Santa Barbara Film Festival to Begin on Wednesday
The 33rd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival will kick off with its traditional opening film on Wednesday.
After two natural disasters hit the area, Executive Director Roger Durling is emphatic that the festival will continue and it's needed now more than ever.
"Movies have always provided a sense of community. It is an opportunity for people to gather – reflect – experience – feel – and process," Durling wrote in an email.
This year's film festival will offer over 200 films representing 58 countries, with 45 World premieres, and 53 U.S. premieres, along with tributes with the year’s top talent, panel discussions, and free community education and outreach programs.
Gary Oldman will be honored with the Maltin Modern Master Award for his performance in The Darkest Hour. Sam Rockwell will receive the American Riviera Award for his role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Saoirse Ronan will win the Santa Barbara Award for her winning performance in Lady Bird. Margot Robbie and Allison Janney will both receive the Outstanding Performers of the Year honors for their depictions in I, Tonya. The Cinema Vanguard Award will go to Willem Dafoe for his role in The Florida Project.
This year's Virtuosos Awards go to: Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Hong Chau (Downsizing), John Boyega (Detroit), Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick), Mary J. Blige (Mudbound), and Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name).
"The Santa Barbara community built this film festival in 1986 – and their love and pride – grew it into what it is today. Movies have always had an immeasurable power to heal. As Santa Barbara begins to recover, we welcome and encourage film lovers and visitors to gather around our strong, beautiful and resilient community," wrote Durling.
The festival will run from January 31 through February 10. For the complete list of films, synopses, and other special events, visit www.sbiff.org.