SBIFF’s new home at the historic Riviera Theatre

RIVIERA THEATRE TO SERVE AS NEW HOME FOR SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL THE HISTORIC LANDMARK WILL ENABLE EXPANSION IN EDUCATION AND FAMILY PROGRAMS The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has found a new home: the historic Riviera Theatre. The Riviera Theatre will allow SBIFF to expand their current slate of education programs, preserve an important historic landmark, and create a cultural hub for all things film. The decision to make the Riviera the new home was unanimously approved by SBIFF’s Board of Directors in March 2016. The lease was negotiated by SBIFF Board president Mark Scher and board members Bob Brada and Eric Phillips, Jeff Barbakow with Michael Towbes and the Towbes Group, coinciding with the Group’s 60th anniversary. “As we enter our 32nd year, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival has cemented itself as a part of our great city’s history” stated Mark Scher, President of SBIFF and owner of the Scher Investment Group. “We believe a long-term home at the Riviera Theatre is a pivotal point in the evolution of SBIFF and will allow us the opportunity to greatly expand our programming and bring a real cultural center for film to the Santa Barbara Community. I couldn’t be more thrilled for SBIFF and the City of Santa Barbara.” At the heart of SBIFF’s mission is education, and through its programs its staff is able to seek to engage, enrich, and inspire people through film. The Riviera as the new home will allow for expansion in the current programs and the ability to implement new ones, and to ultimately better serve the Santa Barbara community on a...

Dates announced for 2 Wave Film Festivals and the 32nd SBIFF

We have confirmed the dates for the next two editions of the Wave Film Festivals. The first segment will run from Wednesday, May 11th through Sunday, May 15th, and will highlight new Pan-Asian films. The second segment will run from Wednesday, July 13th through Sunday, July 17th, and will highlight new French films. Each Wave Festival will take place at the historic Riviera Theatre. “With increasingly diverse lineups each year, The Wave has become a pivotal tradition of SBIFF,” stated Mickey Duzdevich, director of the Wave Film Festival. “The Pan-Asian and French film canons are filled with countless classics, and we have no doubt that this year’s lineup will continue to dazzle and inspire audiences.” In addition, we have announced Wednesday, February 1st through Saturday, February 11th as the dates for the 32nd annual festival. “Though we are just wrapping up this year’s festival, we are already looking forward to what 2017 has in store for us in Santa Barbara” said Roger Durling, Executive Director of SBIFF. “We are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished thus far, and we plan to make our 32nd installment the best festival yet.” In addition to screening numerous films over the years, including countless US and World Premieres, SBIFF is known for programs such as the prestigious Tribute honor which counts Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Alicia Vikander, Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Sylvester Stallone among recipients, and the acclaimed Panel Series, where accomplished industry guests come together for lively and revealing discussions, which make the festival a key stop in the award season race. Passes and tickets for each Wave will be available...

2016 Award Winning Films Announced

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), presented by UGG®, announced today the highly-anticipated winners for its 31st year at a breakfast held in their honor. Ten winning films in as many categories were announced, culminating in the coveted audience award which went to THE CULPABLE. Three awards, chosen by jury members Perry Lang and Mimi deGruy, were handed out for short films. The Bruce Corwin Award for Best Live Action Short Film went to Lluís Quílez’s GRAFFITI, chosen for its brave and beautiful use of Chernobyl in winter as a real character in a fictional story about a man in isolation. THE ORCHESTRA, directed by Michael Hill, received the Bruce Corwin Award for Best Animated Short Film not only because of its “lovely” animation and music but the sentiment that demonstrates we all live with our own soundtrack in the hope it can someday work in concert with someone we love. Finally, Best Documentary Short Film was awarded to LEBANON WINS THE WORLD CUP, directed by Tony Khoury, because of the filmmakers’ unique understanding of Beirut and their ability to give us a soulful snapshot of the power of forgiveness. The Nueva Vision Award for Spanish / Latin American Cinema went to Martin Tuta’s TALIÓN, chosen by jury members Alan Marshall & Geoffrey Cowper for being so bold and straightforward with such an important and relevant issue as child pornography, and for electrifying filmmaking with powerful and emotional performances. VITA ACTIVA: THE SPIRIT OF HANNAH ARENDT was awarded the Best Documentary Film Award by jury members Phyllis de Picciotto and Margaret Lazarus. When asked why, they said “Ada...

