By Cherish Clinton
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) has unveiled its poster and programming for this year’s festival set to kick off on February 8.
The 38th annual festival will run for 10 days showcasing 52 world premieres and 78 U.S. premieres from 43 countries, along with tributes featuring the year’s top talent, panel discussions, and free community education and outreach programs.
“At a time where there’s a dwindling of movie theater attendance, the role of film festivals has never been more important. At SBIFF, with the 38th edition, our marching orders are clear, to celebrate movies and to nurture and exalt the film community, the artists as well as the cinephiles. It’s a great slate with 43 countries represented,” said SBIFF’s Executive Director Roger Durling,
A press conference was held at the Sullivan Goss art gallery on Wednesday morning where Santa Barbara artist Patricia Chidlaw was announced as the creator of this year’s poster.
“As an artist I am honored to be part of this celebration of artistry that is the Santa Barbara Film Festival. And happy my painting can pay homage to our historic movie palace: the Arlington Theater,” Chidlaw said. More of her work is available to view at Sullivan Goss.
SBIFF 2023 Poster created by Santa Barbara artist Patricia Chidlaw (courtesy)
Opening Night will take place on Wednesday, February 8 with the world premiere of MIRANDA’S VICTIM directed by Michelle Danner and starring Abigail Breslin, Ryan Phillippe, Luke Wilson, Donald Sutherland, Mireille Enos and Andy Garcia.
It’s 1963 when eighteen-year-old Patricia “Trish” Weir is kidnapped and brutally raped at knife-point. Committed to putting Ernesto Miranda in prison, Trish’s life is destroyed by America’s legal system as she triggers a law that transforms the nation.
SBIFF has become an important showcase for Academy Award frontrunners, many of whom have arrived as nominees and gone on to win the Oscar. This year the festival welcomes Angela Bassett, Cate Blanchett, Jamie Lee Curtis, Brendan Fraser, Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Austin Butler, Kerry Condon, Danielle Deadwyler, Nina Hoss, Stephanie Hsu, Jeremy Pope, Ke Huy Quan, and Jeremy Strong.
The festival also features smart, insightful panels of leaders from every aspect of filmmaking, including many Oscar contenders. Returning will be the annual Producers Panel, Writers Panel, and Women’s Panel and introducing the new International Directors Panel.
Educational opportunities abound with the ongoing offerings to local students and aspiring filmmakers nationwide. Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies will continue to delight 4,000 local students from low-income schools. This year will feature an in-person Q&A with writer/director Guillermo del Toro following a screening of GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO from Netflix.
The Film Studies Program will invite 30 undergraduate film students from across the country to the Film Festival where they’ll take part in a packed curriculum that turns the festival into an interactive classroom. Participants receive priority access to the films, panels, filmmaker seminars, tributes, as well as intimate Q&As with filmmakers.
The 10-10-10 Program is made up of 20 area high school and college screenwriters and filmmakers. This year’s program includes filmmaking workshops, individual mentorship, and access to casting, visual effects, producing and sound mentors. The student screenwriters and directors are paired together and guided through the process of taking a film from script to screen. Additionally there are free filmmaker seminars that will take place on each weekday during the Festival at Tamsen Gallery.
SBIFF 2023 will close on Saturday, February 18 with the US Premiere of I LIKE MOVIES directed by Chandler Levack and starring Isaiah Lehtinen, Romina D’Ugo, Krista Bridges, Percy Hynes White. Lawrence, a socially inept, 17-year-old cinephile, gets a job at a video store, where he forms a complicated friendship with his older female manager.