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Santa Barbara International Film Festival Poster Unveiled

The red carpet is about to be rolled out! The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) may still be a few weeks away but that certainly didn’t stop a large crowd from gathering at the Santa Barbara Hotel to unveil this year’s poster.

Gasps and claps filled the room as the veil dropped revealing a poster within a poster. What do we mean? All 30 poster designs from the first film festival to the current were displayed in this year’s artwork.

“It starts out black and white not because it wasn’t really nice artwork, it’s just because it’s a small quaint film festival that over the years kept growing and growing,” said poster creator Barbara Boris.

Boris has been involved with designing the Film Festival’s poster since 2004.

“Spring, summer…the concept starts forming,” said Boris about the process it takes to design an SBIFF poster. “We go maybe through a few renditions. It’s not always a home run right out of the ballpark.”

This year’s film festival will also have a few new tricks up its sleeves.

SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling said the Festival is adding two full days to its lineup. Two new sections will also be added which will feature films about performing arts called Cinematic Overtures, and a showcase with films from Nordic countries.

There will also be more free screenings for the locals during SBIFF. “It kills me to hear that people think the Film Festival is something elitist…that’s not my vision of what a festival is,” commented Durling. “A festival is something that is inclusive and I’ve felt that we should, once a day, have a great film open to everybody.”

Durling also told us that as part of the string of family films screened at the Arlington, which he calls Applebox films, moviegoers and their children will enjoy free popcorn and soda to accompany their free screening of movies like How to Train Your Dragon 2, Boxtrolls, Big Hero 6, and Lego Movie.

Durling said close to 5,000 children throughout Santa Barbara County are brought by bus to enjoy the free screenings.

“This year more than ever, the collaboration between Hollywood and us has been very fruitful as you can see in not just the tributes, but look at what we’re doing this year, which is very unique,” Durling added.

One of the most unique aspects of this year’s SBIFF is the tribute to all the behind-the-scenes artists that will be held during an evening of the 11-day event.

The opening night film is “Desert Dancer,” a film about a group of Iranians that hold dance performances in the country if Iran, which bans dancing.

The 30th edition of SBIFF offers a vast array of films representing 54 countries, 23 world premieres and 52 U.S. premieres.

For more information and to purchase your tickets, visit



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