Film Fest 2009

Welcome to's continuous and colorful coverage of the 24th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Here is where you'll find the latest news, reviews, rumors, and anecdotes from the cinema-laden streets of Santa Barbara for all 10 days of the fest, from Thursday, January 26, to Sunday, February 1.

Please feel free to comment on the articles and share your own observations. If you would like to become part of the blog, please send an email to

For a complete schedule of the festival, see For longer stories, previews of sidebars and special events, and interviews with celebrities and filmmakers, see And for all of our coverage, go straight to

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Burning Bright

Lightbulb closes out the 2009 Film Festival and bathes Santa Barbara in its warm glow.

The Oldest Profession and its "Cliente"

A review on the 24th SBIFF's French movie "Cliente," directed by Josiane Balasko.

Albums as Doc Launchpads

New documentaries on Brian Wilson and Johnny Cash use specific albums as reference points for broader stories about the legends.

Film With A Social Conscience Documentary Awards

The Fund for Santa Barbara annually presents accolades to one of the documentaries in the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. This year, a record seventeen films from around the world are competing for recognizing and a cash award.

Single showing of The Brothers Warner

Plays Saturday night; followed by Q&A with producer and editor; after-party.

David Fincher Tribute Deal

Mini-paks okay to pay; admission reduced to $20 as well.


While the fare can get dark and arty at SBIFF, there is lighter fare--aka fluff--to be savored here, too.

Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison

Johnny Cash played two iconic concerts at Folsom Prison in 1968. Recorded live, they represent of his most evocative work. This film tells the story of the concerts, and Cash's involvement with prison life, culture, and reform through revealing interviews and archival footage.

Brian Wilson Goes Home

The Beach Boy follows That Lucky Old Sun back to Santa Barbara for the premier of Going Home.

The Women and the Waves

Gidget and Blue Crush only tell part of the story of women and the waves. High definition surf filming meets prominent female surfers including Linda Benson, Healther Tiddens, Debbie Trauntvein and Ashley Lloyd as they carve it up along blue ocean waves.

Eastern Bloc's Best Film

Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Three Monkeys shines.

Reality Sandwich Shop

Documentaries and other reality-related matters are in strong form at the festival, and the amazing Tulpan takes us, artfully, to the steppes of Kazakhstan.

Fest at First Blush

SBIFF '09 started off slowly, dizzily on opening night, but got real good real fast.

A Long and Dirty Road

Local film-maker Mark Manning follows his own path to Fallujah

Crime Pays (Artistically) at Festival

Josef Woodard's latest blog post takes on three impressive films related to crime, but taken in radically different directions

Inside a Polygamist Cult

A review of Follow the Prophet.

Dance at the Festival

Experimental dance film with live music by Jim Connolly showcases multimedia art at its best.

Another screening tomorrow of Before Tomorrow

Before Tomorrow is a triumph of indigenous story-telling that provides a meditative glimpse into a far different world in the far north.

Danny Boyle's Million Dollar Baby

Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle stops by the Lobero for a post-screening chat.

Australia Day

Former Australian soap star 'drops in' on Amar A Morir


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