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Santa Barbara is covering live from Santa Barbara with pictures and videos.
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.


VIDEO Virtuoso Awards Group discussion

Some of the highlights from the Virtuosos night included:


Rosario Dawson, Executive Producer of OUR WORDS COLLIDE, World Premiering at SBIFF. Photo HERE.


Alana Haim - Watch HERE.

  • On driving the stick shift truck in the film: “You do not want me to teach you how to drive stick…I was a terrible driver so I really do appreciate Bradley Cooper and Cooper Hoffman for letting me almost kill them…they lived to tell the tale.”
  • On her parents playing her parents in LICORICE PIZZA: “My parents are in the audience tonight…my dad should honestly be getting this award tonight, he’s actually the star of LICORICE PIZZA, so give it up for my dad!”


Caitriona Balfe - Watch HERE.

  • On bonding with her Belfast co-stars: “I think each of us in our own way, it touches us as a family in a deep and personal place… from that first day we all met each other with open hearts and a real eagerness to get to know each other.” 


Ciaran Hinds - Watch HERE.

  • On working with Dame Judi Dench in Belfast: “She’s a hell of a rebel! That’s what makes her brilliant. ”
  • On where BELFAST ranks in his 40+ years in film: “That’s a ridiculously hard question, thank you, Dave…I’ve had the great joy of working with extraordinary people like Steven Spielberg, Paul Thomas Anderson, Martin Scorcese, I don’t know how I ended up there, it’s like I walk in the door and there I was.”


Emilia Jones - Watch HERE.

  • On fangirling over Will Smith: “Honestly, he’s the most well groomed man I have ever laid eyes on…All I could think was ‘you must smell amazing because you look so gorgeous!”
  • On learning ASL: “The first time I met Troy he was telling me dirty stories in ASL, he was teaching me all the swear words! I think that just made us bond really quickly...I’m so glad that I could hang out with them to really learn the language.”


Saniyya Sidney - Watch HERE.

  • On meeting Venus Williams while filming King Richard: “It was probably three weeks into shooting and I was  playing a nine-year-old Venus… she’s just full of life and she’s bubbly, and she just has this confidence to her that’s like when she walks in a room it just lights up the world. She’s literally Venus, she’s a goddess!”


Simon Rex - Watch HERE.

  • On his unique experience shooting Red Rocket: “The movie was kind of chaos. Shooting during the pandemic, working with first time actors…the whole thing just almost didn’t even happen.The whole movie really happened as a happy accident…We didn’t have any permits, that’s why we weren’t eligible for SAG, it wasn’t a union film. It was just chaos but I think that worked to our advantage.”


Troy Kotsur - Watch HERE.

  • On working with Marlee Matlin in CODA: “She was so fun to work with because we both had a mutual understanding of our art, our craft, honing our instrument, our language, and really we wanted to put our best performance in CODA, and we did.”
  • On different accents in the deaf community and signing differently to play Frank than Troy would sign: “Believe it or not, hearing people in America have all different accents…and it’s just the same in sign language. We have regional accents in sign.”


Ariana Debose 

  • On the need for more diversity in film: “Being a mixed chick…we don’t tell stories about being a mixed chick, especially mixed chicks from the south!”  - Watch HERE.
  • On Steven Spielberg asking her to play Anita: “He asked me if I would be his Anita, which is a very important distinction to me. He invited me to be a part of the process as opposed to telling me what I’m gonna do, because I’m an Aquarius and I don’t like it when people tell me what to do!” Watch HERE.


Some of the highlights from the Writers Panel included:

Siân Heder on when she knew she’d become a writer: “Writing was always an outlet for me. I used to throw birthday parties as a kid where I would give everyone a character and they would have to come in character to the party…the fact that I was doing that at age 10, I was clearly on the path.”


Maggie on being afraid to take on a story with such a dark and complex look at motherhood: “I wrote the line where young Leda says ‘I hate talking to my kids on the phone’ on a plane and I kind of turned around and looked back to make sure nobody was watching me type that!”


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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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