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When she's not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS Magazine, Leslie Dinaberg writes feature articles, columns and grocery lists.

Cocktail Corner: Cheers to Wine & Spirits at SBIFF

SBIFF 2018, photo courtesy Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation.

SBIFF 2018, photo courtesy Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg

Guests at the 34th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF)—which runs from Wednesday, January 30 through Saturday, February 9 in downtown Santa Barbara—will get an extra warm welcome from our local winemakers.

Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation is sponsoring the festival and providing wine at nightly Filmmaker’s Happy Hours and post tribute Studio Parties from member wineries, including Au Bon Climat, Brander Vineyard, Brewer-Clifton, Brick Barn Wine Estate, Cambria Estate Vineyards, Folded Hills, Hitching Post Wines, Mail Road Wines, Margerum Wine Company, Nielson Winery, Pence Vineyards & Winery and Temperance Cellars.

“This is the second year the Vintners Foundation has sponsored SBIFF and we are proud to continue our support for this showcase for filmmaking and the community education programs that SBIFF organizes throughout the year for local students,” says Katy Rogers, president of Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation, the charitable umbrella under which Santa Barbara Vintners conducts its philanthropic work.

At the Opening Night Gala on Wednesday, January 30 in Paseo Nuevo, the wines of Brewer-Clifton, Cambria Estate Vineyards and Nielson will be served.  The Gala follows a showing of the film Diving Deep: The Life and Times of Mike DeGruy at the Arlington Theatre.

Belvedere Vodka bar at SBIFF 2018. Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF.

Belvedere Vodka bar at SBIFF 2018. Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF.

Belvedere Vodka will also be on hand as the sole liquor sponsor of the 34th annual festival, serving signature cocktails like the Belvedere Classic Martini and Belvedere Expresso Martini, among others. Belvedere is the official sponsor of the Cinema Vanguard Award honoring Michael B. Jordan on February 7, where the brand—named “Vodka Producer of the Year” three times in a row by the International Spirits Challenge—will spotlight its “Beautiful to see. Beautiful to experience.” campaign.

Tickets for all festival events and film screenings, are available at sbiff.org. Hope to see you there. Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 30, 2019.

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Lineup

Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) opens with world premiere of Diving Deep:The Life and Times of Mike deGruy, directed by Mimi deGruy. Closing night film is Spoons: A Santa Barbara Story, directed by Wyatt Daily. Just announced: Rami Malek to receive Outstanding Performer of the Year on Friday, Feb. 1. Plus tributes to Viggo Mortensen, Glenn Close, Melissa McCarthy, Michael B. Jordan and more, including 64 world premiere and 59 U.S. premiere films.

“SBIFF is an event that brings together a plethora of visitors—international, national and local filmmakers, Oscar contenders, vital educational programs,” said Executive Director Roger Durling at a kick-off press conference earlier this month.  “We have entered this year with a renewed sense of purpose and continuity with the festival and understand more than ever the important role we play in the community. As such, we have chosen to bookend our festival with two films about iconic people and places in Santa Barbara to highlight the resilience, vitality and the talent within the Santa Barbara community.”

Here’s an overview of the entire festival, which runs from Wednesday, January 30 through Saturday, February 9. 

OPENING NIGHT

SBIFF 2019 will start with the Opening Night Film, presented by UGG®, on Wednesday, January 30, at the historic Arlington Theatre with the world premiere of Diving Deep:The Life and Times of Mike deGruydirected by Mimi deGruy.  A feature film documentary about Mike deGruy, an irrepressible biologist turned award-winning filmmaker who swam, dived and filmed in oceans around the world and in the process became the first to film many rarely seen creatures in their own oceans. He was also a passionate advocate of the ocean’s creatures and  became increasingly outspoken as an environmental activist. In 2012, deGruy died tragically in a helicopter crash in Australia while filming for director James Cameron. Told through the eyes of his wife and filmmaking partner, Diving Deep celebrates deGruy’s remarkable life, career and what he passionately believed: we are destroying the ocean before we even know what’s there.

Following the film, the Opening Night Gala, sponsored by Amazon Studios, will take place in Paseo Nuevo Shops and Restaurants in downtown Santa Barbara. Always a fun event, the party features entertainment, food, libations, and a chance to celebrate the start of SBIFF.

CLOSING NIGHT

The Festival will close Saturday, February 9 at the Arlington Theatre with the world premiere of Spoons: A Santa Barbara Story directed by Wyatt Daily. The Closing Night Film is sponsored by Winchester Mystery House.

TRAILER – Spoons: A Santa Barbara Story from Wyatt Daily on Vimeo.

Spoons: A Santa Barbara Story is an exploration of how one of the most significant corners of the world produced, and continues to produce, some of the most talented surfers and innovators. Deeper than all is a story of craftsmanship, work ethic, renegades and tradition. This is a film that goes beyond the time spent in the ocean to define how one spends a lifetime. Following the film, SBIFF will end with a final celebration at the Closing Night Party sponsored by Amazon Studios.

THE TRIBUTES

SBIFF has become an important showcase for Academy Award frontrunners, many of whom have arrived as nominees and gone on to win the Oscar. The 34th SBIFF proudly celebrates some of the year’s finest work in film.

 

  • The Outstanding Directors of the Year Award, sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter, will be Thursday, January 31 at 8 pm. All five Best Director nominees will be in attendance: Alfonso Cuarón (ROMA), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite), Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman), Adam McKay (Vice), and Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War)
  • Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) will receive the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award on Friday, February 1 at 8 p.m.
  • Viggo Mortensen (Green Book) will receive the American Riviera Award, on Saturday, February 2 at 3 p.m.
  • Glenn Close (The Wife) will receive the Maltin Modern Master Award, moderated by longtime friend, film historian, and award namesake Leonard Maltin on Saturday, February 2 at 8 p.m.
  • Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) will receive the Montecito Award, sponsored by Bella Vista Designs, on Sunday, February 3 at 8 p.m.
  • The Variety Artisans Awards, sponsored by Variety, will take place on Monday, February 4 at 8 p.m., and will be moderated by Tim Gray. Honorees to be announced.
  • The Virtuosos Award, presented by UGG®, will be awarded to Yalitza Aparicio (Roma), Sam Elliott (A Star is Born), Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade), Claire Foy (First Man), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace), John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman), and Steven Yeun (Burning) on Tuesday, February 5 at 8 p.m., moderated by Dave Karger.
  • Michael B. Jordan  (Creed II, Black Panther) will receive the Cinema Vanguard Award presented by Belvedere Vodka on Thursday, February 7 at 8 p.m.

All tributes take place at the historic Arlington Theatre with the exception of the Variety Artisans Award which will be at the Lobero Theatre, presented by Toyota Mirai.

MIchael B. Jordan, courtesy SBIFF.

MIchael B. Jordan, courtesy SBIFF.

THE PANELS

SBIFF has become renowned for creating smart, insightful panels that feature a who’s who in the world of filmmaking, including many Oscar contenders.

  • Producers Panel will be on Saturday, February 2 at 10 a.m., moderated by Glenn Whipp.
  • Writers Panel will be on Saturday,February 2 at 1 p.m., moderated by Anne Thompson.
  • Women’s Panel will be on Sunday, February 3 at 11 a.m., moderated by Madelyn Hammond.

