The Santa Barbara International Film Festival Off to a Rousing Start

Photo: The Daily Sound

Glitz and glam arrived at Santa Barbara with the start of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF). On Thursday night, the SBIFF jumpstarted the weekend with an opening gala as well as a screening of the Darling Companion, which features Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline. SBIFF is considered one of the preeminent events during awards season, as it takes place before the Academy Awards.

This year, SBIFF welcomes more than 23 Oscar nominees. The festival has been held over the past 27 years and Santa Barbara has been called the “American Riviera” for its role as the host of SBIFF. SBIFF is presented by the Cinema Society (CS), which focuses on honoring cinema throughout the year with screenings and special events by both independent filmmakers and major studios.

During the weeklong festival, a variety of events will take place to celebrate the magic of movie making. A number of Oscar-nominated documentaries, films, and shorts will be screened, including The Artist and Puss in Boots. Apart from screenings, the festival will feature panels by members of the entertainment community, including Mike De Luca from Moneyball and Letty Aronson from Midnight in Paris.

Lastly, a plethora of honors are scheduled to be given out, including awards to actress Viola Davis and director Martin Scorsese.  Davis will be given the Outstanding Performer of the year award, following her recent Academy Awards nomination for her role in The Help. Scorsese, the director of notable films like Hugo, will be honored with the American Riviera Award. Scorsese is the first director who will be bestowed the honor that is given to those who have had a strong influence on American cinema.

SBIFF ends on February 5. If you’re interested in attending any of the festivities, tickets and passes can be purchased online.

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