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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.


Interview with the team of James vs his future self




By Emmanuel Itier and Roxanna Bina



What if, one day, as you seat in a taxi minding your own business a version of yourself from the Future is about to confront you!? Well, this is the beginning of the new time travel mind explosive journey directed by Jeremy LaLonde. In the lead is actor Jonas Chernick who wrote and produced with Jeremy this fantastic independent feature to be released soon all over the USA and Canada…and in a close “future” all over the World! Before they embark on their take-over of the world screens we took an interview break with Jeremy and Jonas. Fasten your mind belt and be ready for a leap into time…


Q: Tell me about the genesis of this film and how it came together?


Jonas: Jeremy and I both live and work in Toronto, Canada. But we actually met in 2013 at the Santa Barbara film festival. We were each there with our own film. Jeremy’s film was called ‘Sex After Kids’ and mine was ‘My Awkward Sexual Adventure’! So it was funny when we got introduced to each other: “Hey! You’re the Canadian who made a sex comedy!”. And from there we develop a new found friendship and we started to exchange ideas and read each other scripts. I even tricked him to put me as an actor in his 2015 movie: ‘How to plan an orgy in a small town’. At this time Jeremy was also trying to figure out a sci-fi comedy concept for a feature. And, funny enough, I had this idea of a man being tortured by his self from the Future. And the rest is history. We came up very quickly with a script and went onto putting together the financing…


Q: Tell me more about the casting and the choice of Daniel Stern (‘Home Alone’, ‘City Slickers’…) as the self of the Future!?


Jeremy: First, Jonas pushed me to hire me in the lead! Haha! What is interesting is that, at first, we thought Jonas would play the older self from the Future. But actually, as we rewrote the script, we realized the “young” James should be in his 20’s and the self of the Future much older. Usually this is in your 20’s that you start really facing some challenges with family and career choices. So we thought this was a much more interesting choice. And the name of Daniel Stern was an obvious choice for us as he is such an iconic actor and a good name for sales. What is also funny is that Daniel is much in line with what Jonas is, as an actor. They could be related in real life.


Q: Tell me about the themes you want to explore with this film.


Jeremy: Well, first we want to apologize to people who expect a real sci-fi movie when really it is quite geeky and much more a comedy. And it’s funny we did a movie about time travel that takes place entirely in the present time. For us it’s important to talk about the present because I feel we all are obsessed about the future and where we’re going or where we might go. And we end up missing the present moment. It’s hard for most people to be present. It’s funny how there is a big shift happening with so many people working on mindfulness and being focused on the now. For us it was funny to explore of a person being obsessed about time travel and having to learn to live in the present.




Q: Did you face any specific challenges?


Jeremy: Like Jonas is always saying: making a movie is always many miracles happening at once. And it’s true. It’s so challenging to make a movie, to write the right script, to find the casting, to get the financing and then to get it out there in the marketplace.


Jonas: yes, it is at least 9 or 10 miracles that need to line up and fall into place…! It took us 3 years to find the financing! And on top of this we have a spectacular visual effect driven sequence at the very end of the movie. This was a big challenge for us but we had a great vfx team of artists. We also got extremely lucky to get France Conroy (‘Six feet under’, ‘Joker’) to be in our movie and to come film in Ontario, Canada. We were blessed all the way with this film…


Q: So what comes next for your film?


Jonas: The movie has been sold to many countries. It’s going to open soon in Canada and the USA. And then we have a few international releases such as in the UK, Greece, China and the Middle East. And of course we still have a very cool run with various film festivals. So we are very lucky to have found an audience and to get such a “warm hug” for our movie.





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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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