All panels take place at the Lobero Theatre, presented by Toyota Mirai. Panelists to be announced.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS AND FREE SCREENINGS

Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies – Named for renowned nature cinematographer Mike deGruy, Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies uses filmmaking to stimulate creative, confident, and culturally aware thinkers. The program is offered to 4,000 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students from throughout Santa Barbara County, and SBIFF provides free transportation to students from Title I schools. This year SBIFF presents Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse with directors Peter Ramsey, Robert Persichetti Jr., Rodney Rothman and Ralph Breaks the Internet with directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston. The directors will participate in a Q&A following the screenings with the students to discuss the craft of animated filmmaking. Sponsored by Montecito Bank & Trust, Patagonia, Union Bank, Bentson Foundation and Volentine Family Foundation.

Student Film Studies Program – Returning for its fifth year thanks to the generosity of Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin, the national student film studies program will bring 30 undergraduate film students from across the country for a three-day symposium with a focus on film appreciation, criticism, and analysis. Sixty college students in Santa Barbara have the opportunity to take an 11-Day Film Festival course through Santa Barbara City College.

AppleBox Family Films – SBIFF will again screen animated feature frontrunners free to families on the weekends of the Festival with complimentary popcorn and refreshments. This year’s screenings will include Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (10 a.m. on February 2), Ralph Breaks the Internet (10 a.m. on February 3), and Incredibles 2 (10 a.m. on February 9). Sponsored by Metropolitan Theatres.

10–10–10 Student Screenwriting and Filmmaking Mentorship and Competition – In October, 20 high school and college screenwriters and filmmakers were accepted after a competitive application process before beginning a series of workshops, a table read, and a casting day. Since then, the ten writer/director teams and their crews have worked with industry mentors to produce short films that will be screened on Saturday, February 9 at 2 p.m. at The Arlington Theatre, with an announcement of the winning scripts and films following the screening. Sponsored by Final Draft Inc. and generously supported by Mary Beth Riordan.

Free Public Screenings – SBIFF will again offer critically acclaimed film screenings free to the public at the Lobero Theatre presented by Toyota Mirai everyday throughout the Festival.

Filmmaker Seminars – SBIFF will again present educational seminars that will be free to the public and will take place in the Festival Pavilion daily at 11 a.m. Filmmaker Seminars are sponsored by Driscoll’s.

Super Silent Sunday On Sunday, February 3, SBIFF will present the 1927 influential German science-fiction film Metropolis at the Arlington Theatre completely free to the public.  Live accompaniment will be provided by Adam Aceto on the theatre’s Wonder Morton pipe organ. Super Silent Sunday is sponsored by Winchester Mystery House.

Youth CineMedia SBIFF presents a documentary film series produced entirely by teens involved in the Youth CineMedia program. Striving to help children transition away from gang life, drugs, and alcohol and into college and careers in music, photography, and video production, the organization offers creative tools, training, and support for underprivileged and at–risk teens.  Free to the public with Q&A following on Saturday, February 9.

FOCUS ON SANTA BARBARA

Santa Barbara Filmmakers – The Santa Barbara filmmaking community continues to captivate and inspire audiences with this year’s impressive lineup. Santa Barbara filmmakers provide a diverse, thought–provoking series of features and shorts.

The “Stand Up” Award sponsored by ADL – The Santa Barbara Tri–Counties Region of the Anti–Defamation League will be sponsoring and presenting the “ADL Stand Up Award” to a dramatic film in the festival that represents an important addition to the efforts of the ADL “to secure justice and fair treatment for all.” 

The Tribute Awards were once again specially designed by Santa Barbara’s own Daniel Gibbings Jewelry. The award is inspired by the iconic steeple of Santa Barbara’s historic Arlington Theatre, is handcrafted in metal, and is 24 karat gold–plated, with a custom marble base.

34th Festival Poster Barbara Boros has designed the SBIFF poster each year for 16 years, this year highlighting Butterfly Beach.

Official Festival Hub – The official festival hub will again be located at Hotel Santa Barbara, returning for their 16th year as supporters of SBIFF.

 2019 FILMS

 

Below is the list of feature and short films at the 2019 SBIFF. For the complete list of films, synopses, and other special events, visit www.sbiff.org.

20 WORLD PREMIERE FEATURE FILMS (listed alphabetically)

 

Babysplitters, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Sam Friedlander

 

Better Together, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Isaac Hernández

 

The Bird Catcher, Norway, UK – World Premiere

Directed by Ross Clarke

 

Cemetery Park, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Brandon Alvis

 

Diving Deep: The Life and Times of Mike deGruy, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Mimi deGruy

 

Enormous: The Gorge Story, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Nic Davis

 

Find Your Groove, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Michael Kirk

 

Guest Artist, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Timothy Busfield

 

Ham on Rye, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Tyler Taormina

 

Here and Now (Aquí y ahora), Costa Rica – World Premiere

Directed by Paz León

 

Loopers: The Caddie’s Long Walk, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Jason Baffa

 

Making Apes: The Artists Who Changed Film, USA – World Premiere

Directed by William Conlin

 

The Map to Paradise, Australia – World Premiere

Directed by Danielle Ryan and James Sherwood

 

Ordinary Gods, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Pascui Rivas

 

Peel, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Rafael Monserrate

 

Quiet Storm, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Johnny Sweet

 

Silent Forests, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Mariah Wilson

 

Spoons: A Santa Barbara Story, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Wyatt Daily

 

Working Man, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Robert Jury

 

Zulu Summer, South Africa, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Joseph Litzinger and Eric Michael Schrader

 

51 U.S. PREMIERE FEATURE FILMS (listed alphabetically)

 

Alone at My Wedding (Seule à mon mariage), Belgium – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Marta Bergman

 

Amá, UK – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Lorna Tucker

 

Angel Face (Gueule d’ange), France – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Vanessa Filho

 

The Apollo of Gaza (L’Apollon de Gaza), Switzerland, Canada – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Nicolas Wadimoff

 

Belmonte, Uruguay, Spain, Mexico – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Federico Veiroj

 

Betrayal (Traición), Mexico – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Ignacio Ortiz Cruz

 

Break (Recreo), Argentina – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Hernán Guerschuny and Jazmín Stuart

 

Breaking Habits, USA – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Robert Ryan

 

Celeste, Australia – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Ben Hackworth

 

Crystal Swan (Khrustal), Belarus – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Darya Zhuk

 

The Dead and the Others (Chuva é cantoria na aldeia dos mortos), Brazil, Portugal – U.S. Premiere

Directed by João Salaviza and Renée Nader Messora

 

Emma Peeters, Canada, Belgium – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Nicole Palo

 

Ether (Eter), Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Ukraine, Italy – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Krzysztof Zanussi

 

Fine Lines, Hong Kong – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Dina Khreino

 

Fly by Night (Fei chang dao), Malaysia – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Zahir Omar

 

Freaks, USA – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Adam Stein and Zach Lipovsky

 

Helmet Heads (Cascos indomables), Chile, Costa Rica – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Neto Villalobos

 

Here and Now, Israel – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Roman Shumunov

 

Holy Tour (La grande messe), Belgium, France – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Méryl Fortunat-Rossi and Valéry Rosier

 

I Act, I Am (Igram, sem), Slovenia – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Miroslav Mandic

 

Joel, Argentina – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Carlos Sorín

 

José, Guatemala, USA – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Li Cheng

 

Journey to a Mother’s Room (Viaje al cuarto de una madre), Spain – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Celia Rico Clavellino

 

King Bibi: The Life and Performances of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel, USA – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Dan Shadur

 

Land of Hope (Oma maa), Finland – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Markku Pölönen

 

Land of My Children (Im land meiner kinder), Germany, Switzerland – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Darío Aguirre

 

The Laps: Tasmania, Australia – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Dustin Hollick and Angie Davis

 

Les Dames (Ladies), Switzerland – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond

 

Metal Heart, Ireland – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Hugh O’Conor

 

Murderous Trance aka The Guardian Angel, Finland – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Arto Halonen

 

My Own Good (Il bene mio), Italy – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Pippo Mezzapesa

 

Nose to Tail, Canada – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Jesse Zigelstein

 

Not Quite Adults (Tampoco tan grandes), Argentina – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Federico Sosa

 

Tampoco Tan Grandes (Not Quite Adults), by Federico Sosa (Arg., 2018) / TRAILER with English subtitles. from Pampa Films on Vimeo.

