahlberg and Partriots Day Wrap Up 2016 AFI FEST

Closing down this year’s American Film Institutes Film Festival (AFI FEST) presented by Audi on Thursday, November 17th, it’s not so difficult to imagine what might have been had it not been for extraordinary efforts of first-responders, law enforcement and investigators alike in Boston, Mass. Patriots Day, the closing night film, brought to the big screen the story of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings from several different angles and drew an at-capacity crowd at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

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Patriots Day star actor Mark Wahlberg, left, along with the film’s director, Peter Berg, right, posing on the red carpet at the TCL Chinese Theatre before the screening of Patriots Day as the AFI FEST 2016’s Closing Night film. (Photo credit: The Hollywood Reporter)

Afterwards, Director Peter Berg and star actor Mark Wahlberg called several of the film’s real life heroes down on stage for a rousing standing ovation. They included one of the civilian victims of the bombings, Patrick  Downes;  Dun Meng, the young Chinese man who escaped his captors and alerted police to the whereabouts of the bombers; Boston Police Department Commissioner Ed Davis (played in the film by John Goodman); FBI Special Agent In Charge Richard DesLauriers (played by Kevin Bacon); and Watertown Police Sgt. Jeffrey Puglisese (played by J.K. Simmons).

The night before lead actress Annette Bening sat with director Lisa Cholodenko on the TCL Chinese Theater for a warm and heartfelt conversation before the screening of Writer/Director Mike Mills’ dramedy, 20th Century Women, a story of three women and a make-shift extended family in Santa Barbara during the late 1970’s.

I can honestly say I didn’t see a bad film at AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi.

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Oulaya Amamra as Dounia (pictured above) in Houda Benyamina’s Divines picked up this year’s New Auteurs Special Jury Mention for Acting. (Photo via geekgirlauthority.com)

Divines , from Houda Benyamina, carted off several winner awards, including the Breakthrough Audience Award, New Auteurs Audience Award, and New Auteurs Special Jury Mention for Acting, Oulaya Amamra. Other favorite films reviewed by HollywoodGlee included Fraud, Jackie, Mifune: The Last Samurai, and Citizen Kane.

Interestingly, this year’s festival opened wide the gates for virtual reality (VR) filmmaking. In addition to several presentations and an extended display of short films complete with VR technology, Anthony Blatt, Co-Founder of Wevr, kicked off the State of the Art Technology Showcase Presented by Google Spotlight Stories as the Keynote Speaker with his enthusiastic remarks on the world of virtual reality in present time.

All in all, this 30th edition of the AFI Film Festival – Hollywood program included a whopping 118 films (79 features, 39 shorts) representing 46 countries, including 33 films directed/co-directed by women, 11 documentaries and 12 animated short films.

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

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(Photo courtesy of Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)
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CLOSET MONSTER

A fresh take on the coming-of-age story, this surreal tale follows the artistically driven Oscar (AMERICAN CRIME’s Connor Jessup) hovering on the brink of adulthood. Struggling to find his place in the world after a rough childhood and haunted by images of a tragic incident, Oscar dreams of escaping his small town. After he meets a mysterious and attractive new co-worker, Oscar follows the guidance of his pet hamster Buffy (voiced by Isabella Rossellini) and faces his demons to find the life he wants.

closet-monster

CLOSET MONSTER

Written & Directed

by

Stephen Dunn

Starring:

Connor Jessup, Aaron Abrams, Joanne Kelly, Aliocha Schneider,
Sofia Banzhaf, Jack Fulton, Mary Walsh, Isabella Rossellini

Country of Origin: Canada

 Running Time: 90 min

 

 

 

Screening at the Riviera Theater, 2044 Alameda Padre Serra, Santa Barbara, CA

Showtimes:

Sunday October 16 @ 2:00pm
Monday October 17 @ 7:30pm
Tuesday October 18 @ 5:00pm
Wednesday October 19 @ 7:30pm

Get Tickets Here

“An accomplished, courageous debut”
– Harry Windsor, The Hollywood Reporter

“A most auspicious debut.”
– Dennis Harvey, Variety

“A highly original spin on the coming-of-age drama”
– Wendy Ide, Screen Daily

“There’s always a new coming-of-age drama, but ‘Closet Monster’ is great, we swear.”
– Chuck Wilson, The Village Voice

(Source: sbiff.org)

Annette Bening to Be Honored at AFI FEST 2016

The American Film Institute (AFI) announced that AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi will honor actress Annette Bening with a Tribute and Centerpiece Gala screening at the festival.

