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SBIFF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and education organization dedicated to making a positive impact utilizing the power of film. SBIFF is a year-round organization that is best known for its main film festival that takes place each year in February. Over the past 30 years the Santa Barbara International Film Festival has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States – attracting 90,000 attendees and offering 11days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums. We bring the best of independent and international cinema to Santa Barbara, and we continue to expand our year-round operation to include a wide range of educational programming, fulfilling our mission to engage, enrich and inspire our community through film.

In June 2016, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre. The theatre is SBIFF’s new home and is the catalyst for our program expansion. This marks the first time that Santa Barbara has had a 24/7 community center focused on the art of film and is an incredible opportunity to expand our mission of educational outreach. Particularly important to SBIFF is making available high quality learning opportunities for underserved and vulnerable populations. Our programs and reach are more robust than ever before.


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RAW MATERIAL at 27th SBIFF, 2012!

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RAW MATERIAL at 27th SBIFF, 2012! 

One of the documentaries highest on my list in the past year is the film, RAW MATERIAL (Greece, 2011) by director Christos Karakepelis. This documentary left me with chills, not only because of its raw subject about the declining Greek economy but the worsening of the situation of immigrants to Greece and the inhumane lives they lead.

When we follow the lives of three Roma from Albania, two Indians, a Turk and a Greek who subsist on the collecting of refuse and recycling who live in shanty towns that resemble slums of the lowest developed countries, it is hard to imagine this is life for thousands in Western Europe. This is very much a reality we must all face, as the wellbeing of these people reflects everyone’s. Where in ancient history peasants roamed these lands domesticating animals and tilling the fields, today the poor now live off the raw material waste of discarded metals (washing machines, microwaves, computers, cell phones, factory machines- a hell of our raw material waste en masse).

While many would like to turn a blind eye to the desperate situation of the poor in Europe (and in the rest of the world for that matter), can we ignore this any longer? Is this their problem or ours? If western society is like a pyramid, the bottom of which holds the top up, then that means contemporary Europe (and everywhere) is built over a pile of raw material refuse. This is not a problem of the poor. This is everyone’s problem and it’s time to wake up, pay attention and make a change. For me, RAW MATERIAL is not only an important poignant must see film but beautifully made and a living symbol of where we are headed and what we are doing to ourselves and our planet.

 

Read below what Christos said to my questions in regards to his film in an interview about Raw Material.

 

http://www.fest21.com/en/blog/vanessa_mcmahon/raw_material_interview_wit...

 

 

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About Santa Barbara


The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has star wattage and a wealth of premieres in a Mediterrean-style city by the sea.

Blogging here with dailies: 
The team of editors of the The Santa Barbara Blog:
Carol Marshall, Felicia Tomasko, Vanessa McMahon, Marla and Mark Hamperin, Kim Deisler and Bruno Chatelin


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