35th Annual Santa Barbara Film Festival Begins Wednesday

35th Annual Santa Barbara Film Festival Begins Wednesday title=
35th Annual Santa Barbara Film Festival Begins Wednesday
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Sold out Arlington Theater on 2019 Opening Night (Photos by Fritz Olenberger)

By edhat staff

The 35th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF)nwill begin Wednesday featuring ten days of award-winning films and big-name stars.

The festival will feature 47 world premieres from 50 counties and 71 U.S. premieres, as well as the usual tributes, panels, outreach programs, and free community films. This year's honorees include A-listers such as Brad Pitt, Renee Zellweger, Laura Dern, Scarlett Johanssen, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong'o, and more. 

The festivities will kick off with an Opening Night Film presented by UGG®, the U.S. Premiere of “A Bump Along The Way” starting at 8:00 p.m. Wednesday in the Arlington Theatre. 

"A Bump Along the Way" is female-led, feel-good, comedy drama set in Derry, Northern Ireland, about a middle-aged woman whose unexpected pregnancy after a one-night stand acts as the catalyst for her to finally take control of her life and become the role model her teenage daughter needs and craves. Directed by Shelly Love and starring Bronagh Gallagher, Lola Petticrew, Mary Moulds, Dan Gordon and Brendan Farrell.

Immediately following the film, guests will be invited to celebrate at the Opening Night Gala where the Paseo Nuevo mall is transformed into the ultimate party venue. Local restaurants serve up bites of their favorite dishes, cocktails and being poured, and live music will encourage guests to get down into the early morning hours. 

On January 18, a free community screening is offered at 2:00 p.m. at the Lobero Theatre for the 20th anniversary of "Three Kings" including a Q&A with Director David O. Russell. 

SBIFF will present a retrospective of four landmark films from director Bong Joon-ho that will feature "Memories of Murder," "The Host," "Mother," and a free screening of "Parasite" followed by a Q&A with Bong Joon-ho.

Named for renowned nature cinematographer Mike deGruy, Mike’s FieldTrip 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 throughout Santa Barbara County and SBIFF provides free transportation to students from Title I schools.

This year they're presenting two critically acclaimed films: FROZEN 2 with directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck and TOY STORY 4 with Director Josh Cooley. The directors will participate in a Q&A following the screenings with the students to discuss the craft of animated filmmaking. 

Returning for its sixth year, sponsored by Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin and Netflix, 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. SBIFF also invites an additional thirty college students in Santa Barbara to take an 11-Day Film Festival course through Santa Barbara City College.

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 FROZEN 2 (10:00am on January 18), TOY STORY 4 (10:00am on January 19), and an encore screening of FROZEN 2 (10:00am on January 25).

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

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