Pause (Pafsi), Cyprus – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Tonia Mishiali

 

Phoenix (Føniks), Norway – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Camilla Strøm Henriksen

 

Private Album, Israel – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Kobi Farag

 

Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz, Canada – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Barry Avrich

 

Put Grandma in the Freezer (Metti la nonna in freezer), Italy – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Giancarlo Fontana and Giuseppe Stasi

 

A Seed for Change, Greece – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Alexandros Ikonomidis

 

Sıren’s Call (Son Çikiş), Turkey – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Ramin Matin

 

Tell It to the Bees, USA – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Annabel Jankel

 

Two Times You (Dos veces tú), Mexico – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Salomón Askenazi

 

Ulysses & Mona, France – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Sébastien Betbeder

 

The Unorthodox (Ha-Bilti Rishmi’im), Israel – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Eliran Malka

 

Van Goghs (Van Gogi), Latvia – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Sergey Livnev

 

Virgin and Extra: The Land of Olive Oil (Jaén, virgen y extra), Spain – U.S. Premiere

Directed by José Luis López Linares

 

What Have We Done to Deserve This? (Womit haben wir das verdient?), Austria – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Eva Spreitzhofer

 

Wherever You Are (Ovunque proteggimi), Italy – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Bonifacio Angius

 

Wild Kids, Israel – US Premiere

Directed by Tal Pesses

 

With the Wind (Le vent tourne), Switzerland, France – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Bettina Oberli

 

The Young Fan (Il ragazzo più felice del mondo), Italy – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Gianni Pacinotti (Gipi)

 

2019 SBIFF FEATURE FILMS  (non-premieres listed alphabetically)

 

Afterward, USA

Directed by Ofra Bloch

 

Amazing Grace, USA

Directed by Sydney Pollack, completed by Alan Elliott

 

Angel (Un ange), Belgium, Netherlands, Senegal

Directed by Koen Mortier

 

Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, Canada

Directed by Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky

 

As Needed (Quanto basta), Italy, Brazil

Directed by Francesco Falaschi

 

Ash Is Purest White (Jiang hu er nv), China

Directed by Jia Zhang-ke

 

Between the Lines, USA – *World Premiere Restoration

Directed by Joan Micklin Silver

 

The Biggest Little Farm, USA

Directed by John Chester

 

Carmen y Lola, Spain

Directed by Arantxa Echevarría

 

Carmine Street Guitars, Canada

Directed by Ron Mann

 

Cassandro the Exotico!, France

Directed by Marie Losier

 

Champions (Campeones), Spain

Directed by Javier Fesser

 

David Crosby: Remember My Name, USA

Directed by A.J. Eaton

 

Echo in the Canyon, USA

Directed by Andrew Slater

 

The Factory (Zavod), Russia, France, Armenia

Directed by Yury Bykov

 

Fire on the Hill: The Cowboys of South Central L.A., USA

Directed by Brett Fallentine

 

Gatao 2: Rise of the King, Taiwan

Directed by Yen Cheng-Kuo

 

Harvest Season, USA

Directed by Bernardo Ruiz

 

The Heat: A Kitchen (R)evolution, Canada

Directed by Maya Gallus

 

Hugh Hefner’s After Dark: Speaking Out in America, Canada

Directed by Brigitte Berman

 

I Used to Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story, Australia, USA

Directed by Jessica Leski

 

Incredibles 2, USA

Directed by Brad Bird

 

Inside Lehman Brothers, Canada

Directed by Jennifer Deschamps

 

Laila at the Bridge, Canada, Afghanistan

Directed by Elizabeth Mirzaei and Gulistan Mirzaei

 

The Last Prosecco (Finché c’è prosecco c’è speranza), Italy

Directed by Antonio Padovan

 

Light in the Water, USA

Directed by Lis Bartlett

 

Maya, France

Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve

 

Mouthpiece, Canada

Directed by Patricia Rozema

 

Outdoors (Bayit Bagalil), Israel

Directed by Asaf Saban

 

The Parting Glass, Canada, USA

Directed by Stephen Moyer

 

Ralph Breaks the Internet, USA

Directed by Phil Johnston and Rich Moore

 

Shadow, China

Directed by Zhang Yimou

 

Sharkwater Extinction, Canada

Directed by Rob Stewart

 

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, USA

Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman

 

Stockholm, Canada, Sweden, USA

Directed by Robert Budreau

 

Take It or Leave It (Võta või jäta), Estonia

Directed by Liina Trishkina-Vanhatalo

 

The Third Wife, Vietnam

Directed by Ash Mayfair

 

This Changes Everything, USA

Directed by Tom Donahue

 

A Thousand Miles Behind, USA

Directed by Nathan Wetherington

 

Too Beautiful: Our Right to Fight, USA

Directed by Maceo Frost

 

Transit, Germany, France

Directed by Christian Petzold

 

Unsettling, UK, Israel

Directed by Iris Zaki

 

Winter Flies (Všechno bude), Czech Republic

Directed by Olmo Omerzu

 

2019 SBIFF SHORTS – (listed alphabetically)

42 WORLD PREMIERES AND 8 U.S. PREMIERES

 

1 in 100,000, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Benjamin Yates

 

805 Strong, USA

Produced by Ellie Vargas

 

Accident (Ongelukje), Netherlands – U.S. Premiere

Directed by David Cocheret


Ah Gong (Grandpa), Taiwan – World Premiere

Directed by Clifford Miu

BIG DATA – “L1ZY”, USA

Directed by Brandon LaGanke and John Carlucci

 

The Bird & the Whale, Ireland – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Carol Freeman

 

Birth of a Movement, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Paul Lynch

Black Lips, Australia

Directed by Adrian Chiarella

 

Buzzer, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Albert Birney

 

CC, Canada

Directed by Kailey Spear and Sam Spear

 

The Cheshire Cat Inn, USA

Directed by Joshua Sechrist

 

The Clinic, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Elivia Shaw

 

A Cohort of Guests, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Todd Sandler

 

Cruisin’ Santa Barbara, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Justin Gunn

 

Damage, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Matt Porter

 

Definition of Resilience, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Alexis Sallee and Tomas Karmelo


Dream Girl, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Ryan Slattery and Andrea Sanchez


Duel of the Hearts, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Harrison Derbyshire

 

Dust Devil, Australia

Directed by Poppy Walker

Esfuerzo, USA

Directed by Alana Maiello

 

EZK: Beyond the Walls (EZK: Au-delà des murs), France – World Premiere

Directed by Shawn Pyfrom

 

The Fallen Tree, USA

Directed by Drew Hodges

 

Fathom, USA

Directed by Alessio Morello

 

Forgotten, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Daniel Soares

 

From Water to Wind, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Casey McGarry

 

The Garden Is Singing: Ganna Walska Lotusland, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Karen Kasaba

 

Guns Found Here, USA

Directed by David Freid


Henrietta Bulkowski, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Rachel Johnson

 

Hidden Blueprints: The Story of Mikey, USA

Directed by Jeremy Lee MacKenzie

 

