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.
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 deGruy, directed 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
10–10–10Student 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 presentsa 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.
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
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.
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 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 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 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.
“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.
“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.
My son started keeping a reading list and so I decided to try it last year as well. Though I didn’t calculate pages, or get any prizes when I got around “Mrs. Brown’s Brook” every time I read 1,000 pages like he did.
When it came time to put this all together I was surprised both by how many books I read—I thought 44 was pretty impressive—but also how many not particularly challenging books I read. There’s obviously a connection. So my reading goal for 2008 is to be a little more selective about what I read.
My favorite book of 2007 was probably The Sportswriter, by Richard Ford. It’s one of those very male books that men are always talking about loving, so I resisted it for a lot of years. It’s a little dated, circa 1986, but definitely worth picking up. Another favorite this year was The Wife by Meg Wolitzer. Go figure, both of these books are about writers.
I’d love to hear about other people’s favorite books this year.
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA by Ellen Meister
Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie
Sandcastles by Luanne Rice
Silver Tongue by Steven Crandell
Wives Behaving Badly by Elizabeth Buchan
Fool Me Once by Fern Michaels
Pretty Woman by Fern Michaels
Chicken Soup for the Scrapbookers Soul
Digging to America by Anne Tyler
Smart Vs. Pretty by Valerie Frankel
Dance of the Gods by Nora Roberts
Valley of Silence by Nora Roberts
Forever in Blue by Ann Brashares
Wild Swans by Jung Chang
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
Leaving Normal by Stef Ann Holm
Humanities by Eric Anzalone
Avalon High by Meg Cabot
Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen
Shopaholic and Baby by Sophic Kinsella
Mom CEO by Jodie Lynn
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie