Photo Gallery: Margot Robbie and Allison Janney are Performers of the Year at SBIFF

Margot Robbie 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, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Margot Robbie 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, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

I, Tonya stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney received the Outstanding Performers of the Year Award from Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) on February 8.

“Allison and Margot bring biting humor and an emotional resonance to their real-life characters in I, Tonya,” states SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “We are proud to celebrate them and their incredible contributions to cinema.”

Allison Janney poses backstage 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, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Allison Janney poses backstage 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, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Margot Robbie 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, California. (Photo by Matthew Simmons/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Margot Robbie 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, California. (Photo by Matthew Simmons/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Allison Janney 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, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Allison Janney 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, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Margot Robbie, director Craig Gillespie and actress Allison Janney (I, Tonya) pose backstage 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, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Margot Robbie, director Craig Gillespie and actress Allison Janney (I, Tonya) pose backstage 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, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Margot Robbie 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, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Margot Robbie 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, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

SBIFF executive director Roger Durling and actress Allison Janney at the after party for 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, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

SBIFF executive director Roger Durling and actress Allison Janney at the after party for 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, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 13, 2018.

Photo Gallery: SBIFF Honors Saoirse Ronan, Timothee Chalamet Presents

SBIFF executive director Roger Durling, actors Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet pose backstage with the Santa Barbara Award at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

SBIFF executive director Roger Durling, actors Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet pose backstage with the Santa Barbara Award at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Golden Globe Award winner Saoirse Ronan received the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s (SBIFF) Santa Barbara Award, presented by UGG, for her critically acclaimed role in Lady Bird. Her Lady Bird co-star Timothee Chalamet (recipient of the 2018 Virtuosos Award from SBIFF) presented the award.

Actress Saoirse Ronan poses backstage with the Santa Barbara Award at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Saoirse Ronan poses backstage with the Santa Barbara Award at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Ronan has numerous film credits, including The Grand Budapest Hotel, Hanna, The Lovely Bones and The Way Back. She has received Academy Award nominations for her performances in Atonement and Brooklyn, and recently was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for her performance in Lady Bird.

Actress Saoirse Ronan speaks onstage at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Saoirse Ronan speaks onstage at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

“In Lady Bird, Saoirse Ronan has once again proven that she is a force of nature and one of her generation’s most exciting young talents,” states SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “She embodies her characters with a poignant accuracy and ease every time she appears on screen.”

Actress Saoirse Ronan at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Saoirse Ronan at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Saoirse Ronan interacts with fans at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Saoirse Ronan interacts with fans at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Saoirse Ronan (right) poses with fans at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Saoirse Ronan (right) poses with fans at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Saoirse Ronan (left) poses with fans at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Saoirse Ronan (left) poses with fans at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actor Timothee Chalamet speaks onstage at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actor Timothee Chalamet speaks onstage at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 13, 2018.

Cocktail Corner: Cheers to SBIFF!

A general view of atmosphere at the after party for the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic!  By Leslie Dinaberg

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is always a fun and festive affair, and Wednesday night’s opener was no exception. Emilio Estevez‘s heartwarming and eye-opening film, The Public, was a great way to start the night.

On the red carpet to celebrate were 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.

 

Emilio Estevez and Brewmaster Tim Crooks at the after party for the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Emilio Estevez and Brewmaster Tim Crooks at the after party for the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

The film was followed by a fabulous party presented by Belvedere Vodka at Paseo Nuevo.

The after party for the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Santa Barbara will be pouring cocktails at celebrity studded events for the next week. Keep your eyes out for Margot Robbie and Allison Janney, Gary Oldman, Saoirse Ronan, Sam Rockwell, Gal Gadot and many more in the days to come.

Meanwhile, if you want to drink like the stars, here a few recipes, courtesy of Belvedere Vodka:

Belvedere Classic Martini, courtesy photo.

Belvedere Classic Martini, courtesy photo.

BELVEDERE CLASSIC MARTINI 

2 oz / 60ml Belvedere Vodka 

.25 oz / 7ml French Fortified Wine 

Belvedere Modern Greyhound, courtesy photo.

Belvedere Modern Greyhound, courtesy photo.

Method: Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and stir over ice until very cold. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a pink grapefruit twist.

BELVEDERE MODERN GREYHOUND 

1.5 oz / 45 ml Belvedere Vodka 

0.5 oz / 15 ml Aperol 

3 oz / 90 ml Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice 

1 oz / 30 ml Tonic Water 

Method: Combine all ingredients in a tall glass filled with ice. Roll contents and garnish with a grapefruit slice and a dash of salt.

Tickets are still available for some of the celebrity tributes. For more information, click here.

