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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.


Al Gore transfigured by Guggenheim, outshine stars in Santa Barbara

Off the street customers shelled out sixty bucks a shot ($60 USD) last night to pack the mighty Arlington Theater from wall to wall and stem to stern, for a privileged view and hearing with former vice president and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Al Gore, in town with director Davis Guggenheim to present their landmark Global Warning documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth". Festival director Roger Durling, barely able to contain his excitement at pulling this off -- (i.e., getting Gore to swing up to Santa Barbara in Person) nearly swallowed his tongue when he mounted the podium to breathlessly inform the assemblage, abuzz with anticipation, that Al Gore is "really here" -- like he's REALLY gonna be here! -- which elicited a loud whoop of approval.

The timing couldn't have been better as the LA Times this very day was carrying back-to-back front-page stories of the Paris Scientific Summit declaration to the effect that Global Warming is now, beyond any doubt, a Real and Present Danger -- and the announcement that Mr. Gore has been nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, in recognition of his tireless globetrotting efforts to promote the cause of Global Warming containment. The former Veep himself was a totally transformed person from the wimpish figure we had gotten used to seeing in the Clinton years during which Gore was regularly blotted out by the glare of the president Bill's overwhelming media presence and personality. Under the cinematic guidance of film director Davis Guggenheim (himself no slouch as a personality) Al Gore seems to have blossomed into a forceful speaker, an authoritative personality and (gulp), something of a movie star! The film these two made together has clearly led to some kind of essential transfiguration in the Gore persona.

The Nobel Prize announcement charged the hall with unseen electricity as the crowd responded to the far higher calling emanating from Stockholm than that of the prissy Oscar nominations whose representatives have been preening on this very same stage all week. In short, this turned into he Main Event of the festival week -- a kind of historic moment whose attendees will be telling their grandchildren years from now, " I was there when ..." -- and what started out as a film award evening (Gore and Guggenheim received The Attenborough Award for Excellence in Nature Filmmaking) gradually metathesized into a political event, and ended up as a sneak-preview of the 2008 Presidential Conventions when presenter James Cameron -- director of such mega-hits as "Terminator", "Aliens" and "Titanic" -- made a direct emotional appeal to Mr. Gore, still seated at the other end of the stage, to throw in his hat and, yes -- ("I beseech you to") -- run for president again in 2008 -- which brought the entire house to their feet with roars of approval and thunderous applause ... as the evening ended on a note of near chaotic ecstasy.

Passing notes: Guggenheim is married to buxom, busty, actress Elizabeth Shue (MikeFiggs’ “Leaving Las Vegas”, 1995, Oscar nomination, Woody Allen’s “Deconstructing Harry” 1997, Etc. ) and director James Cameron owns a ranch in the Santa Barbara area. Davis Guggenheim is the son of an even more famous documentary filmmaker, Charles Guggenheim, who once did a documentary on Al Gore’s Senator father, Albert Gore, Sr., when the latter was campaigning for office.

Stay Tuned -- More to come -- I got it all on tape ...
Captain Midnight at the Cocktail Lounge - Bashevis Swinger de Leon
Santa Barbara, Saturday, Feb. 3, 2007

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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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