Sponsored by Bentson Foundation, Montecito Bank & Trust, Santa Barbara Foundation, Union Bank, Volentine Family Foundation, and Wells Fargo

As part of its ongoing commitment to children’s education, SBIFF’s program Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies educates 4,000 fifth and sixth grade Santa Barbara County students in a one-day program during the Festival. Founded by the late acclaimed nature cinematographer Mike DeGruy, Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies explores how to use the art of filmmaking to stimulate creative, confident and culturally aware thinkers and empower students and teachers with a creative approach to education. To guarantee that underserved populations can experience this opportunity, SBIFF provides FREE transportation to students from Title I schools (low-income demographic areas).

The program begins with a screening of a film that has themes consisting with the program’s goals. Directly following the film will be a discussion with the film’s director covering many topics but all revolving around educating our youth to follow their dreams. In the past, Oscar winners James Cameron (“Titanic” “Avatar”), Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3), Gore Verbinski (“The Pirates of the Caribbean” “Rango”), Peter Ramsey (Rise of the Guardians), Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee (Frozen), Chris Miller and Phil Lord (The Lego Movie), Pete Docter (Inside Out) have been in attendance and educated our Santa Barbara county fifth and sixth graders. In 2017, director Bryan Howard joined SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling in an educational discussion following screenings of his award winning film “Zootpoia”.

“Mike’s Field Trip to The Movies is an amazing opportunity for students to not only go see a movie but to interact with producers of the movies. It is an opening into the world of cinematography. Students come back eager to discuss and create stories on a new level.” – Louise Dahlquist – 6th Grade Teacher Ellwood Elementary School

Mike’s Field Trip was featured on Hollywood Reporter! Check it out by clicking here.