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 considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on Feb. 2, 2018.

Photo Gallery: SBIFF Opening Night

(L-R) Spencer Garret, Jacob Vargas, Michael K. Williams, Jenna Malone, Emilio Estevez, Alec Baldwin and Rhymefest at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

(L-R) Spencer Garret, Jacob Vargas, Michael K. Williams, Jenna Malone, Emilio Estevez, Alec Baldwin and Rhymefest (Che Smith) at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

The 33rd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) kicked off Wednesday with the world premiere of Emilio Estevez’s The Public and the Opening Night Gala.

On hand to celebrate was SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling; Estevez and fellow cast members Alec BaldwinMichael K. WilliamsJena MaloneChe SmithSpencer Garrett and Jacob Vargas; as well as Martin Sheen (Estevez’s father), Mayor of Santa Barbara Cathy Murillo and Supervisor Joan Hartmann.

Emilio Estevez at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Emilio Estevez at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

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.

Emilio Estevez and Alec Bladwin at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Emilio Estevez and Alec Bladwin at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

The film was followed by a fabulous party presented by Belvedere Vodka at Paseo Nuevo.

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Joan Hartmann, Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo and Emilio Estevez at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Joan Hartmann, Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo and Emilio Estevez at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

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. 

Michael K. Williams at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Michael K. Williams at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

DJ Darla Bea spins at the VIP after party for the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

DJ Darla Bea spins at the VIP after party for the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Martin Sheen at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Martin Sheen at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Alec Baldwin (Right) and wife Hilaria Baldwin at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Alec Baldwin (Right) and wife Hilaria Baldwin at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Jenna Malone at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Jenna Malone at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

For more information, visit sbiff.org.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 2, 2018.

SBIFF Fetes Allison Janney and Margot Robbie

SBIFF Outstanding Performer of the Year Award, courtesy photos.

SBIFF Outstanding Performer of the Year Award, courtesy photos.

I, Tonya stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney will receive the Outstanding Performers of the Year Award from Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) on Thursday, February 8, at 8 p.m. at the Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St.

“Allison and Margot bring biting humor and an emotional resonance to their real-life characters in I, Tonya,” states SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “We are proud to celebrate them and their incredible contributions to cinema.”

Janney and Robbie have received Critics’ Choice Awards for the film and both actresses have also received nominations at the BAFTAs and SAG Awards for their respective roles, and Janney was awarded with the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. The tribute will be moderated by Scott Feinberg, Awards Columnist for The Hollywood Reporter.

Janney and Robbie will join a renowned group of Outstanding Performer Award recipients, including Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, Brie Larson and Saoirse Ronan, Steve Carell, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Viola Davis, Colin Firth, Penelope Cruz, Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren, Heath Ledger, Kate Winslet, and Charlize Theron.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit sbiff.org.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 26, 2018.

SBIFF Santa Barbara Award Honors Saoirse Ronan

SBIFF Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan, courtesy photos.

SBIFF Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan, courtesy photos.

Golden Globe Award winner Saoirse Ronan will receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s (SBIFF) Santa Barbara Award, presented by UGG, for her critically acclaimed role in Lady Bird. Given to a person in the entertainment industry who has made a great contribution to film, she will receive the award at a ceremony on Sunday, February 4, at 8 p.m., at the Arlington Theatre (1317 State St.).

Saoirse Ronan, whose first name rhymes with “inertia,” has numerous film credits, including The Grand Budapest Hotel, Hanna, The Lovely Bones and The Way Back. She has received Academy Award nominations for her performances in Atonement and Brooklyn, and recently was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for her performance in Lady Bird.

“In Lady Bird, Saoirse Ronan has once again proven that she is a force of nature and one of her generation’s most exciting young talents,” states SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “She embodies her characters with a poignant accuracy and ease every time she appears on screen.”

Tickets for the event can be purchased here.

Past recipients of the award include Isabelle Huppert, Sylvester Stallone, Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey, Daniel Day-Lewis, Geoffrey Rush, Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet, Javier Bardem, Bill Condon and Naomi Watts. For more information, visit sbiff.org.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 28, 2018.

SBIFF American Riviera Award Honors Sam Rockwell

SBIFF American Riviera Award honoring Sam Rockwell, courtesy photos.

SBIFF American Riviera Award honoring Sam Rockwell, courtesy photos.

Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award winner Sam Rockwell is being honored with the 2018 American Riviera Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF).

Rockwell’s tribute celebrates his acclaimed performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

“In Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, audiences are treated to the kind of mesmerizing and extraordinary performance we have come to expect from Sam Rockwell,” states Roger Durling, Executive Director of SBIFF. “We are long overdue to celebrate this tremendous talent who has lit up the screen for decades.”

