Over 4,000 students were treated to a screening of Pinocchio with writer and director Guillermo del Toro this week.
The event is part of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s (SBIFF) educational component titled, Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies and is named after late local filmmaker Mike DeGruy. The annual event reaches students from 30 underserved and low-income schools throughout the county.
The program includes a Common Core-compliant film studies unit for the classroom, school visits from industry professionals and a trip to the historic Arlington Theatre during the height of the Film Festival for a screening of one of the year’s best animated films, with a Q&A with the film’s director.
SBIFF creates the study guides, arranges the classroom visits, and provides transportation for all Title 1 schools, all with the goal of enriching these students’ arts education, exposing them to the worlds of filmmaking and film analysis, and sparking a lifelong connection to the arts. For many of these students, Mike’s FieldTrip is their first trip to the movies, and what an experience it is.
This year, two-time Academy Award winner Del Toro brought props from his animated remake of the classic Disney film.
He answered questions from students and shared interesting techniques on how the film was made before showing the award-winning film.
A view of the Geppetto and Pinocchio stop animation puppets at Mike’s Field Trip to the Movie for ‘Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio’ during the 38th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 16, 2023 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for SBIFF)