SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Just in front of the 2023 Academy Awards, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is bringing some of the industry's top stars for a multi-day event of films and tributes.
SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling says in its 38th year, the festival will have 52 world premieres, 79 U.S. premiers and 43 countries will be represented.
The festival runs from February 8 to 18. The date has moved in recent years to stay close to the Oscar nominations and awards ceremony.
Durling enthusiastically talked about the event as he unveiled the poster from acclaimed local artist Patricia Chidlaw inside the Sullivan and Goss art gallery in downtown Santa Barbara.
The poster is from a Chidlaw painting of the Arlington Theatre at sunset from the top of the Granada garage a block away.
It was not from straight on like you might expect.
Chidlaw said, "I like to do paintings that are not the predictable viewpoint so the top of the parking garage is a little more unusual took in a little more of the city scene." The time of day for the image was also a key. "I just like the lights in the tower that orange and violet light is so beautiful."
The gallery also has a series of Arlington paintings by Chidlaw in addition to the poster.
Durling said, " I love that it that it showcases the Arlington but also downtown Santa Barbara and the excitement." He also agreed it draws people out into an evening of movie events. "Actually the anticipation it captures at not fully sundown, t before the klieg lights are on. It is the anticipation of before things start."
The festival should also boost the local economy on many levels. Durling said, "we position it in the winter so it helps the economy and now after all this bad weather that we have been having, I am hoping that the festival does its job and it brings out more people ."
He especially want it to unite the community on many levels. "One of the reasons for it being (held) , is to encourage people to come back and gather."
In recent years with COVID, the festival went to an on line and "drive-in" concept. This year it is all in person.
The date has floated too. That depended on the Academy Awards ceremony which the SBIFF likes to be in front of.
"The Oscars are getting closer to where the dates used to be so I am hoping next year it will be late January early February," said Durling.
Details about the festival were put out in this news release:
SBIFF 2023 will kick off on Opening Night Wednesday, February 8 with the WORLD Premiere of
MIRANDA’S VICTIM. Directed by Michelle Danner and starring Abigail Breslin, Ryan Phillippe, Luke
Wilson, Donald Sutherland, Mireille Enos and Andy Garcia.
It’s 1963 when eighteen-year-old Patricia “Trish” Weir is kidnapped and brutally raped at knife-point.
Committed to putting Ernesto Miranda in prison, Trish’s life is destroyed by America’s legal system as she
triggers a law that transforms the nation.
SBIFF 2023 will close on Saturday, February 18 with the US Premiere of I LIKE MOVIES. Directed by
Chandler Levack and starring Isaiah Lehtinen, Romina D’Ugo, Krista Bridges, Percy Hynes White.
Lawrence, a socially inept, 17-year-old cinephile, gets a job at a video store, where he forms a
complicated friendship with his older female manager.
SBIFF is an important showcase for Academy Award frontrunners, many of whom have arrived as
nominees and gone on to win the Oscar. The 38th SBIFF proudly celebrates some of the year’s finest
work in film. All tributes will be in person at the historic Arlington Theatre.
● Montecito Award honoring Angela Bassett - Thursday, February 9 at 8:00pm. Moderated by
● Outstanding Performer of the Year Award presented by Manitou Fund honoring Cate Blanchett -
Friday, February 10 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Scott Feinberg.
● Maltin Modern Master Award honoring Jamie Lee Curtis - Saturday, February 11 at 8:00pm.
Moderated by Leonard Maltin.
● Variety Artisans Award sponsored by Variety - Monday, February 13 at 8:00pm. Honorees to be
announced. Moderated by Jazz Tangcay.
● American Riviera Award sponsored by Deadline honoring Brendan Fraser - Tuesday, February
14 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Pete Hammond.
● Virtuosos Award honoring Austin Butler (Elvis), Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin),
Danielle Deadwyler (Till), Nina Hoss (Tár), Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All At
Once), Jeremy Pope (The Inspection), Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All At Once),
and Jeremy Strong (Armageddon Time) - Wednesday, February 16 at 8:00pm. Moderated by
● Cinema Vanguard Award honoring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson - Thursday, February 16
at 8:00pm. Moderated by Dave Karger
● Outstanding Directors of the Year Award sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter - Friday,
February 17 at 8:00pm. Honorees to be announced. Moderated by Scott Feinberg.
SBIFF has become renowned for creating smart, insightful panels that feature a who’s who in the world of
filmmaking, including many Oscar contenders. Returning will be our annual Producers Panel, Writers
Panel, and Women’s Panel and introducing the NEW International Directors Panel. All Panels will be in
person at the historic Arlington Theatre. Panelists to be announced.
● Writers Panel - Saturday, February 11 at 11:00am - Moderated by Anne Thompson
● Women’s Panel - Saturday, February 11 at 2:00pm - Moderated by Claudia Puig
● Producers Panel - Sunday, February 12 at 11:00am - Moderated by Glenn Whipp
● International Directors Panel - Sunday, February 12 at 7:00pm - Moderated by Roger Durling
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS, FREE PROGRAMS, AND OTHER MENTIONS
SBIFF Poster Designed by Acclaimed Artist Patricia Chidlaw
The 2023 SBIFF poster was painted by acclaimed artist and Santa Barbara resident Patricia Chidlaw. She
commented “As an artist I am honored to be part of this celebration of artistry that is the Santa Barbara
Film Festival. And happy my painting can pay homage to our historic movie palace: the Arlington
Mike’s FieldTrip to the Movies – Named for renowned nature cinematographer Mike deGruy, Mike’s
FieldTrip to the Movies uses filmmaking to nurture creative, confident, and culturally aware thinkers. This
year’s program will be offered to 4,000+ 4th--6th grade students from Title I (low-income) schools
throughout Santa Barbara County. This year will feature an in-person Q&A with Guillermo del Toro
following a screening of GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO from Netflix. Sponsored by John C.
Mithun Foundation, Montecito Bank & Trust, Patagonia, Union Bank, Bentson Foundation, and Volentine
Film Studies Program – The Film Studies Program will invite 30 undergraduate film students from
across the country to the Film Festival where they'll take part in a packed curriculum that turns the festival
into an interactive classroom. Participants receive priority access to the films, panels, filmmaker seminars,
tributes, as well as intimate Q&As with filmmakers.
10–10–10 Student Screenwriting and Filmmaking Mentorship and Competition – The 10-10-10Program is made up of 20 area high school and college screenwriters and filmmakers. This year’s
program includes filmmaking workshops, individual mentorship, and access to casting, visual effects,
producing and sound mentors. The student screenwriters and directors are paired together and guided
through the process of taking a film from script to screen. Sponsored by Kaleidoscope Productions.
Free Filmmaker Seminars – SBIFF will again present seminars with filmmakers premiering at this year’s
These seminars will be FREE to the public and will take place on each weekday during the
Festival at Tamsen Gallery at 911 1/2 State Street.
The ADL Stand Up Award sponsored by ADL Santa Barbara/Tri-Counties – This award will be
presented to a dramatic film in the festival that represents an important message consistent with ADL’s
efforts "to secure justice and fair treatment for all." The winner will be announced during the Festival.
For more information go to: Santa Barbara International Film Festival