Santa Barbara International Film Festival
||This article may be written from a fan's point of view, rather than a neutral point of view. (October 2013)|
|Santa Barbara International Film Festival|
|Location||Santa Barbara, California, USA|
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is a highly anticipated eleven-day celebration of cinema taking place in one of California’s most beautiful seaside communities. SBIFF is proud to present a diverse slate of more than 200 films to over 75,000 film enthusiasts – an audience that includes industry professionals from nearby Los Angeles, around the world, local and regional film fans, and a large student population. Among a mix of attendees this varied and energized, attending filmmakers and guests alike are sure to expand their network and encounter incredible new stories.
SBIFF has an ever growing Acquisitions program with some of the industry’s top distributors in attendance. Some of the highlights of previous years have included Samsara, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, West of Memphis, Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best, Island President, Where Do We Go Now?, Pina, Free Men, Starbuck, Restrepo, Exit Through The Gift Shop, The Cove, The Illusionist, 180 Degrees South, The Secret of Kells, Bullhead, Sarah’s Key, Middle Men as well award winning shorts as The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, The Gruffalo, La Luna, and The Lost Thing.
Just a few days after Sundance and well-timed a few weeks before the Academy Awards, SBIFF has become a must-stop for frontrunners on the awards season fast-track. The festival has honored the artistic achievements of Christopher Plummer, Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, Viola Davis, Martin Scorsese, Colin Firth, Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, Helen Mirren and many more. This year’s honorees included Ben Affleck, Daniel Day-Lewis, Amy Adams, Quentin Tarantino, Jennifer Lawrence and our annual Virtuosos Award honorees.
SBIFF is a pass based festival with passes ranging from priority access to all films, tributes, and parties to passes just for film screenings. Also for film screenings, transferable 4 and 10 film MiniPak punch cards are available. Individual tickets are available for our tribute events. All seating is first come first served. The screening venues at SBIFF are second-to-none, including the historic and beautifully restored Arlington Theatre, which seats over 2,000 people – a cinephile’s paradise.
History of Filmmaking in Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara has historical roots in the filmmaking business.
In July 1912, American Film Manufacturing Company based out of Chicago had a studio branch in Santa Barbara nicknamed Matt R, which wasn’t doing so well. The Chicago office sent out Samuel Hutchinson to see if he could turn the company around, otherwise they were going to shut it down. He arrived and took the position as the main director for the company. This was at a time when cross-cutting and flashbacks were just being invented. The most popular genre at the time was the Western, with the Bronco Billy series being the most famous.
Flying A studios was built on an abandoned ostrich farm at the corner of Mission and Chapala streets. By 1913 the studio was cranking out a movie every third day. Movies were a lot shorter then, running about an average of 14 minutes. Business was booming. Flying A was expanding, hiring on more crew members, including Victor Fleming, who later went on to direct Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz. In  the studio cranked out 242 films. They continued to flourish until 1921.
One feature of the film festival is the 10-10-10 competition. Students currently enrolled in Santa Barbara area high schools and colleges are invited to submit either a 10 page sample of writing for the Screenwriting portion of the competition, or a five-minute sample of their best filmmaking efforts for the directing portion. Ten writers are selected to write one 10-minute script each; the scripts are then matched with the ten filmmakers. Those students then have ten days to shoot and edit the completed ten-minute short film, during the ten days of the festival. Films are screened and winners are announced on closing night. A selection committee consisting of representatives from each school, Industry professionals and SBIFF representatives select the participants.
- Modern Master Award
- Montecito Award
- Outstanding Performance of the Year
- The American Riviera™ Award
- Cinema Vanguard Award
- Virtuosos Award
- The Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema
- The Best International Film Award
- The Nueva Vision Award for the best Spanish/Latin American film
- Best Documentary Film Award
- Bruce Corwin Award for Best Live Action Short Film
- Bruce Corwin Award for Best Animation Short Film
- The Fund for Santa Barbara Social Justice Award
- The Audience Choice Award
- 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking Competition
- 10-10-10 Student Screenwriting Competition
Outstanding Performance of the Year Award
- 2014: Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine
- 2013: Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook and The Hunger Games
- 2012: Viola Davis for The Help
- 2011: James Franco for 127 Hours
- 2010: Colin Firth for A Single Man
- 2009: Penélope Cruz for Elegy and Vicky Cristina Barcelona
- 2008: Angelina Jolie for A Mighty Heart
- 2007: Helen Mirren for The Queen
- 2006: Heath Ledger for Brokeback Mountain
- 2005: Kate Winslet for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Finding Neverland
- 2004: Charlize Theron for The Italian Job and Monster
- SBIFF Website
- Santa Barbara Film Commission
- IMDb SBIFF page
- Santa Barbara International Film Festival - A Photoessay by Scott London
- 2010 Film Schedule