On hand to celebrate was SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling; Estevez and fellow cast members Alec Baldwin, Michael K. Williams, Jena Malone, Che Smith, Spencer Garrett and Jacob Vargas; as well as Martin Sheen (Estevez’s father), Mayor of Santa Barbara Cathy Murillo and Supervisor Joan Hartmann.
Durling welcomed attendees at The Arlington Theatre and addressed the recent devastation from the wildfires and mudslides, saying, “The past few months have been some of the hardest for everyone in Santa Barbara. The devastation and the emotional toll it has taken on all of us is not quantifiable… Film has the power to unify us. To make us feel less fragmented as human beings. The events of the past weeks have fragmented this community—we’ve felt alone—but tonight and for the next 10 days we’re alone no more.”
The turquoise ribbons seen around town this week are a moving tribute in honor of the victims, representing clarity of thought, harmony, and healing. In an emotional opening to the Festival, Durling read off the names of each person that passed away or is currently reported as missing.
He then brought Estevez on stage who was joined by his cast to introduce the film.
Throughout the festival, ribbons will be available for purchase at the Metro 4 Theatre with all proceeds going directly to United Way of Santa Barbara County.
For more information, visit sbiff.org.
Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 2, 2018.