The Tribute will celebrate her extraordinary career and will include a conversation with the actress followed by A24 and Annapurna Pictures’ 20TH CENTURY WOMEN (DIR Mike Mills) on Wednesday, November 16.

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Jacqueline Lyanga, AFI Fest President (Photo credit: Indiewire)

“Annette Bening is a modern-day icon of American cinema,” said Jacqueline Lyanga, AFI FEST Director. “She brings her characters to life with an emotional intelligence that is luminous and powerful. In 20TH CENTURY WOMEN, she finds one of her richest roles yet, delivering a strong performance that anchors the film’s terrific ensemble cast.”

Bening is a four-time Academy Award® nominee for her indelible performances in THE GRIFTERS (1990), AMERICAN BEAUTY (1999), BEING JULIA (2004) and THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (2010). Her other credits include VALMONT (1989), BUGSY (1991), THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT (1995), GINGER & ROSA (2012) and AFI FEST 2016 Opening Night film RULES DON’T APPLY (2016). She has won BAFTA, Golden Globe and SAG Awards, and garnered Emmy® and Tony® nominations for her television and stage work, respectively.

Mike Mills’ 20TH CENTURY WOMEN, set in Santa Barbara 1979, follows Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening), a determined single mother in her mid-50s who is raising her adolescent son Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) at a moment brimming with cultural change and rebellion. When Dorothea enlists the help of two younger women in Jamie’s upbringing — free-spirited punk artist Abbie (Greta Gerwig) and savvy, provocative teen neighbor Julie (Elle Fanning) — a makeshift family forms that will mystify and inspire them for the rest of their lives.

The Opening Night Gala will be the World Premiere of RULES DON’T APPLY (DIR Warren Beatty) on Thursday, November 10. Isabelle Huppert will be honored with a Tribute on Sunday, November 13, followed by a Centerpiece Gala screening of ELLE (DIR Paul Verhoeven).

In celebration of the 30th edition of the festival, a trio of diverse female trailblazers are featured in both the festival’s 2016 key art and programming lineup. AFI FEST will spotlight Dorothy Dandridge, the first African American nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award®; Ida Lupino, a pioneering director, writer, producer and actress who became the first woman to direct a film noir; and Anna May Wong, the first Chinese-American actress to rise to international prominence.

(Source.www.blog.afi.com)

#SBIFF ANNOUNCES NEW HOME

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has found a new home: the historic Riviera Theatre. The Riviera Theatre will allow SBIFF to expand their current slate of education programs, preserve an important historic landmark, and create a cultural hub for all things film.

The decision to make the Riviera the new home was unanimously approved by SBIFF’s Board of Directors in March 2016. The lease was negotiated by SBIFF Board president Mark Scher and board members Bob Brada and Eric Phillips, Jeff Barbakow with Michael Towbes and the Towbes Group, coinciding with the Group’s 60th anniversary.

“As we enter our 32nd year, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival has cemented itself as a part of our great city’s history” stated Mark Scher, President of SBIFF and owner of the Scher Investment Group. “We believe a long-term home at the Riviera Theatre is a pivotal point in the evolution of SBIFF and will allow us the opportunity to greatly expand our programming and bring a real cultural center for film to the Santa Barbara Community.  I couldn’t be more thrilled for SBIFF and the City of Santa Barbara.”

At the heart of SBIFF’s mission is education, and through its programs its staff is able to seek to engage, enrich, and inspire people through film. The Riviera as the new home will allow for expansion in the current programs and the ability to implement new ones, and to ultimately better serve the Santa Barbara community on a year-round basis.

The new theater allows service to more underserved youth and families through programs such as AppleBox Family Films and Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies. Other programs will continue at the Riviera Theatre, including three year-round programs: Cinema Society (an exclusive membership program), the Rosebud Program for Film Students (a program for local college students), and the Wave Film Festival (the mini film festival which will be increased to three times per year). The Showcase, which features innovative independent films, will move to the Riviera from its current location Plaza de Oro.

