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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.


VIDEO: SBIFF Staff Memories – on Bohemian Rhapsody



Watch SBIFF Cinema Society Clip 1 of "Bohemian Rhapsody" Q&A with Rami Malek



SBIFF Staff Memories
Episode 7: I Need to be a Part of This
By Luca Schoch, SBIFF Riviera Theatre Manager

I remember the day when I first visited the remodeled Riviera Theatre as if it were yesterday. As I walked up to the edge of the balcony I was just astounded by the passion that had been put into creating this gem of a theatre for the Santa Barbara community. I stood there in awe observing the massive array of speakers behind the screen, another 48 lining the walls and ceiling, the beautiful new red seats and of course the most state-of-the-art projection system I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. My mind was made up at that moment; I need to be a part of this.
I was elated when I got Roger’s call offering me the position of theatre manager. He was yelling on the phone which was a little disconcerting at first, but he quickly assured me it was only because he had just done a sound check at the Riviera and was temporarily a little hard of hearing.
It was incredibly exciting working with Roger and Sean to start a theatre from scratch, hiring passionate staff and building our own brand as an art house theatre. I was able to provide so much input for policies and procedures and felt so respected for my knowledge in the field. It was a freeing, eye-opening experience and I felt so lucky to be part of the incredible group of people who are SBIFF.
One of my favorite memories has been my interaction and subsequent Q&A with Rami Malek for the Cinema Society showing of Bohemian Rhapsody. Rami arrived about 20 minutes early, and after introducing himself to just about everyone in the lobby, he asked if he could check out the film from the balcony. Sean mentioned it’s not open to the public, but as soon as he glanced over at me, I of course jumped at the opportunity to take him up there. Now I know I’m not impartial, but I think the Riviera has one of the best sounding Dolby Atmos installations in the nation. Rami seemed to agree as he rocked out to “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Are the Champions”. The bass was loud, the walls were vibrating and Rami stood there with a huge smile on his face, his arms in the air just loving it!
I was lost in the moment admiring him and the energy the film had created, but was quickly brought back to reality when I realized he was due to be on stage in about 30 seconds. I reminded him twice, the second time he made it a couple steps before running back to the balcony saying to me “I have to hear the end of this, I’ve never heard this song sound so good!”. At this point I was laughing but also starting to panic, we were just about to hit credits and I had to leave him upstairs in the dark and run down to get reinforcements. Luckily Mickey was running up as I came down, perfect timing. Mickey ran up to him and in the politest way possible said “See that door in the corner there? We need to have you there in about 5 seconds”. In the meantime, I had run into the projection booth, scrambled to turn on our video and audio recorders and 3…2…1…we were live. Rami made it just in time, very composed considering he just ran through most of the building. He stepped into the spotlight, a big grin on his face.



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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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