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Weak weather doesn’t dampen activities including the popular film festival

A weak storm wasn’t enough to keep many people from enjoying their day out, especially with the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in town.

Thousands of people have been filling theaters throughout downtown.

Many are seeing more than one of the festival’s films today and in between they are looking to map out other choices either today or over the next week.

The 32nd annual festival ends on February 11.

Volunteers work to sort the many lines for different movies in the right direction. Those arriving who are confused are quickly sorted out with several staff members at each entrance or at the head of each line.

Marsha Goldman from Santa Barbara and her friend Shawna Mathews from Seattle decided to pick the movies “as we go along.” They used the film festival guide and then said “we had a general plan. We picked out our favorites.” They bought a four pack. Then added a ten pack of tickets after that. Surprisingly many of the films they enjoyed were in the Metro Four Theatre so they didn’t have to go far.

For Betsy Graham, she was first in line for her first movie and had never attended the festival before. “I just wanted to come to see a few so I have a mini pack to see four and this is my first movie.”

In between films, getting some shopping in, or hitting a restaurant was also on the agenda. The festival was designed to be an off season economic booster and many cash registers were ringing.

A large wave of out of the area film makers are here to pitch their movies, and with that, hotel occupancy is expected to be strong through the run of the festival.

Wet streets made it challenging for those jumping puddles to get from theater to theatre and parking structures were filling up fast in the core downtown area.

In the waterfront area, away from the festival, the rain did not keep visitors from walking Stearns Wharf under gray skies.

The surfers found some good breaks at the end of the harbor wall, but for one, he had a spill and then a rescue.

“I landed out in front. So I landed on my board and my foot was a little bit out and it came out like this so I felt it pop,” said Spencer Smith after he was brought to shore.

Harbor Patrol Officers and City Firefighters came to his aid along with other surfers nearby.

He was all set for one of the biggest competitions of the year, and now Smith is sidelined.

“I was supposed to surf in the Rincon Classic tomorrow. That is not going to happen. So I will get booted up and see what the next race is.”

For more information on the film festival and the KEYT coverage go to:

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