Focus on Film: Frank Talk on a Gambit
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 3, 2020

If you haven’t yet checked out The Queen’s Gambit, deservedly one of the top-ranked shows on Netflix and one of the best original series in the streaming service’s catalog, now would be a good time to get started on the seven-episode series about a chess prodigy turned accomplished if tortured young woman. That’s because Scott […]

Personal Surf Film Debuts
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 19, 2020

Santa Barbara surfer and filmmaker Heather Hudson, creator of the groundbreaking documentary surf films The Women and the Waves, has a new film she’s sharing with local audiences. 93 – Letters from Marge is the story of surf pioneer and icon Marge Calhoun (1924-2017) told through letters she wrote during the last years of her […]

 

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SBIFF: Grappling with Graphics
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 18, 2020

Last year marked the 50th anniversary of John Van Hamersveld‘s iconic “Crazy World Ain’t it” emoji – it was called an illustration back in 1969 when Van Hamersveld created his first versions of the drawing at Bellevue Studio on Bonnie Brea in Echo Park and went on to develop the idea for a T-shirt graphic […]

Further Focus on Film
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 12, 2020

Free to Laugh, a short documentary about the power of comedy to help inmates to heal after prison, follows a comedy workshop teaching improv and stand-up to women on parole and probation, one of the more underrepresented communities representing and a voice that is seldom heard. The film, which was shot on location at Amity […]

Entwined Wins Bill Paxton Award
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 12, 2020

When Dale Griffiths Stamos wrote and directed her latest short fiction film, Entwined, she had no idea that events less than a year later would bring extra focus to the 14-minute work. Entwined, which is about a Black man and a white woman in their sixties discussing the prejudicial injustices that drove them apart in […]

Focus on Film: Sacramento Spirit
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 5, 2020

Who knowingly purchases the former residence of a notorious serial killer? Meet Tom and Barbara, proud new owners of the most infamous house in Sacramento. The middle-aged couple purchased the residence where Dorothea Puente ran a boarding house where she murdered elderly and mentally disabled guests before cashing their Social Security checks in the 1980s. […]

Focus on Film: Women in the Water
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 29, 2020

She is the Ocean, the new documentary from Inna Blokhina, the director of the award-winning film On the Wave, is an in-depth exploration of the lives of nine women from around the world who share a love for the sea so profound that they have chosen to make the ocean the center of their physical, […]

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Cottage Rehab’s Evening of Empowering Entertainment
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 13, 2020

Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation presents a fundraising screening of the 2017 film Charged: The Eduardo Garcia Story, which describes Eduardo Garcia‘s rehabilitation journey following injuries he suffered from a massive electric shock while hunting. A classically trained chef who found his passion for cooking at an early age, Garcia cut his teeth in the industry […]

UCSB Arts & Lectures’ House Calls: Just What the Doctor Ordered
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 24, 2020

UCSB Arts & Lectures is by far the area’s busiest arts organization, presenting in the pre-pandemic era upwards of 100 public events every academic year, not to mention add-ons in the summer. So, naturally A&L is stepping to the front of the line again as the COVID-19 crisis passes the six-month mark. After transferring its […]

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Preview of Patagonia’s Public Trust Screens Outdoors
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 17, 2020

Described as part love letter and part political exposé, Public Trust: The Fight for America’s Public Lands investigates how we arrived at this precarious moment when America’s public lands – some 640 million acres – are in danger. Held in trust by the federal government for all citizens of the United States, these places are […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 6: Michael DeVorzon, Actor and Writer
By Joanne Calitri   |   September 10, 2020

Michael DeVorzon grew up in Montecito, with a great family lineage in music, and carved his own way in film and TV. Still working actively during the lockdown, he is polished in defining the narrative of the hard work it takes to stay in the game, do it like a pro, and always with kindness. […]

The Film About Local Beekeepers That is Causing a Buzz
By Calla Corner   |   September 10, 2020

Although there is still a dispute over whether it was Napoleon or Adam Smith who coined the phrase “The British are a nation of shopkeepers,” there is no dispute that beekeepers in Santa Barbara want to convince us that America is a “nation of beekeepers.” The Beelievers, a short documentary made by UCSB graduate filmmaker […]

‘WWW’ on the World Wide Web
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 3, 2020

Whales Without Walls, which screened at the 2020 Santa Barbara International Film Festival this past winter, is essentially a five-minute argument for a modern real-life solution to the issues that were addressed in the fiction film Free Willy. The mission of the Whale Sanctuary Project is to establish a model seaside sanctuary where whales and […]

Arts Lockdown Series Part 4: From Space with Astrophysicist Andy Howell, PhD
By Joanne Calitri   |   August 27, 2020

Transporting us from science to sci-fi films is astrophysicist Andy Howell, PhD. He is a staff scientist at Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO), where a global network of 23 telescopes operate 24/7. His team co-discovered the first “kiloanova” in 2017, two neutron stars that rotate around each other and release gravitational waves, merging to create a […]

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