Renovations will transform the Riviera into a state of the art movie theater, and a cultural hub for all things film. The renovations will include new seats, acoustical upgrades, improved ventilation, structural fixes, enhanced lighting, a new screen and projection system, and a state of the art sound system.

“We are very excited to provide this new home for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Riviera Theatre”, stated Michael Towbes, Chairman of The Towbes Group. “Over the years we have brought the Riviera campus to an entirely new quality level.  The historic significance of the campus, dating back to its locating on the Riviera in 1913, makes it a very special place for me and the Santa Barbara community.  The upgrades which SBIFF plans to make to the theatre will complete the campus improvements which we began some 40 years ago.  They will greatly enhance the audience experience and honor the legacy of the building.”

SBIFF will continue to provide quality, year-round arts education, provide access to independent and international cinema, and celebrate, nurture, and promote the art of storytelling, as well as the storytellers themselves. Its programs will continue to evoke inspiration and creativity, and will stimulate civic discourse, engagement and exploration.

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

About the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. SBIFF offers 11 days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums that transforms beautiful downtown Santa Barbara, CA into a rich destination for film lovers which attract more than 90,000 attendees.

SBIFF continues its commitment to education and the community through free programs like its 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting Competitions, Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies, National Film Studies Program, AppleBox Family Films, 3rd Weekend and educational seminars. In recent years SBIFF has expanded its year round presence with regular screenings and Q&As with programs like Cinema Society, The Showcase and its Wave Film Festivals.

(Source: Press Release provided by Jackson Gibbon, Sunshine Sachs)

#SBIFF’s “The Wave” Film Festival Returns

SANTA BARBARA, CA (March 2016) – The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) has confirmed the dates for the next two editions of the “Wave Film Festival”. The first segment will run from Wednesday, May 11th through Sunday, May 15th, and will highlight new Pan-Asian films. The second segment will run from Wednesday, July 13th through Sunday, July 17th, and will highlight new French films. Each Wave Festival will take place at the historic Riviera Theater.

“With increasingly diverse lineups each year, The Wave has become a pivotal tradition of SBIFF,” stated Mickey Duzdevich, director of the Wave Film Festival. “The Pan-Asian and French film canons are filled with countless classics, and we have no doubt that this year’s lineup will continue to dazzle and inspire audiences.”

In addition, SBIFF has announced Wednesday, February 1st through Saturday, February 11th as the dates for the 32nd annual festival.

“Though we are just wrapping up this year’s festival, we are already looking forward to what 2017 has in store for us in Santa Barbara” said Roger Durling, Executive Director of SBIFF. “We are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished thus far, and we plan to make our 32nd installment the best festival yet.”

In addition to screening numerous films over the years, including countless US and World Premieres, SBIFF is known for programs such as the prestigious Tribute honor which counts Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Alicia Vikander, Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Sylvester Stallone among recipients, and the acclaimed Panel Series, where accomplished industry guests come together for lively and revealing discussions, which make the festival a key stop in the award season race.

Passes and tickets for each wave will be available once the lineup is announced. SBIFF passes are offered at 25% off beginning August 1st.

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

About the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. SBIFF offers 11 days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums that transforms beautiful downtown Santa Barbara, CA into a rich destination for film lovers which attract more than 90,000 attendees.

SBIFF continues its commitment to education and the community through free programs like its 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting Competitions, Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies, National Film Studies Program, AppleBox Family Films, 3rd Weekend and educational seminars. In recent years SBIFF has expanded its year round presence with regular screenings and Q&As with programs like Cinema Society, The Showcase and its Wave Film Festivals.

(Press release courtesy of SBIFF Press Office)

31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2016 Press Conference #SBIFF

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Don’t miss this! We’re three days away from the opening of the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Here’s an insider’s guide as Santa Barbara Mayor, Helene Schneider, kicks off #SBIFF 2016 Press Conference at Hotel Santa Barbara, local artist, Barbara Boros of Barbara Boros Art and Design, unveils the 2016 official poster while Executive Director Roger Durling provides a run-down of this year’s 31st edition of the festival. Tune in and afterwards check out the links below.

Helpful links to make your experience at the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival one to remember: