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REVIEW : Dark and outlandish humor abounds in Alfonso Llosa’s “La Restauración”

Some parting words from SBIFF2020
Paul Vega, Attilia Boschetti and Delfina Paredes
Directed by Alonso Llosa

Santa Barbara International Film Festival is up against Sundance this year, so the demands for top independent films are especially heightened this season, as are the demands on stars like Brad Pitt (bestowed an honor in California) to choose one or the other. As always, there are unexpected gems, including a rather offbeat comedy from South America I was able to see (review below), and which ... more >

Talking with Sky Bergman. Her short “Mochitsuki” screens at SBIFF on Sunday

"What’s happening in your everyday life that you care about, that helps you learn, that’s making you grow?"

Sky Bergman is a filmmaker and teacher based in San Luis Obispo, California, a university town known for being the home of Cal Poly (California Polytechnic State University). In 2017 Bergman brought her documentary “Lives Well Lived,” which shared the wisdom of a group of gloriously happy senior citizens, to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. It’s a wonderful film—which I hasten to ... more >

FESTIVAL NEWS: SBIFF35 will open with the Shelly Love-directed “A bump along the way”

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) earlier this week announced the lineup for the 35th edition, which will run January 15 to 25, 2020. The festival will feature forty-seven world premieres and seventy-one U.S. premieres from fifty countries. During a press conference SBIFF’s executive director Roger Durling said, “for 35 years, SBIFF has been a reflection of the city that ... more >

REWIND | SBIFF2019 : “A thousand miles behind,” “Peel,” “Zulu Summer,” and “Hugh Hefner’s After Dark: Speaking Out in America”

Some parting words about the recently-featured Santa Barbara Film Festival

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. | The 34th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) ended over a week ago but organizers of this fete of movies, celebrities and all things cinema have already announced the 2020 iteration will be bumped up a bit next year to Jan. 15-25, which may put it in direct competition with other festivals like Sundance. No matter, as the 2019 version closed out with ... more >

SBIFF 2019, some parting words on our favorite films

The 2018 Maltin Modern Master Award recipient was Gary Oldman
Next year's SBIFF will be held January 15-25 2020

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., “I think there’s only one way, forward, for women, and we are 51 percent of the world, so 51 percent of women should do movies,” Austrian director Eva Spreitzhofer (“What Have We Done to Deserve This” a.k.a. “Wo mit haben wir das verdient?”) said at a red carpet event at the last Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) (a still from the film is this article's ... more >

TALKING SBIFF 2019 : Viggo Mortensen, Josh Lucas, and newcomer Paula Reca

"Murderous Trance," "Tampoco Tan Grandes" and Mortensen wins "American Riviera Award"

(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) Santa Barbara, often referred to as the “American Riviera,” is hosting its 34th film festival this week, replete with the typical red-carpet events and world premieres of films from around the globe. Yes, Melissa McCarthy, Spike Lee, Claire Foy and other high-wattage stars have been seen here this week, but in addition to appearances by those A-listers, numerous filmmakers ... more >