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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.


Oh Mickey! by Kimberly Deisler



Oh Mickey, you're so fine, you're so fine, you blow my mind, hey Mickey, hey Mickey! 

Toni Basil's song played in my head all day and for good reason, I was planning on spending the night with Mickey Rourke.  Me and about 2,500 other people.

Roger Durling, Executive Director of The Santa Barbara International Film Festival was a frontrunner in recognizing the resurrected career of Mickey-where’ve-you-been-Rourke and swooped in to honor him for his heartbreaking performance in The Wrestler … I wasn’t missing this!

“I thought it would only take about a year to come back, not fourteen,” explained Rourke in his tribute interview moderated by Pete Hammond. 

Rourke was painfully honest, candidly funny and about as entertaining off screen as he’s always been on.  Its been awhile since I laid eyes on Rourke in Diner, Rumble Fish, and The Pope Of Greenwich Village but like a fainted memory realized, a retrospective of his career immediately refreshed why he’s made it back and in a big way.  This guy is so believable in every character you feel voyeuristic when watching him, as if you’re peeking through a portal of his soul.     

And if having Mickey on hand to personally tell you about his life and career wasn’t enough to blow your doors off, how about the incomparable Francis Ford Coppola showing up to present?!?!  Who cares about being one degree from Kevin Bacon when you’ve got The Godfather standing right in front of you!  Wine making becomes him, he looked great and the crowd went nuts when he walked out. It was an incredible night for Mickey lovers and film buffs like me and part of what makes the SBIFF such a stand out in film festivals.    

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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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