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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 – Will Smith: "Wake Up Every Day and Do Good"



Watch SBIFF 2006 Modern Master Award honoring Will Smith – CLICK HERE

SBIFF Staff Memories
Episode 3: Wake Up Every Day and Do Good
By Mickey Duzdevich, Senior Programmer

Now, this is a memory all about how,
I ended up staying in this here town,
And I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there,
I’ll tell you about the night we honored the prince of Bel Air.

I started working for SBIFF back in 2006. I planned on it being a short-term job on the way to my Hollywood dreams. The plan was simple: I would make connections through the festival, then continue my way south. Nothing was going to change my mind... until the night we honored Will Smith with the Modern Master Award.
This night was special in so many ways. It was my first time ever attending a SBIFF tribute--not to mention being in a theater with one of my childhood icons. A man who has saved our world multiple times from extraterrestrials!

I was buzzing with anticipation and didn’t know what to expect. As I arrived at the Arlington, I was greeted by a sea of people waiting to get a glimpse of Smith on the red carpet. It was as if the whole community came out that night. It gave me such a huge adrenaline rush to be part of something so magical.
As we sat in our seats waiting for the show to begin, I remember looking around and realizing I was amongst a community of film lovers, something I had never experienced before. It was a turning point in my career; I couldn’t imagine not being part of something so amazing. During this moment of realization, the theater became quiet and the show began.
The next thing I remember is seeing Will Smith walking across the stage. I was in awe. I couldn’t believe that someone I'd looked up to throughout his entire career, since I was a kid, was just a few feet away.

The tribute had everything you could ask for. Will was charming, heartfelt, and funny. At the beginning, he had something stuck to his shoe; his wife Jada Pinkett Smith walked on stage to remove it because it was driving her crazy, looking at it from her seat in the audience. This earned a huge laugh and set the tone for the night.

Listening to Will talk about the transition from television to film was a highlight, but the main thing I took from the night was from his acceptance speech, about waking up every day and doing good for someone else. That’s when I decided I too wanted to wake up every day and do good. Not just for those I know, but for the community of Santa Barbara.



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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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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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