Tag archives: Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Lola Blanche
By Sigrid Toye   |   March 22, 2022

One of the gems presented in the short film program of the 2022 Santa Barbara International Film Festival was a 13-minute beautifully shot piece titled Kissy and the Shark helmed by writer/director Lola Blanche. In its brief running time, the film covers a myriad of topics that include nuanced views of interpersonal relationships, humanity’s deep […]

Oscar & SBIFF: Friends Forever
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 22, 2022

Let’s get this out of the way: there is no way that we have the space to cite even a single sentence from each of the Academy Award nominees who set foot on the stage at the Arlington Theatre during the 37th annual SBIFF – but here are a few pithy comments: Will Smith (commenting […]

Crowning Achievement
By Richard Mineards   |   March 22, 2022

Multi-Oscar nominee Will Smith was in fine form when he received the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award with co-star Aunjanue Ellis for their roles in the Warner Bros. movie King Richard, about the father of international racketeers Serena and Venus Williams, at the Arlington as part of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Smith, […]

Festival Finale
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 10, 2022

Just three days are left in Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) ‘22, but that’s still plenty of time to partake of a plethora of movies in virtually every genre as a significant percentage of the films are either premiering or having second screenings March 10-12, while others might enjoy a third showing to fill […]

Gallery à la Maune
By Richard Mineards   |   March 8, 2022

Maune Contemporary, a new art gallery, has opened on State Street next to the Arlington Theatre. It is the second location for owners Ramsey and Heidi Maune, who opened their first gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, four years ago. “It has been a longtime dream of ours to open a gallery here,” Heidi told me at […]

Bisset en Rose
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 3, 2022

There’s something appealing about seeing an aging actress playing an aging actress discussing acting, movies, and life in a movie. Not in the least because it’s still exceedingly difficult for actresses “of a certain age” – even in our era of more awareness – to find meaty roles.  That’s partly why the veteran British star […]

Oscar Goes to Santa Barbara
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 3, 2022

Academy Award aficionados and other Oscarologists will have a field day at SBIFF ‘22 all within the fest’s first few days. All five nominated directors (including Steven Spielberg!) appear at the Arlington on March 3, followed by Kristen Stewart on March 4, the now nine-strong Virtuosos Award in the wake of the Writers’ (with eight […]

SBIFF’s New Programmer Provides Critic-al Thinking
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 1, 2022

One year after the Santa Barbara International Film Festival went virtual with a bonus drive-in at the beach option, the city’s signature wintertime event is back as a full 11-day extravaganza. The festival is back to full-strength complete with Oscar-nominated movie stars doing on-stage interviews at the Arlington (with Penélope Cruz joining a line-up that […]

Colors of Love
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 12, 2022

Transform Through Arts Theater’s annual Colors of Love dance show at Center Stage Theater returns to its usual Valentine’s Day weekend performance slot for 2022 after moving to August due to the pandemic last year, and the local collective’s approach to the concept of love has expanded in the interim.  “It’s evolved into more diversity […]

Hawaiian Roots
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 25, 2022

Kulāiwi has only been together for less than two years, but the three Hawaiian musicians that make up the group – Lehua Kalima, Shawn Pimental, and Kawika Kahiapo – have been making music of the islands for decades. Between them they have claimed dozens of Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, which is considered Hawaii’s equivalent of […]

Man Behind the Lens
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 14, 2021

Carpinteria native Mike Eliason has taken tens of thousands of photos over the course of his 35-year career as a photographer in town. Eliason spent the first quarter-century as a newspaper photojournalist who worked for just about every paper in town, capturing sunsets and shooting alongside wildlife and wildfires before the Santa Barbara County Fire […]

McGarry’s New Play Breaks Her Own Code
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 31, 2021

Santa Barbara writer Claudia Hoag McGarry has been involved in the arts in town for more than 30 years, including teaching English Skills at SBCC for more than three decades, publishing three novels including two thrillers and a young adult memoir, producing four plays all in the historical drama genre, and writing screenplays and even […]

Chaucer’s Choice
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 13, 2021

The population of western monarch butterflies — the majestic insects that migrate from nearby states to spend the cold months in groves of trees between Marin County and San Diego — has declined more than 99 percent since the 1980s, a dramatic drop that has sadly been verified by their disappearance from our own famous […]

“Climb”
By Lynda Millner   |   April 22, 2021

Who doesn’t like an inspirational story? Climb is a documentary of courage and determination that begins with Neil Myers, who lives in Santa Barbara. It had its world premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. It also won the best documentary in the Sweden Film Awards and has been selected for the Columbia Film […]

Montecito at the Movies: Byrne Busts Through at SBIFF
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 15, 2021

The list of endeavors Montecito filmmaker Niki Byrne took on before she was out of her mid-20s would put most of us older adults to shame with the breadth and variety of her adventures: soccer player, race car driver, advertising copywriter, helicopter pilot, vegetable chopper for a Top Chef winner, photographer, painter (her portrait of […]

SBIFF Closes with Santa Barbara Short Docs
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 15, 2021

Despite the pandemic, the film festival is continuing its recent tradition of giving over the prestigious closing night slot to selected short documentaries shot by Santa Barbara filmmakers. We caught up with two of the locals who have contributed frequently to the fest’s film lineup. First up is Casey McGarry, who tackled roller skating old […]

Rock of Gibraltar Cyclist ‘Climbs’ back into the (bike) saddle
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 8, 2021

It was just 31 months ago that Neil Myers was nearly killed in a bike-versus-truck accident near the top of Gibraltar Road above Montecito, where the triathlete loved to train by undergoing grueling climbs up the mountain pass road. He followed the uphill treks with lightning-fast descents at speeds of more than 30 mph, far […]

$avvy Women. Money. Freedom. (Men allowed.)
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 8, 2021

The Big Short proved that it’s possible to make an interesting movie about money, a lesson documentary filmmaker Robin Hauser seemed to take to heart. Her latest documentary, $avvy, covers what could be a very dry subject – women’s relationship to finance – with a whole lot of advice from (mostly female) experts on how […]

SBIFF is Here: Roll Out the Wheels
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 8, 2021

What does one say to welcome filmmakers, stars, and guests to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival this year, the 36th, which holds the strange honor of being the first-ever hybrid event in SBIFF’s history? While movies, tributes, and filmmaker Q&As will all stream online from April 1-10, the only live interaction between people from […]

‘Dist-Dance’: Love of Ecstatic Dance Motivates Director Michael Love
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 7, 2021

We also spoke with Michael Love, the veteran screenwriter (he authored the screenplay for the Academy Award-nominated, Gaby: A True Story, in 1987) and director with dozens of credits to his name, including multiple short docs and a few features that have premiered at SBIFF over the years. His 2021 entry, Dist-Dance, chronicles the ecstatic […]