Holding, USA

Directed by Jesse Turk and Jon Zucker


Inanimate, UK

Directed by Lucia Bulgheroni

 

Inlove, France

Directed by Les Frères Lopez

 

jack, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Nick Paonessa

 

John Van Hamersveld – Crazy World Ain’t It, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Dave Tourjé

 

Jump, Australia – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Ryan O’Kane and James Conway-Law

 

Last Day of School (Paskutinis skambutis), USA, Lithuania – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Gabriele Urbonaite


The Last Harvest, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Alexis Spraic

 

Love Is Never Wasted, USA

Directed by Nathanael Matanick

 

The Mayor, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Taylor Horky


Mitya’s Love (Mitina Lyubov), Russia – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Svetlana Filippova

 

MOOSE, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Jonah Ansell

 

My Brother Amal (Amali bram), Norway – U.S. Premiere

Directed Christopher Wollebekk

My Moon, USA

Directed by Eusong Lee

 

Near Miss, USA

Directed by Josh Berry

 

No Traveler Returns (D’où nul ne revient), USA, Ivory Coast – World Premiere

Directed by Ellie Foumbi

 

Nothing Ever Good Happens in a Parking Garage, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Mike Winger

 

November 1st, UK – World Premiere

Directed by Charlie Manton

 

Opening the Earth: The Potato King, Peru, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Eric Ebner and Aaron Ebner

 

Our Last Trash, USA

Directed by Joanne Yue

 

Reboot, USA

Directed by Ellen Osborne

 

RETURN: Native American Women Reclaim Foodways for Health and Spirit, USA

Directed by Karen Cantor

 

Reverence (Curtain Call), Iran – World Premiere

Directed by Sogol Rezvani

 

The Running Man of Pasadena, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Brett Nicoletti

 

The Salty Generations, USA

Directed by Shaun Wolfe and Shelby Oliver

 

The Sea Ranch: Architecture, Environment, and Idealism, USA

Directed by Peter Samis

 

Second Unit: A Mockumentary, USA

Directed Ankush Khemani

 

Secret Times, Belarus, UK – World Premiere

Directed by Montanah Blue

 

Selling Lies, USA

Directed by Leslie Iwerks

 

Set on Intent, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Tate Larrick

 

Silence (Sunyi), USA – World Premiere

Directed by Riani Singgih

SPIN, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Marielle Woods

 

Start with Half, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Nathaniel Katzman

 

Stunning, USA, Sweden

Directed by Gustav Högmo

 

Tala,, UK – World Premiere

Directed by Missy Malek

 

This Side Has Dreams Too, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Spencer Rabin

 

Tino, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Robin Hauser


Too Many Bodies, USA

Directed by Reena Dutt


Trail Heads, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Dani Rodriguez


Treat Yourself, USA

Directed by Nathan Leonard


Trial by Fire, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Alex Astrella

 

True Love / True Crime on an American Bus, USA

Directed by Nicholas Coles

Tweet-Tweet, Russia

Directed by Zhanna Bekmambetova

 

VACA, Spain – U.S. Premiere

Directed by Marta Bayarri

 

The Video Shop, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Isaac Seigel-Boettner

 

We Are Love, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Nick Lentz

 

White Guys Solve Sexism, USA

Directed by Christopher Guerrero


Who You Are, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Joel Jay Blacker

 

You Say Hello, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Lovell Holder

 

You Think You Can’t Dance?, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Kum-Kum Bhavnani

Zombie Debt, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Ashly Blodgett

For more information and updates, visit sbiff.org.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 29, 2019.

 

Cocktail Corner: Garagiste Wine Festival

Garagiste Festival 2017, courtesy photo.

Garagiste Festival 2017, courtesy photo.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg

Recently named “America’s Best Wine Festival” by USA Today, the Garagiste Wine Festival returns to Solvang February 8 – 10. “Garagistes” (pronounced garage-east) is a term originally used in the Bordeaux region of France to denigrate renegade small-lot wine makers, sometimes working in their “garages” (anything considered not a chateau), who refused to follow the “rules,” and is now a full-fledged movement responsible for making some of the best wine in the world. 

Showcasing the wines of some of California’s best small production winemakers, the seventh anniversary festival has a number of different components, including the popular “‘Original Garagiste” seminar, featuring Central Coast winemaking legend Ken Brown of Ken Brown Wines interviewed by Garagiste Festival Co-founder and KRUSH radio host, Stewart McLennan.

“We are proud to lead off our main event with a one-on-one discussion and tasting with Ken Brown—a true original ‘garagiste’ many years before micro-production winemaking became a movement,’ says McLennan.  “Ken was one of the first to recognize the cool climate potential of this region back in the 70s and to craft delicious wines from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay right here in Santa Barbara. We are looking forward to an informative and inspiring conversation as we taste some of his delicious wines.” 

Brown’s winery, Ken Brown Wines, focuses on very small lots of Pinot Noir from the finest vineyards of Sta. Rita Hills. Recognized as one of Santa Barbara County’s pioneering winemakers and innovators, he was the founding winemaker at Zaca Mesa Winery and spent 20 years at Byron Winery as well. Not only was Ken Brown among the first vintners to realize the tremendous promise for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Santa Barbara County, he was also the first winemaker to introduce the Syrah grape, as well as Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc, to the region. The “Original Garagiste” seminar runs from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 9 and will focus on how he helped shape the Santa Barbara wine scene and why he ultimately returned to small-lot winemaking. 

Winemaker Ken Brown leads off the 2019 Garagiste Festival with a one-on-one discussion and tasting. Photo by Rocco Ceselin, courtesy Garagiste Festival.

Winemaker Ken Brown leads off the 2019 Garagiste Festival with a one-on-one discussion and tasting. Photo by Rocco Ceselin, courtesy Garagiste Festival.

Dubbed a “tasting nirvana,” “strange and wondrous” and “one not to miss” by the Los Angeles Times, the Garagiste Festival is renowned for its renegade spirit, passionate winemakers, handcrafted wines and rules-breaking, anti-snobby ethos. The wines are poured directly by their makers, and it’s definitely one of the most fun—and accessible—festivals to talk to winemakers about their passion projects. 

In many cases the winemakers are employed by larger wineries but showcase their own, lovingly crafted, small batch concoctions at the Garagiste Festival. For example, Marisa Matela Beverly is Owner/Winemaker of Bevela Wines (which will be showcased at the festival), but has also been working with Au Bon Climat, Qupe and Verdad wineries since 2008.

“Under these two pioneers of Santa Barbara county wine, I try to soak up as much knowledge as I can,” says Beverly. “Over the years, this has helped fine tune my palate and path in winemaking. I am allowed all the freedom I want when it comes to the production of my wines. This helps keep Bevela Wines unique and very boutique.  The best example of influence and yet freedom is my barrel aging regime.  I saw and tasted what extended aging can do for certain Italian varieties, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to use this technique.  It is not the most cost effective—and takes a lot of floor space—but the end results are undeniable, it is worth it!”

Guests can taste those end results on Friday, February 8 at the popular “No Repeats, Rare & Reserve,” tasting, where attendees can get up close and personal with the winemakers as they share limited Club Only, Library and Pre-Release bottles and Barrel samples, and enjoy a BBQ buffet from local favorite Neighbor Tim’s BBQ.

Bevela is pouring a library selection of the Matela Teroldego (the 2010 vintage) as well as the current release (the 2012 vintage).  “We also have a special selection of 2014 Presqu’ile Syrah, only bottled in magnum and only available to our allocation list.  This wine is our silent auction item on Saturday,” says Beverly, who will be pouring her  2017 “Fractured Emergence” Chardonnay, 2012 “Matela” Teroldego, 2015 “Old Fashioned Superstition” Syrah, and 2015 “Unforeseen Alchemy” Red Blend at the Grand Tasting Event on Saturday, February 9.

