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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.


SBIFF Staff Memories – Episode 2




Watch SBIFF 2012 Virtuoso Award honoring Andy Serkis – CLICK HERE

SBIFF Staff Memories
Episode 2: This is Gonna be Great
By Benjamin Goedert, Development Director

I first started working with SBIFF in 2012 as an intern of the development department. During the film festival I was one of the lucky interns assigned to escort talent from their seats to the stage during the Virtuosos Award tribute. This particular year’s lineup included Shailene Woodley, Rooney Mara, Patton Oswalt and Andy Serkis for his motion-capture role of Ceasar in The Rise of the Planet of The Apes.

To get to the stage from the seating area you have to walk through a narrow passageway, briefly stepping out of the audience’s sight. During his interview Patton Oswalt addressed the awkward moment of being out of sight and joked how funny it would be to step out in an entirely different outfit.

Enter Andy Serkis. 

When it came time for Mr. Serkis to take the stage I escorted him from his seat, into the passageway, and out of the audience’s sight. As we shuffled through the passage he paused, ripped off his suit jacket and shirt, handed it to me with a terrific smile and said, “This is gonna be great!”

Without missing a beat he walked on stage and, to thunderous applause, gave his interview completely SHIRTLESS. 

Andy stole the show with his theatrics and the best part of the entire situation was how brilliantly he described his artistic process and eloquently provided insight to his career - completely shirtless. 

This was my introduction to the understanding that you never know the type of surprise that will happen during the film festival. Years later I am still constantly surprised and impressed by the things that happen during each festival event, and am reminded that we are never sure what might happen next but most certainly it is gonna be great. 




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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.

Blogging here with dailies: 
The team of editors of the The Santa Barbara Blog:
Carol Marshall, Felicia Tomasko, Vanessa McMahon, Marla and Mark Hamperin, Kim Deisler and Bruno Chatelin

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