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Star-Studded Santa Barbara International Film Festival Highlights Diverse Range of Talent

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—The star-studded 10 day Santa Barbara International Film Festival came to a close last night.

Austin Butler, Jamie Lee Curtis, Angela Bassett, Cate Blanchett, Colin Farrell, and Brendan Fraser were just a few of the A-listers who received special film festival awards for their achievements in cinema.

Fans welcomed a teary-eyed Brendan Fraser with a standing ovation as he accepted the American Riviera award.

An animated Jamie Lee Curtis entertained the crowd as she accepted the Maltin Modern Master Award.

“By honoring me, you have honored my parents and my grandparents and my family and my children who do like me, by the way,” said Curtis.

But they’re not the only stars who generated a buzz.

Hollywood legend Rita Moreno, the first Latina to ever win an Oscar, walked the red carpet to support one Santa Barbara native’s film “The Prank.”

“But is it a frame? That’s what we don’t know. And where does the prank go?” said Rita Moreno and Maureen Bharoocha.

For stars like Ke Huy Quan and Brendan Fraser this year marks a huge comeback after being off the radar for years.

“It’s a lesson that everybody can do whatever they want. you don’t have to be put in a box,” said ‘Dave’ actress Taylor Misiak.

It also marks a huge milestone for Asians in cinema.

“We’re now being.. you know.. noticed by the Academy in this way because it gives so much more opportunity to people who are waiting in the wings,” said Stephanie Hsu from “Everything, Everywhere All At Once.”

Fans roared with excitement after seeing Chris Pratt, Jane Lynch, and Sarah Michelle Gellar spontaneously show up to this local film scene.

Many middle school and high school students looked ecstatic after interviewing their childhood idols.

“He complimented the questions I asked him and it was just an amazing experience,” said DP News student Rebecca Lennon.

This aspiring journalist kept it professional:

“They’re just normal people that you’re talking to. They’re like all of us,” said Santa Barbara Middle School student Chloe Miller.

As young students worked up the courage to interview their favorite actors, lifelong fans waited for hours just to catch a glimpse of their childhood heroes.

It’s clear that the love of cinema ran deep at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
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Mina Wahab

Arab-American producer & reporter with a mission to dig deep in interviews, share authentically, shed light on the issues that matter, and provoke deep thought.


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