The Grand Tasting runs from 2-5 p.m. showcasing over 40 winemakers pouring 150+ wines and 20+ unique varieties. Among the winemakers scheduled to pour are: Ascension Cellars, Bevela Wines, Blatty, Bodega de Edgar, Bolshoi Family Wines, Byron, Camlow Cellars, Cholame Vineyard, Cloak & Dagger Wines, Copia Vineyards, Cordon Wines, Corner Cellars, Cutruzzola Vineyards, D.Volk Wines, Dascomb Cellars, DeWit Vineyard, Dracaena Wines, Elwood Wines, Ferguson Family Winery, Golden Triangle, Greyscale Wines, Hoi Polloi Winery, Kaleidos Winery, Kimsey Vineyards, Kings Carey, Lepiane Wines, Luna Hart, Maiden Stoen, Marin’s Vineyard, MCV, Metrick Wines, Montagne Russe, Montemar Winery, Nexo, Pelletiere Estate, RF Fine Wines, Ryan Cochrane Wines, Seagrape, Sycamore Ranch, Temperance Cellars, Tercero Wines, Thomas William Fermentation Company, Torch Cellars, Volatus, and Westerly Wines

All tickets include unlimited tastes, complimentary cheese and charcuterie and a souvenir Stolzle crystal wine glass—plus a Silent Auction full of enticing wine packages which benefits The Garagiste Scholarship at Cal Poly

Dana Volk of D.Volk Wines is pouring at the Garagiste Festival, and offering special discounts to festival attendees at her nearby Solvang tasting room. Photo by Bottle Branding, courtesy D.Volk Wines.

Dana Volk of D.Volk Wines is pouring at the Garagiste Festival, and offering special discounts to festival attendees at her nearby Solvang tasting room. Photo by Bottle Branding, courtesy D.Volk Wines.

Dana Volk, Owner/Winemaker of D.Volk Wines, will be pouring on Friday (her 2016 John Sebastiano Vineyard Syrah, which is usually only available to wine club members) and Saturday. She says, “I have poured wine at many festivals in my 25 years in this business and this is by far my favorite one to show my wine at! The attendees are genuinely interested in getting to know you personally and to learn about the wines and winemaking.”

On Saturday she’ll be pouring and offering special discounts on D.Volk Wines’ 2017 Curtis Vineyard Chardonnay, Santa Ynez Valley; 2017 Grenache Blanc, Dorigo Family Vineyards, Ballard Canyon; 2017 Rosé, Camp 4 Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley; 2015 Pinot Noir, Duvarita Vineyard, Santa Barbara County; and 2016 Hampton Family Vineyard Syrah, Santa Ynez Valley.

“There is a special place in our hearts for Solvang, and for the amazing small production winemakers who pour at this venue. Solvang, and the beautiful Veteran’s Memorial Hall, lend such a charming and intimate setting for attendees to chat and taste with the winemakers and owners who will be pouring their hard-to-find wines. We love the diversity of the wines poured here, with multiple micro-climates, grape varieties and innovative blends represented.” says Garagiste Festival cofounder Doug Minnick

With the exception of the Passport Day tastings, which take place at individual wineries and tasting rooms, all festival weekend events take place at Solvang Veterans’ Memorial Hall, 1745 Mission Dr., Solvang.

Tickets are very limited, so if you want to go, you should act now. To purchase tickets, click here. Hope to see some of you there. 

Cheers! Click here for more Cocktail Corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie believes variety is the spice of life. Send your suggestions to Leslie@sbseasons.com.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 25, 2019.

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, photo by Zoran Jelen.

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, photo by Zoran Jelen.

Dancing the very fine line between high art and high camp, the internationally-beloved Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo bring their brilliant pointe work and vibrant drag costumes to the Granada Theatre (1214 State St., Santa Barbara) on Sunday, January 27 at 7 p.m.

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, photo by Zoran Jelen.

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, photo by Zoran Jelen.

Presented by UCSB Arts & LecturesLes Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo was founded in 1974 in New York City on the heels of the Stonewall riots, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (also affectionately called “The Trocks”)  is a company of professional male dancers performing the full range of the ballet and modern dance repertoire, including classical and original works in faithful renditions of the manners and conceits of those dance styles. The comedy is achieved by incorporating and exaggerating the foibles, accidents and underlying incongruities of serious dance. The fact that men dance all the parts—heavy bodies delicately balancing on toes as swans, sylphs, water sprites, romantic princesses, or angst-ridden Victorian ladies—enhances, rather than mocks, the spirit of dance as an art form, delighting and amusing the most knowledgeable, as well as novices, in the audiences.

“The funniest night you will ever have at the ballet,” writes The Sunday Times (U.K). 

The Trocks’ numerous tours have been both popular and critical successes—the company’s annual schedules have included six tours to Australia and New Zealand, 25 to Japan (where annual visits have created a nation-wide cult following and a fan club), 10 to South America, three to South Africa and 55 tours of Europe. In the United States, the company has become a regular part of the college and university circuit, in addition to frequent presentations in all of the 50 states. The company has appeared in more than 35 countries and more than 500 cities worldwide since its founding.

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, photo by Zoran Jelen.

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, photo by Zoran Jelen.

For tickets or more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805/893-3535 or purchase online at www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.eduTickets are also available through The Granada Theatre at 805/899-2222 or granadasb.org.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 24, 2019.

Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks Jan. 27-Feb. 10

Root 246's Creekstone Ranch Burger is one of the specials on the menu at Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks, taking place Jan 27 to Feb 10. Courtesy photo.

Root 246’s Creekstone Ranch Burger is one of the specials on the menu at Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks, taking place Jan 27 to Feb 10. Courtesy photo.

The Santa Ynez Valley has so many great restaurants, and the upcoming annual foodie celebration is the perfect time to check out a new one or revisit and old favorite.

Part of Visit California’s California Restaurant Month, this year’s Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks feature three-course meal deals—all $20.19—at a record 32 restaurants in the six Santa Ynez Valley towns of Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez, and Solvang.

Why is it two weeks long?

“We continually heard from local restaurants and from diners that the only way to improve Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks is to offer more of it,” says Shelby Sim, President/CEO of Visit the Santa Ynez Valley. “The event has been successful from year one, expanding well beyond what can be fit into just one week. It is exciting to continue to see it grow.”

Representing each of the Santa Ynez Valley’s six distinct communities, 32 restaurants will participate in Restaurant Weeks in 2019. In addition to the offerings of the Valley’s restaurants, many Santa Ynez Valley wineries will offer wine and small bite pairings in their tasting rooms for $20.19. And special lodging deals are available at hotels throughout the Valley.

“Santa Ynez Valley’s food scene is rapidly evolving in terms of both quality and quantity; it’s even challenging the region’s reputation for world-class wines. Our restaurants these days—rule,” says Sim. 

The Courtyard at S.Y. Kitchen | Photo Credit Rob Stark

The Courtyard at S.Y. Kitchen | Photo Credit Rob Stark

Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks menus shine with farm-fresh examples of wine country’s seasonal bounty, with tasting menus crafted by celebrated chefs. Exemplary, and locavore, Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks dishes include S.Y. Kitchen executive chef Luca Crestanelli’s “Bird’s Nest Lasagna” (with fontina cheese, roasted butternut squash, chanterelle mushrooms), his “Fried Sous Vide Organic Egg” (with cheese fondue and chicory), and his “Saffron Gnocchetti (with butter and sage, optional bone marrow, raspadura cheese). At The Bear and Star in Los Olivos, chef/partner John Cox’s Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks menus include the likes of his “Wagyu Empanada” (with black beans and Cotija cheese), utilizing proteins pulled from nearby Fess Parker Ranch.

