Tag archives: film

An Illuminating Evening
By Richard Mineards   |   November 28, 2023

The Music Academy’s Hahn Hall was socially gridlocked when the ILLUMINATE Film Festival, a leading event for evolutionary cinema, celebrated its 10th anniversary and move to Santa Barbara from Sedona, Arizona. The fun fest included an exclusive screening of The Monk and the Gun, a charming and provocative feature film set in Bhutan in 2006, […]

Jacob the Baker, Noah the Movie Maker
By Richard Mineards   |   November 21, 2023

Pulitzer Prize nominee, poet, and philosopher Noah benShea is now in the movie business! The Montecito resident – who was formerly assistant dean of students at UCLA at the age of 22 – has written a number of books using the character Jacob the Baker, including Gentle Wisdom for a Complicated World, which has been […]

Illuminate Festival Moving to Town 
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 14, 2023

Illuminate Film Festival (IFF) is celebrating its 10th anniversary by moving from Sedona, Arizona, to another somewhat spiritually-elevated community much closer to the sea. A leading festival for evolutionary/conscious cinema – focusing on films that uplift, elevate, and inspire lasting personal and social transformation – the IFF is hosting a benefit reception at the Music […]

Film Fests from Around the World
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 31, 2023

The Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival returns to the New Vic Theatre November 1-5 at a tense time in Israel and around the world, but aside from beefing up security at the theater, the festival is focusing on what it does best, which is to present some of the finest international cinema about the Jewish […]

Focus on Film: Swimming to the Riv
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 17, 2023

SBIFF Cinema Society screens a preview of Nyad at the Riviera, the dramatic biopic of famed distance swimmer Diana Nyad who, at the age of 60 and with the help of her best friend and coach, finally achieved her lifelong dream of completing the 110-mile open ocean swim from Cuba to Florida. The film, which […]

NatureTrack in Goleta
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 3, 2023

The NatureTrack Film Festival is back in a big way for South Coast folks as the nonprofit’s re-mounting of its nascent festival moves to Goleta’s Fairview Cinemas for a weekend packed with nature-centric movies spanning adventures and stories via feature film and documentaries October 6-8. With new curators in place, the fest promises to be […]

Focus on Film
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 26, 2023

Santa Barbara filmmaker Lee Abbott’s documentary Disaster at Devil’s Jaw explores the 100-year-old disaster when seven speeding U.S. Navy destroyers crashed into the ragged coastline at Honda Point. Abbott does the discussion/Q&A thing about the largest peacetime disaster in naval history after the film screens at Santa Barbara Maritime Museum on September 21….  Citizen McCaw, […]

A Reel-y Good Time
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 29, 2023

Dave Haws worked at Metropolitan Theatres while still in high school, including during the wintertime film festival, which sparked not only a lifelong love for movies, but also the desire to make a living in the industry. Haws, who was born and raised in Santa Barbara, headed out of town to get an education, majored […]

Further Focus on Film: Projecting the Coastal Media Project
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 29, 2023

The Carsey-Wolf Center’s nine-week intensive environmental media production and documentary studies program involves students from a wide range of backgrounds collaborating to produce short films that tell vital and timely stories about the coastal environment. This year’s quartet of shorts include the very up-to-date Stranded, which dives into the phenomenon that resulted in more than […]

‘Monica’ Explores Deep Wounds With Mother and Daughter
By Christopher Matteo Connor   |   August 15, 2023

Monica’s mother is dying. Monica hasn’t seen her mother in years. In fact, Monica’s mother doesn’t even recognize Monica. And that’s because she hasn’t seen her daughter since she fully transitioned and was cast out from the family. It’s been a long time. And a difficult one. In Andrea Pallaoro’s latest film, Monica, Trace Lysette […]

Discounts for Devotees of “The Dark”
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 15, 2023

The annual discount derby for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival next year is going on right now. SBIFF returns to town – or more accurately, dominates the entertainment calendar – from February 7-17, 2024, with its usual slate of celebrity tributes, industry panels, and 200 or so new independent and international films, including daily […]

‘Contempt’ by Jean-Luc Godard (1963)
By Christopher Matteo Connor   |   July 25, 2023

“Cinema shows us a world that fits our desires.” French film critic André Bazin’s quote is spoken by Jean-Luc Godard in the opening credits of his film Contempt.A camera crew tracks along towards us, until the camera itself nearly films the frame. It tilts down and turns its lens on us.  What if the line […]

By Steven Libowitz   |   July 18, 2023

The NatureTrack Film Festival was created as an extension of the NatureTrack Foundation, the nonprofit that combats “Nature-Deficit Disorder” by transporting county students outside via a variety of no-charge field trips from the seashore to the inland oak woodlands to engage curiosity and instill appreciation and awe of nature. The festival had a fine first […]

A Oui Focus on Film
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 18, 2023

Also making its post-pandemic return is SBIFF’s French Wave Film Festival, which takes over SBIFF’s Riviera Theatre July 14-20 to feature 11 new examples of contemporary French cinema – nearly all winners or nominees for César Awards (the French Oscars) or selections at Cannes. Details, screening times, and passes at https://sbiffriviera.com/wave.  

Movie in the Works
By Richard Mineards   |   July 11, 2023

Beanie Baby billionaire Ty Warner, 78, is coming to the big screen, in a comedy, no less. America’s favorite plushies are finally getting the movie and TV treatment with The Beanie Bubble, which shines a light on the owner of the Biltmore and the San Ysidro Ranch, the tycoon behind the collection craze from the […]

Focus on Film: Docs and Drama 
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 9, 2023

Montecito Journal correspondent Leslie Westbrook produced Voces de Old Town Carpinteria, the short documentary focusing on five Carpinterians who attended one of California’s last segregated schools – Aliso Elementary, which was “Mexicans Only” until it desegregated 75 years ago back in 1947. The film premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in February, and […]

‘Enys Men’
By Christopher Matteo Connor   |   April 18, 2023

Have you ever been stuck in a rut? Doing the same thing day in, day out. The same rituals, the same tasks, the same autopilot life? Now imagine that – but you’re on some uninhabited island off the coast of England where your only friends are a group of rare flowers. If you weren’t on […]

‘Una vita difficile’
By Christopher Matteo Connor   |   April 4, 2023

Life for cinephiles everywhere just got a little easier now that Dino Risi’s long underseen film from 1961, Una vita difficile AKA A Difficult Life, has finally made its way stateside for the first time ever, after being overshadowed by Risi’s followup masterpiece, Il Sorpasso. And even better, it features two of Italy’s greatest stars […]

Festival Awards Student Filmmakers
By Scott Craig   |   April 4, 2023

The curtain may have closed on the inaugural Montecito Student Film Festival, but there is still a buzz about the spectacular young filmmaking talent in our community. For about five hours, cinephiles filled Westmont’s Porter Theatre to screen 20 student films on March 25.  In the end, Westmont sophomore Campbell Ralph of Fox Island, Washington, […]

The Conformist
By Christopher Matteo Connor   |   March 28, 2023

Readers, movie lovers; we’re in for a serious treat. Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1970 masterpiece, The Conformist, is coming to a theater near you. Oh, count our lucky stars! Based on the book of the same name by Alberto Moravia, The Conformist is about a young Fascist, Marcello Clerici (played by Jean-Louis Trintignant) who is ordered to […]