With each incarnation, it becomes more accepted and appreciated that SBIFF just might be Santa Barbara’s most political and progressive event of the year. When else can you learn about schoolgirl bullies (Finding Kind), real estate races in Nicaragua (Land), rising tides of Micronesia (Someplace with a Mountain), skate rats of Kabul (Skateistan), the revival of native languages of Cape Cod (We Still Live Here), and the lives of gay athletes (Out for the Long Run) all in one fell swoop? No collection of films exemplifies this more than those in contention for the Fund for Santa Barbara’s Social Justice Award for Documentary Film, a $2,500 juried prize.
“Documentary films have long been an important tool in addressing critical social justice issues, exposing environmental disasters, and advancing human rights,” said the fund’s executive director, Geoff Green, who hosted a reception last Friday at Artamo Gallery that was attended by all but one nominated filmmaker. “No other medium can match film in capturing the public attention and mobilizing people to action.”
In addition to the six films mentioned above, the other entries in this year’s race are as follows: Confessions of an Eco-Terrorist (about Whale Wars star Paul Watson); Nostalgia for the Light (about Pinochet’s legacy, astronomy, and archeology); When I Rise (about civil rights in Texas); and With My Own Two Wheels (about how bicycles are changing the world).