In Solvang, new chef de cuisine at Root 246, Crystal “Chef Pink” DeLongpré, puts her locally- and sustainably-sourced, TV chef touches on an “American Lamb Burger” (Bellwether Farms Jersey ricotta, house-pickled mustard seed, smoky tomato jam, served with fries or Chef Pink’s famous Brussels sprouts), which is destined for the eatery and lounge’s Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks menu.

Norman, courtesy Skyview Los Alamos.

Norman, courtesy Skyview Los Alamos.

The food-centric hotspot of Los Alamos will boast chef and restaurant participants like the town’s culinary founders, chef Jesper Johansson of Plenty on Bell and chef Clark Staub at his Full of Life Flatbread enterprise; chef Drew Terp of PICO fame; chef Conrad Gonzales’ Valle Fresh; and Norman restaurant and bar, the dining and drinking component at mid-century motor lodge marvel, Skyview Los Alamos.

At Buellton’s pioneering Santa Ynez Valley food-scape player, Industrial Eats, chef/owners Jeff and Janet Olsson will celebrate the foods of—with 100% of proceeds benefitting—the People of Yemen. Yemeni dishes will comprise the bistro’s Restaurant Weeks menu, with specialties like Shourba Bilsen (lamb broth lentil soup with coriander), Hor’ee (braised beef shank with basmati rice), and Bint Al-Sahn (dough cake with honey).

Dates of participation vary by establishment, but the list of participating restaurants, wineries, and lodging properties includes:

Ballard

The Ballard Inn & Gathering Table, 2436 Baseline Ave., 800/638-2466

Buellton

Campfire Café at Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground, 180 Avenue of Flags, Buellton, 805/688-3716

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.,45 Industrial Way, 805/694-2252

Firestone Walker Brewing Co., 620 McMurray Rd., 805/697-4777

Hitching Post II, 406 E Hwy 246, 805/688-0676

Industrial Eats, 181 Industrial Way, 805/688-8807

La Tequila Mexican Restaurant, 35 W. Highway 26, 805/697-7776

Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, 555 McMurray Road, 805/688-1000

Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks is taking place Jan 27 to Feb 10. Courtesy photo.

Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks is taking place Jan 27 to Feb 10. Courtesy photo.

Los Alamos

Full of Life Flatbread, 225 Bell St., 805/344-4400

Norman, 9150 US Highway 101, 805/344-0080

Pico at The Los Alamos General Store, 458 Bell St., 805/344-1122

Plenty on Bell, 508 Bell St., 805/344-3020

Valle Fresh, 380 Bell St., 805/865-2282

Los Olivos

The Bear & Star, 2860 Grand Ave, 805/686-1359

Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café, 2879 Grand Ave., 805/688-7265

Santa Ynez

The Lucky Hen Larder, 1095 Meadowvale Rd., 805/691-9448

S.Y. Kitchen, 1110 Faraday St., 805/691-9794

Trattoria Grappolo, 3687 Sagunto St., 805/688-6899

Willows Restaurant & Bar, 3400 E. Highway 246, 805/686-0855

Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks is taking place Jan 27 to Feb 10. Courtesy photo.

Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks is taking place Jan 27 to Feb 10. Courtesy photo.

Solvang

Cecco Ristorante, 475 1st St., 805/688-8880

First & Oak, 409 1st St., 805/688-1703

Fresco Valley Café, 442 Atterdag Rd., 805/688-8857

Hill Haven Provisions, 448 Atterdag Rd., 805/691-9025

Hummingbird Restaurant, 453 Atterdag Rd., 805/403-7100

Leonardo’s Ristorante, 632 Alamo Pintado Rd., 805/686-0846

Los Arroyos Mexican Restaurant & Take Out, 1992 Old Mission Dr., 805/693-2994

Mad & Vin at The Landsby, 1576 Mission Dr., 805/688-3121

River Grill at The Alisal, 150 Alisal Rd., 805/688-7784

Root 246, 420 Alisal Rd., 805/686-8681

Solvang Brewing Co., 1547 Mission Dr., 805/688-2337

Succulent Café Wine Charcuterie, 1555 Mission Dr., 805/691-9444

Toscana Pizzeria, 485 Alisal Road #163, 805/697-7445

Alma Rosa’s eco-chic tasting room in Buellton, built by Allen Construction, incorporates a 15-foot olive tree, local river stone and recycled Douglas Fir. Photo by Patrick Price.

Alma Rosa’s eco-chic tasting room in Buellton, built by Allen Construction, incorporates a 15-foot olive tree, local river stone and recycled Douglas Fir. Photo by Patrick Price.

Wineries

Alma Rosa Winery, 181-C Industrial Way, Buellton, 805/691-9395

Hitching Post Wines, 420 E. Highway 246, Buellton, 805/688-0676

Kalyra Winery, 343 N Refugio Rd., Santa Ynez, 805/693-8864

Loring Wine Company, 201-B Industrial Way, Buellton, 805/691-1300

Pence Vineyards & Winery, 1909 W. Highway 246, Buellton, 805/735-7000

Roblar Winery & Vineyards, 3010 Roblar Ave., Santa Ynez, 805/686-2603

Sunstone Winery, 125 N. Refugio Rd., Santa Ynez, 805/688-9463

 

Lodging

Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground, 180 Avenue of Flags, Buellton, 805/688-3716

Hampton Inn & Suites Buellton/Santa Ynez Valley, 600 McMurray Rd., Buellton, 805/686-1555

King Frederik Inn, 1617 Copenhagen Dr., Solvang, 805/688-5515

The Landsby, 1576 Mission Dr., 805/688-3121

New Haven Inn, 271 Alisal Rd., Solvang, 805/618-8541

Pea Soup Andersen’s Inn, 51 E. Highway 246, Buellton, 800/732-7687

Santa Ynez Inn, 3627 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez, 805/688-5588

Sideways Inn, 114 E. Highway 246, Buellton, 805/688-8448

Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Week menus do not include tax, tip, or beverages, and reservations are strongly encouraged. For the latest updates, including menus and dining hours, visit www.DineSYV.com.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 24, 2019.

Cocktail Corner: Constellation Pop-Up at Hotel Californian

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg

Looking for something fun to do to chase those winter blues away. Why not check out the first-ever foodie, wine, mixology & indie music weekend at Hotel Californian (36 State St., Santa Barbara) from January 25-27.

“This is the first of a new quarterly weekend series that will bring inspiring culinary, musical and cultural experiences to Santa Barbara’s hip Funk Zone neighborhood,” says Niki Jenson, who represents Hotel Californian.  

Featuring chefs, indie musicians, vibey DJ beats and community vintners, this sounds like something that shouldn’t be missed. Highlights include Friday night’s “meet the makers” opening night reception with a vibey beats from Boom Forest, along with Bittercube Cocktails, Potek Wine and light bites.

There will be a Bittercube mixology class—the Seven Pillars of Classic Cocktails—on Saturday in Hotel Californian’s sexy new Djinn lobby bar. Bittercube is a Wisconsin-based line of densely flavored cocktail bitters that are created by hand with real botanicals, taking as long as 25 days to complete the process. 

As part of Hotel Californian's Constellation Pop Up Weekend, Bittercube co-founder Ira Koplowitz will host a mixology class, complete with cocktail tasting and curated snacks. Courtesy photo.