Outstanding Directors of the Year Award

Click here for tickets Lenny Abrahamson, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Tom McCarthy, Adam McKay and George Miller will receive the 2016 Outstanding Directors of the Year award. They will each be celebrated individually for their films ROOM, THE REVENANT, SPOTLIGHT, THE BIG SHORT and MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, respectively. The individual honors will be followed by a joint conversation between the directors on their craft and the landscape of modern day filmmaking. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, February 11th at the historic Arlington Theatre. “These directors have each made their mark on the film canon and have solidified their standing as some of the best directors of our time,” said SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “The fact that these films come on the heels of already illustrious and established careers makes this honor even more special.” The Outstanding Directors of the Year award is given to directors not afraid to push the envelope in the cinematic world. They have an eye for the picture they want to present and then do so, with an expertise that is both gracious and bold. Past recipients include Damien Chazelle (WHIPLASH), Richard Linklater (BOYHOOD), Bennett Miller (FOXCATCHER), Laura Poitras (CITIZENFOUR), Morten Tyldum (THE IMITATION GAME), David O. Russell (AMERICAN HUSTLE), Kathryn Bigelow (THE HURT LOCKER), and Danny Boyle (SLUMDOG...

Montecito Award honoring Sylvester Stallone

Click here for tickets The Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced today that Sylvester Stallone will receive their prestigious Montecito Award for his critically acclaimed role in Ryan Coogler’s Creed. Given to a person in the entertainment industry whose has made a great contribution to film, the award will be presented to him at a ceremony on Tuesday, February 9th at the historic Arlington Theatre. “Sylvester Stallone’s performance in Creed has reminded us of what a true talent he is and what a joy it is to share in his successes as the many beloved characters he has created. Since he first hit the silver screen as Rocky Balboa nearly four decades ago, he has been a force in the industry both on film and behind the scenes. He is a true legend in our field, and it is our privilege to present him with the Montecito Award, and to continue to honor his legacy,” said SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. Stallone first established worldwide recognition as an actor and filmmaker when he starred in 1976’s “Rocky,” from his own screenplay. Both a critical and box office hit, the film garnered 10 Academy Award nominations including Stallone for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay. Most recently, Stallone received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for “Creed,” becoming only the sixth actor in Academy history to be nominated for playing the same role in two different films. Stallone’s numerous film credits include the “Rocky” and “Rambo” films, “Copland,” “Tango & Cash,” “F.I.S.T.,” “Victory” and “Nighthawks.” In addition, Stallone’s influence and appreciation are acknowledged worldwide. In 2008, the Zurich...

2016 SBIFF Film Lineup Announced

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), presented by UGG, announced today the highly-anticipated line-up for the 31st edition, which will run February 3rd to February 13th, 2016. The festival will offer a vast array of films representing 60+ countries, 52 world premieres and 53 US premieres, along with tributes with the year’s top talent, panel discussions, and free community education and outreach. SBIFF 2016 will kick off on Wednesday, February 3rd, at the historic Arlington Theatre with the US Premiere of THE LITTLE PRINCE, directed by Mark Osborne and featuring the voices of Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Ricky Gervais, James Franco, Mackenzie Foy and Benicio Del Toro. THE LITTLE PRINCE is based on the classic tale of the same name by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. On Sunday, February 7th, Terrance Malick’s experiential KNIGHT OF CUPS will have its US Premiere at the Arlington Theatre as the festival’s Centerpiece Film. The highly anticipated film stars Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Frieda Pinto, Isabel Lucas, Imogen Poots, Wes Bentley, Brian Dennehy and Teresa Palmer, among others. KNIGHT OF CUPS follows writer Rick (Bale) on an odyssey through the playgrounds of Los Angeles and Las Vegas as he undertakes a search for love and self. Even as he moves through a desire-laden landscape of mansions, resorts, beaches and clubs, Rick grapples over complicated relationships with his brother (Bentley) and father (Dennehy). His quest to break the spell of his disenchantment takes him on a series of adventures with six alluring women: rebellious Della (Poots); his physician ex-wife, Nancy (Blanchett); a serene model Helen (Pinto); a woman he wronged in...

