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“The Public” is Opening Night Film at SBIFF

by lesliedinaberg on January 5, 2018

The Public will open the 2018 Santa Barbara International Film Festival on January 31. Courtesy photos.

The Public will open the 2018 Santa Barbara International Film Festival on January 31. Courtesy photos.

Opening night of the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), presented by UGG, is the worldwide premiere of The Public at the Arlington Theatre on Wednesday, January 31.  Written and directed by Emilio Estevez, the film stars Estevez, Alec Baldwin, Jena Malone, Christian Slater, Taylor Schilling, Che “Rhymefest” Smith, Gabrielle Union, Jacob Vargas, Michael K. Williams and Jeffrey Wright.

“I’ve long admired Emilio Estevez as an artist-actor-director.  With The Public, I feel he has done his most personal and fully realized work. the public speaks wonderfully about our current divided country – but it also does not preach – it keeps us cinematically immersed.  I can honestly say this is the proudest choice for opening during my tenure at SBIFF.  I cherish the friendship with Emilio and admire his accomplishment with the public,” says Roger Durling, Executive Director of SBIFF.

The Public puts the spotlight on the issues of homelessness, mental illness and drug addiction as it follows a group of homeless library patrons, who, after learning that emergency shelters are at capacity during a brutal Midwestern cold front, refuse to leave Cincinnati’s downtown public library at closing time.

“I’m absolutely delighted, thrilled, and humbled to be chosen by Roger Durling for the great honor of kicking off SBIFF 2018 with The Public. Roger’s long standing commitment of supporting independent filmmakers makes the Santa Barbara International Film Festival a vital showcase for artists. Once again, the festival will screen a wide and wonderful variety of distinguished films and our picture has indeed, found itself in some lovely company,” says Emilio Estevez.

For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 4, 2018.

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