As part of Hotel Californian’s Constellation Pop Up Weekend, Bittercube co-founder Ira Koplowitz will host a mixology class, complete with cocktail tasting and curated snacks. Courtesy photo.

Saturday evening features a chef & winemaker reception and six-course dinner from Guest Chefs Justin Carlisle & Chris Mangless, featuring wines by Russel From of Herman Story (Paso Robles), Vailia Esh of Desparada (Paso Robles), and Dave Potter (who we just featured in the winter issue of Santa Barbara Seasons) of Municipal Winemakers (22 Anacapa St., Santa Barbara).

 

Later that night (Jan. 26) is an indie pop-up concert with Langhorne Slim, Stelth Ulvang of The Lumineers and Chris Porterfield of Field Report.

Stelth Ulvang – Clocktower (live at Scandinavia) from The Sights Of Sounds on Vimeo.

And if that’s not enough excitement, Sunday features a winemaker brunch featuring wines from Dave Potter of Municipal Winemakers.

Tickets are still available, click here to access them (choose among individual event tickets or two VIP Packages). This should be a really fun weekend. I hope to see some of you there.

Cheers! Click here for more Cocktail Corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie believes variety is the spice of life. Send your suggestions to Leslie@sbseasons.com.

 

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 21, 2019.

 

 

Cocktail Corner: Sipping for Good

BELMOND EL ENCANTO & SUNSTONE WINERY CRAFT CUSTOM BLENDS TO BENEFIT YOUTH INTERACTIVE

Belmond El Encanto has partnered with Sunstone Winery to craft two custom blends in support of the local youth organization Youth Interactive. Photo courtesy Belmond El Encanto.

Belmond El Encanto has partnered with Sunstone Winery to craft two custom blends in support of the local youth organization Youth Interactive. Photo courtesy Belmond El Encanto.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg

I’m always excited to hear about partnerships between local wineries, local businesses and local nonprofits. After all, when good wine benefits a good cause … well, it’s all good!

Most recently, Belmond El Encanto  collaborated with the beautiful, family-owned Santa Ynez Valley winery Sunstone Winery to craft two custom blends in partnership with GO Campaign to support Youth Interactive, one of my favorite local organizations that works to create youth-led businesses to help participants explore their creative and entrepreneurial talents. 

Belmond El Encanto worked directly with winemaker Bion Rice and the Sunstone team to craft each wine.

The first custom blend, released in December, is Enchanted Riviera (pictured above). It is a 2017 cuvée consisting of 50% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre. Each of the four lots used to compile this blend originated from the 28-year-old Sunstone Estate Vineyard.

The white blend, Charming Vista, will be available in early 2019. A select panel from Belmond El Encanto and Youth Interactive’s Board developed secret blends for a blind tasting at Sunstone Winery, and a Level 2 Sommelier from the winery chose the winning blend.

Youth Interactive Artist Jack Miles with his artwork that is featured on the "Enchanted Riviera" bottle. Courtesy photo.

Youth Interactive Artist Jack Miles with his artwork that is featured on the “Enchanted Riviera” bottle. Courtesy photo.

The bottle label artwork was created by Youth Interactive participant, 18-year-old La Cuesta Continuation High School student, Jack Miles. A fan of abstract art, Miles was mentored by celebrated local artist James-Paul Brown on the design.

“Youth Interactive means a lot to me. It is a safe place where I know that I can always come to and feel free to be myself and express myself. I am able to meet important people in the community and expand on my skills to become a better person,” says Miles, who hopes to find a job that allows him to utilize his talents and give back to the community.

Founded in 2012, Youth Interactive Santa Barbara  is a grassroots after school Entrepreneurial Arts Academy that bridges opportunity and social divisions by providing creative young adults from all walks of life with the keys to self-sufficiency. Sold exclusively at the hotel, Belmond El Encanto will donate five dollars from each bottle sold to the organization. 

You can also check out some of Youth Interactive’s other products at their new gallery space, the State Gallery @ YI Shop, located at 1219 State St. across from the Granada Theatre in Downtown Santa Barbara.

Sunstone Winery, courtesy photo.

Sunstone Winery, courtesy photo.

“Collaborating with both Sunstone Winery and Youth Interactive is the perfect match for Belmond El Encanto,” says Colleen Huther, General Manager of Belmond El Encanto. “Being a strong advocate for sustainability, we appreciate the environmental preservation and organic growing that is inherent with Sunstone Winery. A majority of our local community outreach efforts focus on youth, the future stewards of our planet. We can’t think of a better youth organization to support than Youth Interactive.”

Cheers to good wine and good causes! Click here for more Cocktail Corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie believes variety is the spice of life. Send your suggestions to Leslie@sbseasons.com.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 18, 2019.

Local Lowdown: Montecito’s Upper Village Embodies the Spirit of Community

Montecito's Upper Village, photo by Jordan Duggan.

Montecito’s Upper Village, photo by Jordan Duggan.

By Leslie Dinaberg

Photos by Jordan Duggan

Despite the global sophistication of its residents, the spirit of small town American is alive and well in Montecito’s low key, charming upper village. While last year’s twin disasters wrecked heartbreaking havoc both personally and professionally, they also helped create an appreciative climate of reflection and gratitude for the simple joys of greeting neighbors and supporting local businesses. What better time to pay them a visit than during the holiday season.

East Valley Road carves a graceful path through the heart of the village, where several clusters of retail businesses and service providers make their homes on both the mountain and ocean sides of the street. The porch of the Montecito Coffee Shop/San Ysidro Pharmacy and the fountain patio of Pierre Lafond Montecito Market are both great spots to catch up on the latest scuttlebutt or watch the world go by. Other fine eateries include Pane e Vino, Via Vai Trattoria Pizzeria and Montecito Wine Bistro, as well as food purveyors like Montecito Village Grocery and Village Cheese & Wine (which reportedly kept the doors open and locals who didn’t evacuate fed throughout the nearly three weeks that Montecito was clamped down in a post-flood mandatory evacuation).

Montecito's Upper Village, photo by Jordan Duggan.

Montecito’s Upper Village, photo by Jordan Duggan.

Shopping for unique items is a pleasure at Imagine Artful Things, a beautiful gem of a store that defies categorization. Trust us, you’re sure to find distinctive gifts for the home as well as everyone on your list (including yourself). Other notable art, gifts and home good dealers in the area include Upstairs at Pierre Lafond (with everything from home dècor, to tabletop pieces and gorgeous local artwork), The Stationery Collection, Tecolote Book Shop (complete with a lovely grassy outdoor area to pull up a seat if you just can’t wait to dig into the latest bestseller), Village Frame & Gallery, Clare Swan Clothing & Travel and Jenni Kayne Home & Apparel.

An impressive number of antique stores are in the area, including Josephine’s Antiques, Davis & Taft Antiques, Country House Antiques, Carty & Carty Antiques, Brostrom Antiques, William Lahman Furniture (a charming mix of antiques, accessories and garden objects) and Haskell Antiques.

Montecito's Upper Village, photo by Jordan Duggan.

Montecito’s Upper Village, photo by Jordan Duggan.

Stylish women’s fashions can be found at Juniper Women’s Boutique (the handmade belts are one-of-a-kind), Glamour House Intimate Apparel (which has beautiful nighties and PJs for holiday gifting), Giuliana Haute Couture, Julianne Boutique and two stores—Wendy Foster Clothing and Wendy Foster Sportswear—from Santa Barbara’s long-time doyenne of style.

Health and wellness salons include Skin Essentials, Dadiana, Beauty & Hair Salon and Mareva International. Jewelers in the village include Bryant & Sons Jewelers, Tresor Fine Jewelry & Collectibles, George Meta Jewelry and Oliver & Espig Gallery of Fine Arts.

Montecito's Upper Village, photo by Jordan Duggan.

Montecito’s Upper Village, photo by Jordan Duggan.

In addition, there’s a wealth of services available in the upper village, including Automotive & Repair, Montecito Village Hardware, Sotheby’s International Realty (Sandy Stahl and an additional office), Wells Fargo Bank & Trust, ACI Jet, Blake Ashley Design, Montecito Executive Services, Montecito Library, Montecito Associates, Union Bank, Santa Barbara Travel Bureau, Elder Studio, Northern Trust (two offices), Coldwell Banker, Hogue & Co. Florists, House of Honey, American Riviera Bank and Gazebo Gardens.

In keeping with the small town retail vibe, many of these retailers are entirely owner run and operated, ensuring a
personal touch. Please call individual stores for hours of operation, as they can vary.

Originally published in the Winter 2019 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.

Legacies: Santa Barbara International Film Festival Will Dazzle Once Again

Actresses Allison Janney, Margot Robbie and moderator Scott Feinberg speak onstage at the Outstanding Performers Honoring Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Presented By Belvedere Vodka during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 8, 2018 in Santa Barbara. Photo by Rebecca Sapp, Getty Images for SBIFF.

Actresses Allison Janney, Margot Robbie and moderator Scott Feinberg speak onstage at the Outstanding Performers Honoring Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Presented By Belvedere Vodka during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 8, 2018 in Santa Barbara. Photo by Rebecca Sapp, Getty Images for SBIFF.

By Leslie Dinaberg

A joyous celebration of the art of cinema, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is one of the leading film festivals in the U.S., offering its 90,000 attendees (comprised of an eclectic mix of locals and visitors from around the world) an 11-day experience jam-packed with 200+ films, tributes and panels.

Among the highlights of the 2019 festival, taking place Jan. 30 – Feb. 9, are the celebrity tributes at the historic Arlington Theatre. First up (at press time) is the American Riviera Award honoring Viggo Mortensen on the afternoon of Feb. 2. Mortensen will be recognized for his many attributes to the art of film over the years, and most recently, his work in Green Book.

Viggo Mortensen, courtesy SBIFF.

Viggo Mortensen, courtesy SBIFF.

“Viggo is one of the steadiest acting forces in cinema and one of its greatest chameleons,” says SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “As Tony Lip in Green Book, he delivers the capstone to his remarkable career. He encapsulates the American Riviera Award. We greatly admire and love him.”

Glenn Close, courtesy SBIFF.

Glenn Close, courtesy SBIFF.

That same evening, Glenn Close is set to receive the prestigious Maltin Modern Master Award. Close will be honored for her longstanding contributions to the film industry, most recently gracing the silver screen in The Wife. Leonard Maltin will return for his 28th year to moderate the evening.

“Glenn Close is one of the great actresses of our time. Versatility is her hallmark, and there is clearly nothing she can’t do. She became a star with her first feature film, The World According to Garp, and has gone on to play everyone from Cruella de Vil to aging silent-film star Norma Desmond in the stage musical of Sunset Blvd. I can’t wait to spend an evening with her onstage at the Arlington Theatre,” states Maltin.

Melissa McCarty, courtesy SBIFF.

Melissa McCarty, courtesy SBIFF.

Melissa McCarthy will receive the prestigious Montecito Award, for her starring role in Can You Ever Forgive Me? Given to a person in the entertainment industry who has made a great contribution to film, the award will be presented to her on Feb. 3.

“Melissa McCarthy—always a compelling talent—triumphs as Lee Israel in Can You Ever Forgive Me?” says Durling. “She’s funny, dark, caustic and oh so vulnerable. SBIFF is so pleased to be able to award this performance and her career so far.”

SBIFF Virtuosos Award presented by UGG honoring Yalitza Aparicio (Roma), Sam Elliott (A Star is Born), Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade), Claire Foy (First Man), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace), John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman),and Steven Yeun (Burning). Photos courtesy SBIFF.

SBIFF Virtuosos Award presented by UGG honoring Yalitza Aparicio (Roma), Sam Elliott (A Star is Born), Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade), Claire Foy (First Man), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace), John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman),and Steven Yeun (Burning). Photos courtesy SBIFF.

Always a fun and lively presentation, the Virtuosos Award is an honor created to recognize a select group of talent whose noteworthy performances in film have elevated them into the national cinematic dialogue. Yalitza Aparicio (Roma), Sam Elliott (A Star is Born), Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade), Claire Foy (First Man), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie (Leave No Trace), John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman), and Steven Yeun (Burning) will receive the award on Feb. 5.

“From talented teenagers starring in their first feature films to veteran actors shining in career-best performances, this year’s
Virtuosos prove that you can have a breakout moment at any point in your career,” says Turner Classic Movies host Dave Karger, who will preside over the evening for the eighth consecutive year.

Michael B. Jordan, courtesy SBIFF.

Michael B. Jordan, courtesy SBIFF.

Michael B. Jordan is set to receive the Cinema Vanguard Award on Feb. 7 for his work in two of the year’s critically acclaimed,
culturally significant and record-breaking box office hits, Black Panther and Creed II.

“It’s thrilling to honor Michael B. Jordan this year for the emboldened way he’s shown us what it means to be a movie star for the 21st century—mixing sensitivity with swagger, choosing important material that remains full of integrity yet become world phenomenon, and forging a cinematic partnership with visionary director Ryan Coogler,” says Durling.

SBIFF educational offerings include a Film Studies Program for undergraduate students from around the U.S., and the 10-10-10 (Ten Writers – Ten Directors – Ten Films) Screenwriting and Filmmaking Mentorship and Competition. There are also numerous other educational opportunities for local students and community members. For more information and the complete schedule, visit sbiff.org.

Actor Sam Rockwell speaks onstage at The American Riviera Award Honoring Sam Rockwell during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 7, 2018 in Santa Barbara. Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer, Getty Images for SBIFF.

Actor Sam Rockwell speaks onstage at The American Riviera Award Honoring Sam Rockwell during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 7, 2018 in Santa Barbara. Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer, Getty Images for SBIFF.

Originally published in the Winter 2019 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.

In Living Color at MichaelKate

Ann Shelton Beth, “Wave Energy,” oil on canvas.

Ann Shelton Beth, “Wave Energy,” oil on canvas.

Spotlighting the work of four artists—Ann Shelton Beth, Jennifer Boswell, Tanya Lozano and Helle Sharling Todd—In Living Color is on view at MichaelKate Interiors & Art Gallery (132 Santa Barbara St. Santa Barbara) from Jan. 18-Mar. 10, with a reception on Friday January 18, from 5  – 8 p.m. Meet the artists at the reception and hear them speak about their work at the 6 p.m. artist talk.

“The works in this show are mostly based on nature, specifically, the south and central coast. Some pieces more abstract than others, the artists use color and expressive brushstrokes to convey their decisive responses to our beautiful and sometimes ominous natural world,” writes Jan Ziegler, curator of art at MichaelKate.

Tanya Lozano, “Beach,” acrylic on canvas.

Tanya Lozano, “Beach,” acrylic on canvas.

Jennifer Boswell, “Up in the Air” Series Eight 1A.

Jennifer Boswell, “Up in the Air” Series Eight 1A.

MichaelKate Interiors is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Closed Wednesdays. For more information, please call 805/963-1411.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 16, 2019.