Focus on Film

By Steven Libowitz   |   March 12, 2020

Amazing Grace, the locally-made documentary about Grace Fisher, a 17-year-old dancer, cellist, pianist, and guitarist who contracted a rare polio-like disease that left her a quadriplegic, gets an encore screening at the Marjorie Luke this weekend. Encouraged by her mentors including Justin Hurwitz (the Montecito-raised Academy Award winning composer of the La La Land soundtrack) and Dr. Earl Stewart, a Fulbright Scholar and UCSB Professor Emeritus from Baton Rouge, who is also paralyzed, learns to write, create art, and compose symphonies using only a mouth-stick. The free screening of the inspiring 56-minute film, which premiered in January at SBIFF, takes place at 7 pm Saturday, March 14, at the Marjorie Luke Theatre, and will be followed by a Q&A with Fisher and director and family friend Lynn Montgomery. Details at

The Wildling Museum-produced nature doc Carrizo Plain: A Sense of Place, which also appeared at SBIFF, has been selected for both the 2020 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival and NatureTrack Film Festival. The 32-minute film profiles a hidden corner of California’s Great Central Valley through the eyes of three artists with a special affinity for the rare and unique landscape that, prior to the influx of Europeans in the 1800s, was a vast open plain. The Carrizo Plain is the sole remnant grassland of that era. The doc screens in the Central Coast Filmmakers Showcase within the 2020 SLOIFF on Wednesday, March 18 ( and at the NatureTrack Film Festival on Sunday, March 22, at St. Marks In-the-Valley Episcopal Church in Los Olivos (

Santa Barbara Museum of Art says farewell to “Kehinde Wiley: Equestrian Portrait of Prince Tommaso of Savoy-Carignan,” the artist’s Park Projects installation, with a free screening of the 2014 PBS documentary Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace, followed by a 30-minute Q&A with Rachel Heidenry, SBMA Curatorial Assistant in Contemporary Art, at 6 pm on Thursday, March 19 at the museum’s Mary Craig Auditorium. Visit


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