SBIFF Filmmaker Returns with Professional Debut

SBIFF Filmmaker Returns with Professional Debut title=
SBIFF Filmmaker Returns with Professional Debut
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Source: Santa Barbara International Film Festival

This year, while marking its 35th anniversary, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival will also celebrate an exciting first: an alum of one of its free filmmaking education programs will be returning as a professional filmmaker whose film has been accepted into the festival program.

Julia Kupiec participated in SBIFF’s 10-10-10 program as a Santa Barbara High School student in 2015, and credits the experience with igniting the spark that led to her acceptance into NYU film school and fueled her subsequent, fledgling film career.

“I made my first narrative short in high school through 10-10-10, and to come back to SBIFF for my first festival run out of NYU is literally like coming home,” says Kupiec. “10-10-10 was where I found out I loved making films - it was the beginning. Now out of college, I'm entering a new kind of beginning - and I'm so happy to be able to celebrate that at a place that has been so supportive of me.”

“Julia’s story represents the original vision of this program come to life,” says SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “When we created 10-10-10, we hoped it would give young people with big dreams the practical skills and insider information to make those big dreams feel possible. The film industry can seem inaccessible; our goal is to say, YOU can do it, whoever you are, and we’ll show you how!”

SBIFF’s 10-10-10 filmmaking program is offered free to ten area high school students and ten area college students each year. The program, which lasts several months, pairs students with professional mentors, all of whom are respected—and often award-winning—industry professionals. Throughout, the students enjoy an intensive workshop and training program that covers every aspect of the filmmaking process, as well as unprecedented access to professional guidance. Student screenwriters are paired with student directors, and the duos collaborate to produce ten films that are scored by a panel of judges and screened during the Film Festival.

This year’s 10-10-10 screenings will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 25 at the Arlington Theatre. Kupiec's short film "Not for Sale" will premiere at 7:30 pm on Sunday, January 19 as part of the "Live Action Shorts" at the Arlington Theater.

This year's festival begins on January 15 and concludes on January 25. For more information and tickets visit

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