On Closing Night, Saturday February 7 at the Arlington Theatre, Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) presents Disney’s McFarland, USA, directed by Niki Caro and starring Kevin Costner and Maria Bello.
Based on the 1987 true story, McFarland, USA follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. Coach White and the McFarland students have a lot to learn about each other but when White starts to realize the boys’ exceptional running ability, things begin to change. Soon something beyond their physical gifts becomes apparent—the power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic. With grit and determination, the unlikely band of runners eventually overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well. Along the way, Coach White realizes that his family finally found a place to call home and both he and his team achieve their own kind of American dream.
For more information, please visit www.sbiff.org.
Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 1, 2015.