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First weekend of free films kicks off at SBIFF

lobero theatre sbiff film festival
Scott Sheahen / KEYT
Movie-goers formed a long line to see the first free film of the 2020 Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A crowd filled the plaza outside the Lobero Theatre Friday afternoon. Visitors formed a line that wrapped around the corner of the building for a chance to experience some free movie magic.

Cindie Young, a cinema fan from Santa Barbara, said, “I have the whole week free because I want to go to everything.”

Movie-goers checked the Santa Barbara International Film Festival schedule, lined up early and got a jump start to their weekend with today’s free movie "Overland".

“I want to see those raptors," said Young. "This movie is amazing. I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss out because they let the platinum passes in and all of those people go in first and then whatever tickets they have left we get to get in, so I wanted to be number one.”

This year’s list of free movies ranges from local documentaries to foreign silent pictures and everything in between.

“And many of them are even world premieres and so they’re all phenomenal," said SBIFF program director Michael Albright. "Just because they’re free that’s actually a sign that it’s such a good film we want everyone to come see it.”

That type of free encouragement for movie-goers is what the director of Friday’s free movie "Overland," Revere La Noue, used for his world premiere.

“I love that!" said La Noue. "This is a film that hopefully reaches across all kinds of demographics of people and Santa Barbara has a huge conservation vibe here. And I think they will pick up on that.”

The goal of the free movies is to make the movies more accessible to a wider variety of audiences. One free film fan was Stanford University professor, Fatima Moldashova, who was taking her children to see her former student’s movie.

“So I brought my children with me," said Moldashova. "It’s a a lot of people and a big line to see her movie and it's unbelievable and really really inspiring.”

Below is the list of free film screenings at the 2020 SBIFF:

  • "Three Kings" (plus a Q&A with David O. Russell) - Saturday, Jan. 18, at 2 p.m. in the Lobero Theatre.
  • "If Only" - Sunday, Jan. 19, at 2:40 p.m. in the Metro Theatre.
  • "Bastard's Road" - Monday, Jan. 20, at 2 p.m. in the Lobero Theatre.
  • "Outdeh - The Youth of Jamaica" - Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 2 p.m. in the Lobero Theatre.
  • To Be Announced - Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 2 p.m. in the Lobero Theatre.
  • "Parasite" (plus a Q&A with Bong Joon-Ho) - Thursday, Jan. 23 at 4:30 p.m. in the Lobero Theatre.
  • "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" - Friday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. in the Alrington Theatre.
  • "Tell my Story" - Saturday, Jan. 25, at 2 p.m. in the Lobero Theatre.

For more information about the free films or the festival you can visit the SBIFF website, view their program or download the SBIFF app. 

Article Topic Follows: Events
film festival
Santa Barbara

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