Virtuosos Award

Click here for tickets The Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s recipients of the 2016 Virtuosos Award, created to recognize a select group of actors who have distinguished themselves through performances in film this past year, will include: Elizabeth Banks (Love & Mercy), Paul Dano (Youth, Love & Mercy), Joel Edgerton (Black Mass), O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight Outta Compton), Géza Röhrig (Son of Saul), Jacob Tremblay (Room) and Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl, Ex Machina). The Award presentation will take place on Saturday, February 6th at the Arlington Theatre at the 31st edition of the festival, which runs February 3 to February 13, 2016. “These performers have used their craft and respective roles to transport us through the varied lives of their characters,” stated Durling, “We have followed them along their artistic pursuits and are excited to join them in next steps of their journeys.” The diverse and talented group will be recognized for their overall career as well as their breakthrough roles this past year. After a turn behind the camera directing the mega-hit Pitch Perfect 2, Elizabeth Banks returned to the front of the camera in her role as Brian Wilson’s wife, Melinda Ledbetter, in the Beach Boy’s biopic Love & Mercy. Following his directorial debut in The Gift, which he wrote and starred in, Joel Egerton mesmerized audiences in his transformative performance in Black Mass as John Connolly, the childhood friend-turned-FBI agent to notorious gangster Whitey Bulger. Paul Dano’s breathtaking performance in the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy as the Beach Boy’s founder has garnered critical acclaim as well in his supporting role in Paolo Sorrentino’s...

Opening Night Film + Gala premiering “The Little Prince”

Click here for tickets The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will open with the U.S. premiere of Paramount Pictures’ “THE LITTLE PRINCE” at the Arlington Theatre on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016. Directed by Mark Osborne and featuring the voices of Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Ricky Gervais, James Franco, Mackenzie Foy, and Benicio Del Toro, “THE LITTLE PRINCE” is based on the classic tale of the same name by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Opening Night Film + Gala is co-sponsored by Bella Vista Designs. “Saint-Exupéry’s novel is one of the most beloved works of the 20th century,” stated Roger Durling, Executive Director of SBIFF. “What Mark has done with this story is extraordinary and moving, and we think it provides a perfect tie-in to AppleBox, our free family screening program, and to the festival’s other philanthropic efforts. We are thrilled to have this film kick off our festival.” “THE LITTLE PRINCE” weaves elements of the novel into an original narrative written by Irena Brignull and Bob Persichetti. To ensure that her daughter is enrolled in a prestigious academy, The Mother forces The Little Girl into a rigorous study schedule that leaves her little time to enjoy her summer. To escape her overbearing mother, The Little Girl befriends The Aviator, her elderly retired next-door neighbor. As their friendship develops, The Aviator introduces The Little Girl to a magical world where anything is possible; a world that he was introduced to long ago by The Little Prince. Through an extraordinary and emotional journey, The Little Girl learns that what is truly essential to living a...

Cinema Vanguard Award honoring Rooney Mara

Click here for tickets The Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced today that it will honor Rooney Mara with the Cinema Vanguard Award on Friday, February 12, 2016. The actress will be celebrated for her remarkable role in this year’s Carol alongside Cate Blanchett, who will present Mara with the award at a tribute at the Arlington Theatre. The Cinema Vanguard Award was created in recognition of actors who have forged their own path – taking artistic risks and making a significant and unique contribution to film. Previous honorees include Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, Amy Adams, Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo, Nicole Kidman, Christoph Waltz, Vera Farmiga, Stanley Tucci, Peter Sarsgaard, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Ryan Gosling. Festival Director Roger Durling commented, “From her scene-stealing turn in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to her outstanding performance in his year’s Carol, Rooney has repeatedly showcased her talents as one of the most gifted actors of her generation. I truly admire the enigmatic and complex nature of her performances. She’s an adept, beguiling actor, and we are proud to present her with this year’s Cinema Vanguard Award.” Rooney Mara is best known for her Golden Globe® and Academy Award® nominated performance in David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. She has also appeared in The Social Network, Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects, and Joe Wright’s Pan. She will be seen in Lion alongside Nicole Kidman and in Untitled Terrence Malick Project, also starring Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, and Ryan Gosling. Carol follows two women from very different backgrounds who find themselves in an unexpected...

