The 19th Annual Santa
Barbara Film Festival has as one of its compelling features the delightful
ambience and community of Santa Barbara itself. As many call it
the “American Riviera” it is a most fitting location
for a major film festival. Not yet possessing the stature of Toronto
or Sundance, its proximity to Hollywood, and since Santa Barbara
is called home by many major players, craftsmen (and women) and
stars, it has much to offer. Opening night for the 2004 ten-day
SBIFF is January 30--a month earlier than last year due to the
Academy Awards schedule change which dramatically affects everything
in this business.
You didn’t mention your taste in films, but Santa Barbara offers
an eclectic mix of receptions, seminars, symposiums and parties.
The hot ticket this year will be the presentation to Peter Jackson
an award as a Modern Master. This New Zealander has been involved
with all three of the Lord of the Rings feature movies as well as
numerous off-beat productions which have made him a current favorite.
A Platinum or Full Festival Pass guarantees access to the Jackson
presentation as well as all other films and events but you must be
on time as additional tickets are sold based upon seats available
fifteen minutes prior to starting.
Nearly 150 films, including three world and five U.S. premieres,
will be screened ranging from independent productions to major studio
releases. Showings are typically followed by short talks by writers,
producers or talent.
Symposiums include: discussions by “Movers and Shakers”,
writers sharing “It Starts With the Script,” the thought
provoking and inspiring “Creative Forces: Women in the Biz,” and “Directors
on Directing.” Called Sidebars, the Santa Barbara Film Festival
offers collections of topical films to expose movie goers to a broad
range of topics, styles and production techniques. Sidebars for 2004
include: Women in Cinema, Latino Focus, Cult Films and Musicals.
Visit www.sbfilmfestival.org for lists of films, events, schedules,
ticket options and a wealth of additional information.
Santa Barbara’s well-known friendly and intimate atmosphere
lives strongly at the film festival. So get your tickets early to
rub shoulders with film industry insiders, critics and aficionados;
gain production insights from the masters themselves; swap stories
and opinions with fellow devotees; buy some popcorn and as a major
movie fan used to say, “Save an aisle seat for me.”