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’s Maltin Modern Master Award to Honor Gary Oldman

Gary Oldman will receive the Maltin Modern Master Award from Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 2, courtesy photos.

Gary Oldman will receive the Maltin Modern Master Award from Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 2, courtesy photos.

Gary Oldman, who is getting critical acclaim and Oscar buzz for his role as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, is set to receive the Maltin Modern Master Award at the 33rd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival.  Oldman will be honored for his longstanding contributions to the film industry and Leonard Maltin, for whom the award was recently renamed after, will return for his 27th year to moderate the evening. The event takes place on Friday, February 2, at the Arlington Theatre.

“Gary Oldman has dazzled audiences for decades with an array of brilliant performances,” states Maltin. “With Darkest Hour, he has once again proven that he is a force to be reckoned with, and a true master of his craft.

The film takes place during the early days of World War II, as the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Oldman), who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds. Directed by Joe Wright from a screenplay by Anthony McCarten, the film also stars Ben Mendelsohn, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James and Stephen Dillane.

The Modern Master Award was established in 1995 and is the highest accolade presented by SBIFF.  Created to honor an individual who has enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry, it was re-named the Maltin Modern Master Award in 2015 in honor of long-time SBIFF moderator and renowned film critic Leonard Maltin.  Past recipients include Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton, Bruce Dern, Ben Affleck, Christopher Plummer, Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, Cate Blanchett, Will Smith, George Clooney and Peter Jackson.

For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on December 19, 2017.

 

SB County Food Action Plan Meeting

Come to a free community listening and activation session on Wednesday, October 25 from 6-8 p.m. at the Faulkner Gallery of the Santa Barbara Public Library (40 E. Anapamu St.) where participants will explore the vision, progress and next steps planned for the Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan. This is a great opportunity to share what your neighborhood, business, or organization is doing, and connect with others engaged in making a secure food system for our county.

Come learn about the goals of the plan and hear about successes from the organizations and individuals actively pursuing these goals. Attendees, including individuals, businesses, schools, and organizations of all types, will also be encouraged to inform the process by sharing about their own regional work to create a more secure, sustainable food system. A networking session will provide time to seek out new partnerships and opportunities to support each other.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on October 24, 2017.

 

Girls Inc. of Carpinteria’s Women of Inspiration Luncheon

Erica Ford, photo by Donna Alberico.

Erica Ford, photo by Donna Alberico.

Erica Ford, CEO and founder of LIFE Camp (Love Ignites Freedom through Education) and Peace is a Lifestyle, is the keynote speaker for Girls Inc. of Carpinteria’s Women of Inspiration luncheon on Monday, April 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Girls Inc. campus, 5315 Foothill Rd. in Carpinteria.

Ford grew up in the high-crime neighborhood of Jamaica, Queens in the 1980s, where she attended countless funerals for friends. Tragic violence in her community inspired her to create LIFE Camp, which provides at-risk inner-city youth (ages 13-24) the valuable tools they need to stay in school and out of the criminal justice system.

The foundation also spawned Ford’s Peace is a Lifestyle program, featuring holistic guru and acclaimed author Deepak Chopra, who makes monthly visits to LIFE Camp to talk to and meditate with the group participants. In partnership with Chopra and yoga teacher Eddie Stern, Ford created the Urban Yogis program, inspiring at-risk youth to choose alternative pathways toward positivity and peace. Ford and the Urban Yogis lead yoga in the New York City Public School system, in detention centers, and at the Baisley Park housing project in Queens.

“Each year our luncheon celebrates the achievements of women who are inspiring the next generation of girls to have a voice and to dream big,” says Victoria Juarez, Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria. “Erica Ford, our honorees, and Girls Inc. member Andrea Saldana (a 17-year-old student at Carpinteria High School), who will share her story at the luncheon, are each role models in their own right for all girls. We’re proud to recognize these courageous women who embody our mission to teach girls they are valuable, powerful and deserving of every opportunity.”

“I admire organizations likes Girls Inc. that nurture the greatness in young women and girls,” says Ford. “I am honored to play a part in helping garnish support for Girls Inc.’s mission and sharing the vision at the annual Women of Inspiration luncheon. Together we can all make Peace a Lifestyle.”

The Women of Inspiration luncheon also recognizes three honorees with deep roots in community involvement and service, who have proven to be outstanding role models for young women: Nini Seaman, a parent volunteer, local artist, and dedicated Girls Inc. supporter and former board member; Asa Olsson, a local actress who spent 17 years building a unique drama program and performance center at Girls Inc. of Carpinteria; and Mericos Foundation, a supporter of Girls Inc.’s Eureka Program.

The fundraiser luncheon is co-chaired by Nancy Koppelman and Amanda Kastelic. All proceeds will support Girls Inc. of Carpinteria’s mission to inspire girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

Ford will also lead a free-to-the-community/all-ages yoga session with her Urban Yogis Juquille Johnston and Raheem Lewis on Tuesday, April 4 at 4:15 p.m. at the Santa Barbara Courthouse, Sunken Gardens Lawn, 1100 Anacapa St. It features Robbie Nova and DJ Magneto and is open to all ages.

For more information about Women of Inspiration or Yoga on the Lawn, or to purchase tickets to the luncheon, please call 805/684-6364, email vjuarez@girlsinc-carp.org or visit girlsinc-carp.org.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on March 30, 2017.