The American Riviera Award was established to recognize actors who have made a significant contribution to American Cinema. Rockwell will join a prestigious group of past recipients, including Jeff Bridges, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Robert Redford, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Annette Bening, Sandra Bullock, Mickey Rourke, Tommy Lee Jones, Forrest Whitaker, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kevin Bacon and Diane Lane.

The 33rd edition of the Festival runs from January 31 to February 10 and the American Riviera Award takes place on Wednesday, February 7, at 8 p.m. at the Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St..

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit sbiff.org.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 24, 2018.

“The Public” is Opening Night Film at SBIFF

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.

SBIFF Announces Virtuosos Award Winners

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Virtuosos Award—honoring (clockwise from top left) Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman),
Hong Chau (Downsizing),
 Mary J. Blige (Mudbound),
Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name), Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick),
and John Boyega (Detroit)—takes place on Saturday, February 3, at 8 p.m. at the Arlington Theatre. Courtesy photos.

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Virtuosos Award—honoring (clockwise from top left) Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman),
Hong Chau (Downsizing),
 Mary J. Blige (Mudbound),
Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name), Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick),
and John Boyega (Detroit)—takes place on Saturday, February 3, at 8 p.m. at the Arlington Theatre. Courtesy photos.

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Virtuosos Award will once again honor many of the most notable performances in Hollywood this year. The award, presented by UGG, takes place on February 3 at the Arlington Theatre.

“2017 has seen a variety of breakout performances,” states Roger Durling, Executive Director of SBIFF. “We are thrilled to celebrate this diverse group of actors who have earned their place as some of the most talented individuals working in the industry today.”

The group will be recognized for their breakthrough roles in 2017 and careers thus far. Daniel Kaluuya gives a star-making performance as the unsuspecting yet resourceful Chris Washington in the speculative thriller Get Out. Bringing to life the enduringly popular comic book character of the same name, Gal Gadot balances formidable prowess and a genuine sense of hope in her role in this summer’s critically praised, conversation-changing Wonder Woman. Hong Chau delivers an inspiring performance in the social satire Downsizing, in which she brings humor and compassion to the role of Ngoc Lan Tran. In Detroit, John Boyega gives a captivating turn as Melvin Dismukes, a security guard who is falsely accused of killing three men on one of the most horrific nights in American history. Based on a true story that he co-wrote, Kumail Nanjiani brings comedy, pathos, and dramatic stakes to The Big Sick as a man whose girlfriend falls into a mysterious coma. In Mudbound, renowned singer/songwriter Mary J. Blige delivers a powerful and solemn turn as Florence Jackson, a mother struggling to maintain land in 1940s Mississippi. In Call Me By Your Name, Timothée Chalamet gives a brilliant and heartfelt performance as Elio, a teenage boy who begins a relationship with his father’s assistant.

Prior recipients for the award include Dev Patel, Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Ruth Negga, Alicia Vikander, Rosamund Pike, J.K. Simmons, Eddie Redmayne, Quvenzhane Wallis, Rooney Mara, Melissa McCarthy, Andrew Garfield, John Hawkes, Hailee Steinfeld, Jacki Weaver, Carey Mulligan, Saoirse Ronan, Gabourey Sidibe, Casey Affleck, Marion Cotillard, Viola Davis, Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Melissa Leo, Ellen Page, Amy Ryan, Michael Shannon, Brie Larson, Jared Leto and June Squibb.

For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on December 20, 2017.

SBIFF is on the Way With Another Excellent Lineup

Here's the poster for the upcoming Santa Barbara International Film Festival feb. 1-11. It spotlights the historic Riviera Theatre which is the new home of the festival's year round activities. Lots of great things are in store for us this year. Photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Here’s the poster for the upcoming Santa Barbara International Film Festival feb. 1-11. It spotlights the historic Riviera Theatre which is the new home of the festival’s year round activities. Lots of great things are in store for us this year. Photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s almost time for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) to begin on February 1. At last week’s press conference, Executive Director Roger Durling revealed the poster (once again designed by local graphic artist Barbara Boros) as well as an impressive slate of programming, including films representing 50+ countries, 51 world premieres and 64 U.S. premieres, along with tributes with the year’s top Oscar-contending talent, panel discussions, and free community education and outreach programs.

To download the film program, click here.

SBIFF 2017 kicks off on February 1 at the historic Arlington Theatre with the World Premiere of the documentary film Charged (sponsored by UGG).

