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Santa Barbara is covering live from Santa Barbara with pictures and videos.
SBIFF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and education organization dedicated to making a positive impact utilizing the power of film. SBIFF is a year-round organization that is best known for its main film festival that takes place each year in February. Over the past 30 years the Santa Barbara International Film Festival has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States – attracting 90,000 attendees and offering 11days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums. We bring the best of independent and international cinema to Santa Barbara, and we continue to expand our year-round operation to include a wide range of educational programming, fulfilling our mission to engage, enrich and inspire our community through film.

In June 2016, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre. The theatre is SBIFF’s new home and is the catalyst for our program expansion. This marks the first time that Santa Barbara has had a 24/7 community center focused on the art of film and is an incredible opportunity to expand our mission of educational outreach. Particularly important to SBIFF is making available high quality learning opportunities for underserved and vulnerable populations. Our programs and reach are more robust than ever before.


Generation "П" (GENERATION P, 2011) at SBIFF 2012!


Generation "П" (GENERATION P, 2011) will screen today, January 27th at the 27th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, SBIFF 2012. 

Based on the book by Russian writer Victor Pelevin, the film is directed by American/Russian director Victor Ginzburg. The film is about Babylen Tatarsky, a copywriter for a major advertising company in the late 90’s in
Post-Soviet Russia. Babylen is put to the test by the advertising firm to find the 'new Russian identity'. Well, what seemed an easy task turns an impossible one. A culture that once turned to great literature for such an identity is now subject to extreme commercialism and consumerism where the main 'literature' being read by the masses today is one-liner copywritten ads. Nevertheless, Babylen is a writer in the truest sense and like all those Russian greats that came before, he must look to the past to create the ideal for the future. So where does he go? …to ancient Mesopotamia. And how does he do it?.. with hallucinogenic mushrooms, cocaine, and vodka and a Ouija board with an image of Che Guevera on it!!!

While many viewers were blown away by the film’s novel story-telling technique of jumping frantically in time from present to past to future to ancient history and back again to present, others walked out of the theater with a blank look on their face, saying things like: ‘I think you have to be Russian to get this film!’ Well, to each his own, and to my own I say: ‘How much more universal can you get?’

Here you have Russia, a country that in history once held one of the strongest national identities in the world. Today, over two decades after the fall of Communism, modern Russians struggle to find new beliefs and come to terms with living sans national identity/collective unconscious. But is this just taking place in Russia? No, this is a worldwide issue. People all over the world presently straddle the mouth of the abyss of extreme materialism and loss of a sense of a meaning in life. Where religions and politics once offered meaning and identity for people in the past, many of these have died like the shedding aged skin of a snake leaving only new skin exposed and unprotected and unprepared to the world’s threatening elements. So where do we go now? In a world full of dated myths and ever increasing loss of meaning, where can we turn now? Can the world live without a collective unconscious or (as in the case of this film) in a world without a national identity? Can humanity survive extreme individualism where everyone is out for herself/himself? Is life just meaningless chaos? Or is there something eternal driving us all, something uniting us making us part of a whole rather than separate from one another? An underlying meaning of life inside the core of all humanity from which we can draw our strength and collective identity? And (in GENERATION P), can Babylen Tatarsky find the truth to Russia’s new national identity?


-Written by Vanessa McMahon 




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The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has star wattage and a wealth of premieres in a Mediterrean-style city by the sea.

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Carol Marshall, Felicia Tomasko, Vanessa McMahon, Marla and Mark Hamperin, Kim Deisler and Bruno Chatelin

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