Outstanding Performers of the Year Award honoring Brie Larson & Saoirse Ronan

Click here for tickets The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is proud to present the 2016 Outstanding Performers of the Year award to both Brie Larson and Saoirse Ronan on Monday February 8, SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling announced today. This is the first time the award will be given to two honorees. Both Larson and Ronan had previously been awarded the festival’s Virtuoso Award, in 2014 and 2010 respectively. The duo will be celebrated for their remarkable performances in Room and Brooklyn. The 2016 festival is the 31st year of the festival, which will run February 3 to February 13, 2016. Durling stated, “This is an incredible year for emerging talent to take center stage and showcase their abilities. We’ve long been following the careers of Brie and Saoirse and their recent roles as empowered young women transcend time, place and circumstance” Adding, “We are so proud to be jointly celebrating these two great actresses in such strong performances.” Larson and Ronan will join an recognized group of previous Outstanding Performer Award recipients, including: Steve Carell (2015), Cate Blanchett (2014), Jennifer Lawrence (2013), Viola Davis (2012), James Franco (2011), Colin Firth (2010), Penelope Cruz (2009), Angelina Jolie (2008), Helen Mirren (2007), Heath Ledger (2006), Kate Winslet (2005) and Charlize Theron (2004). The festival previously honored Jane Fonda (Youth) with its Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film and has announced that it will honor Johnny Depp (Black Mass) with its Maltin Modern Master Award and Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams (Spotlight) as an ensemble with its American Riviera Award. It also set to celebrate Elizabeth Banks...

American Riviera Award honoring Keaton, Ruffalo and McAdams

Click here for tickets The Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced today that Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams will be honored with the 2016 American Riviera Award at the 31st edition of the Fest, which runs from February 3 to February 13, 2016. This is the first time the award will be given to three honorees, who will be fêted with a Tribute celebrating their careers, culminating with their powerhouse collaboration in Tom McCarthy’s blisteringly true drama “Spotlight.” The film recently opened to critical acclaim. The Tribute will take place during the festival’s run at the historic Arlington Theatre. The American Riviera Award was established to recognize actors who have made a significant contribution to American Cinema. Keaton, Ruffalo and McAdams will join a prestigious group of past recipients, including last year’s honorees Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke (2015), Robert Redford (2014), Quentin Tarantino (2013) and Martin Scorsese (2012), Annette Bening (2011), Sandra Bullock (2010), Mickey Rourke (2009), Tommy Lee Jones (2008), Forrest Whitaker (2007), Philip Seymour Hoffman (2006), Kevin Bacon (2005) and Diane Lane (2004). “Michael, Mark and Rachel are three of the finest actors in the business.” stated Festival Director Roger Durling, “They are artists in the truest sense of the word who continue to surprise and inspire audiences with their talent,” adding, “their recent turn in Spotlight demonstrates their skills both harmoniously as an ensemble and individually, it is an honor to celebrate their work with the American Riviera Award.” Spotlight tells the astonishing story of the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Spotlight” team of investigative journalists, who in 2002 shocked the city and the...

Maltin Modern Master Award honoring Johnny Depp

Click here for tickets Johnny Depp is set to receive the newly renamed Maltin Modern Master Award at the 31st annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the festival announced today. Previously known as The Modern Master Award the honor was renamed this year to honor the famed film critic who has moderated the event for over 25 years. The award will be presented on Thursday, February 4th at Santa Barbara’s historic Arlington Theatre. “Johnny Depp is a true embodiment of a modern master. He has had a long and storied career that has shown his commitment to taking on compelling and dynamic roles. But in the gripping film BLACK MASS under the skillful direction of Scott Cooper, Johnny Depp delivers his defining performance to date,” SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling stated. Depp is a three-time Academy Award nominee for Best Actor for his work in “Finding Neverland,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” and “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” Over the last three decades, Depp’s diverse range of roles has made him one of the leader actors of his generation including performances John Waters’ “Cry Baby,” “Benny & Joon,” Lasse Hallstrom’s “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” and “Chocolat,” Mike Newell’s “Donnie Brasco,” Terry Gilliam’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” Ted Demme’s “Blow,” “The Libertine,” Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies” and several collaborations with Tim Burton including “Edward Scissorhands,” “Ed Wood” and “Sleepy Hollow.” Depp can currently be seen in “Black Mass,” which tells of the unholy alliance between ruthless mobster James “Whitey” Bulger (Depp) and childhood friend-turned-FBI agent, John Connolly (Joel Edgerton). The...