Directed by Phillip Baribeau, Charged chronicles the journey of chef and outdoorsman, Eduardo Garcia and his recovery after being electrocuted by 2400 volts of electricity miles from help in the Montana backcountry.  Garcia had his hand amputated, lost ribs, muscle mass and nearly his life, but more important than what he lost is what he found. Charged tells Eduardo’s remarkable journey from getting up off the forest floor to becoming the man he is today.

SBIFF features the U.S. Premiere of Heal the Living (Réparer les vivants), a French–Belgian drama directed by Katell Quillévéré and written by Quillévéré and Gilles Taurand. Starring Tahar Rahim (A Prophet, The Past, Grand Central, The Informant), Emmanuelle Seigner (Venus in Fur, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) and Anne Dorval (Mommy, Heartbeats). Three seemingly unrelated stories are masterfully woven together in this family medical drama. A French teenager takes a road trip to the sea with friends to go surfing; a woman learns her heart is failing; and the staff at a regional hospital struggles through another day of saving lives.

The Festival will close with the Lone Scherfig’s period comedy–drama Their Finest at the Arlington Theatre on February 11 in advance of the film’s March 24 stateside release. The Closing Night Film is sponsored by Winchester Mystery House.

The year is 1940, Britain. With the nation devastated by the war, the British ministry turns to propaganda films to boost morale at home. Realizing their films could use “a woman’s touch,” the ministry hires Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) as a scriptwriter in charge of writing the female dialogue. Although her artist husband looks down on her job, Catrin’s natural flair quickly gets her noticed by charming lead scriptwriter Buckley (Sam Claflin). Catrin and Buckley set out to make an epic feature film based on the Battle of Dunkirk starring pretentious fading movie star Ambrose Hilliard (Bill Nighy). As bombs are dropping all around them, Catrin, Buckley and their colorful cast and crew work furiously to make a film that will warm the hearts of the nation.

In addition to the wonderful films, 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 32nd Santa Barbara International Film Festival celebrates some of the year’s finest work in film.  The complete list of 2017 Honorees (in order of appearance) is:

  • Viola Davis will present Denzel Washington with the Maltin Modern Master Award, moderated by longtime friend and film historian Leonard Maltin on Thursday, February 2.
  • The Outstanding Performers of the Year Award sponsored by Belvedere Vodka will be awarded to Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. The tribute will be moderated by Roger Durling on Friday, February 3.
  • The Virtuosos Award presented by UGG, will be awarded to Aaron Taylor Johnson (Nocturnal Animals), Dev Patel (Lion), Janelle Monáe (Hidden Figures, Moonlight), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Ruth Negga (Loving), Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins) and Stephen McKinley Henderson (Fences) in recognition of the year’s emerging film artists. The evening will be moderated by Dave Karger on Saturday, February 4.
  • Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams will receive the Cinema Vanguard Award, moderated by Scott Feinberg, on Sunday, February 5.
  • The Variety Artisans Awards will take place on Monday, February 6 and will be moderated by Variety’s Sr. VP Awards Editor, Tim Gray. Honorees to be announced.
  • The Outstanding Director of the Year Award sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter will be Tuesday, February 7 and will be moderated by Pete Hammond. Honorees to be announced.
  • Isabelle Huppert will be presented with the Montecito Award on Wednesday, February 8, moderated by Anne Thompson.
  • Jeff Bridges will receive the American Riviera Award sponsored by Bella Vista Designs on Thursday, February 9, moderated by Scott Feinberg.

All tributes take place at the historic Arlington Theatre except the Variety Artisans Award, which will be at the Lobero Theatre.

 

The panel series begins on Saturday, February 4 with the “Movers and Shakers,” (Producers Panel), bringing together the industry’s most prolific producers to talk about current projects, hopes for the future of filmmaking, and insight into the creative process. Moderated by Glenn Whipp.

That same day proceeds with “It Starts With the Script” (Screenwriters Panel), bringing together top writers to discuss their craft. The panel will be moderated by Anne Thompson.

On Saturday, February 11, Creative Forces: Women in the Business (Women’s Panel), will be moderated by Madelyn Hammond.

All panels take place at the Lobero Theatre.

The 2017 Film Program addresses timely themes including a focus on environmental activism, feminism in the Middle East, efforts to thwart ISIS around the world including, Mali and Kurdistan, the fight for democracy in Ukraine and the global refugee crisis. In addition, some of the new highlights in the program include:

  • Nordic Cinema Competition: A diverse showcase of contemporary cinema From Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
  • Crime Scenes: An international selection of crime thrillers and neo-noirs filled with gritty underworlds and moral nihilists.
  • Documentary Shorts: Refugees: A program of short documentaries featuring compelling stories from refugees living in Malawi, Syria, West Africa, Greece, Sweden and the United States.

For more information and festival updates, visit sbiff.org.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 20, 2017.