A Purrfect Project
By Richard Mineards   |   February 20, 2024

Montecito filmmaker Daniel DeVorzon, son of Oscar nominee Barry DeVorzon and his wife Jelinda, has found the purrfect project. Daniel, who is also the producer and composer, has made Nine Lives about the connection between one free spirited cat and the humans who love her. Despite a perilous start in life as a feral feline […]

 Montecito Filmmaker, the Monarch and Monty
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 13, 2024

Monty Roberts is the Salinas-bred cowboy who spent years trying to turn the equestrian community from “breaking” horses through violence to instead gaining their confidence through trust and gentility. The story of the owner of the decades-long Flag is Up Farms in Solvang and his ability to train horses through his kinder method isn’t a […]


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New Names on the Marquee
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 13, 2024

Late additions to the schedule include Annette Bening, who leapfrogged Barbie’s Margot Robbie to grab a Best Actress nod for Nyad, and also grabbed the last spot in SBIFF’s tributes.Bening will be profiled with the fest’s inaugural Arlington Award on February 16. Rounding out the panel participants, representatives of all 10 Oscar-nominated movies will populate […]

Puig’s Picks at SBIFF
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 13, 2024

SBIFF Program Director Claudia Puig shared a few of her favorite films that will be unspooling over the next 10 days at the festival: Madu – I adore this movie with all my heart. It’s a documentary about a 12-year-old Nigerian kid who wants to be a ballet dancer, but there is no ballet in […]

The Words Get Stuck in my Throat
By Jeff Wing   |   February 13, 2024

Montecito is a movie town in many respects, and that is a marvelous thing. Yes, I’m a cinephile! My creative hero has long been the director/auteur – an art rebel with the heart, spine and creative ballast to swim upstream in pursuit of a singularly iconoclastic vision. David Lean, Truffaut, Campion, Bogdanovich, Welles, Ephron, Gerwig, […]

Gettin’ SBIFF-y with It
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 6, 2024

Get ready, Santa Barbara. It’s time to roll out the red carpet and rev up for 11 roaring days and nights of film screenings, seminars, panels, actor tributes and other awards, plus parties, as the 39th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival takes over the town. Start stocking up on sleep and shore up your […]

Filmmaker Shares Power of Storytelling
By Scott Craig   |   January 30, 2024

Wendy Eley Jackson draws on three decades of experience in film and television in her talk, “The Transformative Power of Storytelling,” for a Westmont Downtown Lecture on Thursday, Feb. 1, at 5:30 pm at the Community Arts Workshop (631 Garden Street), in downtown Santa Barbara. The event is free and open to the public; no […]

  • Striking Gold: SBIFF Scores at Globes 
    By Steven Libowitz   |   January 23, 2024

    Just three weeks after this issue hits newsstands, the 39th Santa Barbara International Film Festival launches 11 days of screenings, seminars, speakers and sensational opportunities for sightseeing of stars. As always, Academy Award nominees and other award show hopefuls will be gracing the stage at the Arlington for in-depth conversations about their art during the […]

    ‘Dream Scenario’
    By Christopher Matteo Connor   |   December 12, 2023

    “Have you been dreaming about me?” It’s a question asked by Paul Matthews, played to perfection by Nicolas Cage, in Kristoffer Borgli’s newest surreal dark comedy, Dream Scenario. And the answer to that question? Yes. In fact, millions of people around the world have! In a bizarre, Luis Buñuel-esque turn of events, Paul Matthews – […]


    Cinema Society Soaring 
    By Steven Libowitz   |   December 5, 2023

    SBIFF’s private preview series with post-screening talent Q&A sessions – which is not exclusively private these days – heats up mightily in the waning weeks before winter as the Oscar hopefuls queue up for attention. Screenings at the Riviera Theatre this week start (Friday, December 1, at 7 pm) with Armenia’s Oscar Submission Amerikatsi – […]

    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 […]

    Outing to Ojai 
    By Steven Libowitz   |   November 7, 2023

    Film festivals are coming fast and furious in the middle of fall, with the Jewish Film Festival continuing for four more days through November 5, and the Ojai Film Festival set to hit the theater November 2-6. The latter fest found in the mountain community will screen more than four score films from around the […]

    One-Shots on Screen 
    By Steven Libowitz   |   November 7, 2023

    All Time, the 2023 ski film from Warren Miller Productions screening at the Lobero on November 7, results from 74 years of filmmaking reimagined, full of good turns and good snow on good hills with good people. Narrated by Olympic and World Cup Freestyle skiing analyst Jonny Moseley, the movie dives deep into elements that […]

    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 […]