3Qs with Shorts Fest curator Lynn Holley
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 5, 2021

After three years and five festivals screening at SBCAST, Lynn Holley’s 3 Minute Film Festival is going back online for its ninth iteration, with all 31 selections culled from twice as many entries from a dozen countries being screened on its website beginning August 1. Dubbed “The best little boutique film festival on an international […]

Productions at the Pollock
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 29, 2021

The Pollock Theatre at UCSB jumps back into the post-SBIFF fray in mid-spring with three events within a single week. Appropriate for Earth Day weekend, Pollock’s virtual filmmaker series dives into the 2020 documentary Frozen Obsession, which follows the 18-day, 2,000-mile Northwest Passage Project expedition through the stunningly beautiful and extreme Canadian Arctic, aboard the […]

 

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More from Montecito

“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 […]

Talking Baseball in Tokyo
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 21, 2021

Veteran journalist and author Robert Whiting is one of only a few Western writers to have written a regular newspaper column in the Japanese language. The author of several highly successful books on Japan and the city where he has lived on and off for more than half a century include the best-selling You Gotta […]

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 […]

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$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 […]

Getting Innovative: From Drive-ins to Zoom Q&As, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival is Ready
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 1, 2021

Over its 36-year history, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival has had to deal with challenges such as raising funds to keep the fest afloat in the early days; pivoting quickly following the departure of its new executive director after a single season at the helm; and erecting barricades to hold back the masses when […]

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Mission: Impossible Objects
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 10, 2021

Ed Lister, who is known in both Los Angeles and Santa Barbara as a skilled scenic artist with credits in the theater credits and mural making, has created a series of vibrant abstract silk screen prints, or serigraphs. They were made starting in the early 1970s while he was teaching printmaking at the Chelsea School […]

‘The Shot’ Premieres
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 12, 2021

You could say that Robin Gerber has had a backwards career. After working as a lawyer in Washington, D.C., and then serving as a well-paid Congressional lobbyist for trade unions for 15 years, Gerber, experiencing self-described burnout, junked it all for a life as a writer for newspapers and magazines.  Then her mentor suggested she […]

As Harding’s Mom, Janney’s Aim is True
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 1, 2021

I don’t know if it means anything that my phone went dead just after I asked Allison Janney about White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. There was a long pause. Some laughter. Then she said, “Oh boy, oh dear. I don’t know how anyone could want to be …” Janney, of course, is the […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 18: Producer and Director Steve Binder
By Joanne Calitri   |   January 28, 2021

As you are reading this, it’s the anniversary of Elvis Presley’s birthday (January 8) and I’ve been talking to Steve Binder, an American producer and director born in Los Angeles. Steve, who just celebrated his 88th birthday last month, is currently working as a creative consultant on Baz Luhrmann’s film Elvis, where Dacre Montgomery is […]

Focus on Film: Stories of Overcoming Bias
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 28, 2021

Back in 2010, rising country music singer-songwriter Brandon Stansell was ostracized from his strict Southern Baptist family after coming out as gay. He spent the past decade healing from that pain, finding a new support system, and building a name for himself in country music by refusing to hide his truth. The 33-year-old’s 2020 EP […]

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