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Santa Barbara


 
filmfestivals.com 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.


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SBIFF Staff Memories – First Impressions

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Dear friends,

"I've asked the staff to come up with memories and anecdotes about events during their tenure at SBIFF and put them in writing to share with you. Twice weekly you will be receiving candid and introspective recollections from them - including a link to panels, tributes and events they're recalling."

– Roger Durling

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Watch 2011 SBIFF Directors Panel – CLICK HERE

SBIFF Staff Memories
Episode 1: First Impressions
By Audrey Arn, Programmer

It was my second day living in Santa Barbara, I got a ride to the Lobero Theater. I walked in alone to find a seat, alone. I knew exactly one other person in Santa Barbara at that time, aside from my new roommates who I had only just met. Part of what solidified my decision to move to Santa Barbara was that it hosted what seemed to be a very prominent film festival, and this year, after I finished my final Q&A of the festival in the Lobero, I found myself reminiscing about when I walked into the Theatre for the first time.

As far as first impressions go, both in terms of Santa Barbara screening venues and of the Film Festival itself, I think the word “dazed” is a suitable way to describe it. I remember taking in the arches of the theater, the regal stage and red seats. Waiting for the show to being and sitting near some film students with “intern” badges, I listened to their seemingly very informed discussion about the Oscar contenders, using--what sounded to me at the time-- slick industry lingo. It was a world I was dying to become a part of, but wasn’t there yet so I sat quietly by myself, too afraid to talk to anyone--even when I overheard the discussion turn to Black Swan, which was easily my favorite film of the year. Not two months or so prior, I had driven for over an hour to the closest movie theater that was showing Black Swan. Darren Aronofsky was the first filmmaker who had captivated me as a director and got me to start thinking about the auteur theory. 

So yes, I was dazed. Dazed, bewildered, delighted and almost in disbelief that I had gone from driving over an hour just to see Aronofsky’s latest film, to seeing the man himself taking his seat on stage right in front of me. Beside Darren was the highly intelligent director of the Inside Job (which took home the Academy Award for Best Documentary that year) Charles Ferguson; next to him was charmingly awkward and “indie darling” director of Winter’s Bone Debra Granik; followed by the proper and eloquent Tom Hooper, who ended up cleaning house at the Oscars that year for The Kings Speech (and whose most recent offering to cinema was last year’s Cats. Yes, Cats!); there was the dry and hilariously straight forward David O’Russell representing The Fighter; and “the Pixar guy” and director of Toy Story 3, Lee Unkrich. (Link to panel discussion above.)

I still remember Aronofsky’s discussion of his transitioning style and work with actors, how Darren and David kept making each other laugh throughout the panel, when Debra spoke about her gratitude for her lead actor, an incredibly generous and talented up-and-comer named Jennifer Lawrence. Lee Unkrich spoke about carrying the weight of expectation in continuing  the beloved Toy Story franchise, the effect of which he described as nausea inducing. I remember the entire panel having such a lively and funny discussions about making films with such slim budgets--this was 2011, after all, only a few years after the Great Recession, which Charles Ferguson spoke at length about throughout the panel (this was also the year the “Occupy Wall Street” protests began). I remember sitting in that audience, listening to these extraordinarily talented and thoughtful people on stage that I, quite literally at that moment, looked up to, and feeling that even though I was only on the first step in a long journey, this was exactly where I belonged.

 
 

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About Santa Barbara


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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