Paul Wellman

It’s that time of year again when Santa Barbara’s sidewalks and cinemas start crawling with wide-eyed film fans, for the 28th edition of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival starts tonight, January 24, and runs for 10 more days until Closing Night competes with Super Bowl Sunday on February 3.

As usual, The Santa Barbara Independent is here to offer some sage cinematic advice, show you a little behind-the-scenes action, and hold your hand through one of our year’s biggest — and occasionally daunting — cultural affairs. To do so, our staff spent the past two weeks watching films to produce a cheat sheet on what to see, and we’ll keep expanding that information as the days wear on. Additionally, we have interviews with stars, a look at Santa Barbara’s filmmakers, and much more.

In addition to the stories listed below, stay tuned in to for constant festival coverage, photos from events, and interviews with dozens of filmmakers throughout the 11 days of cinema. Also keep a lookout for our second annual publishing of our Meet the Makers newsletters, which are collections of filmmaker interviews that get distributed to the theaters four times throughout the fest. And make sure to cast your vote after each film, for the crowd favorite will win The Santa Barbara Independent‘s Audience Choice Award on Closing Night.

Most of all, go see some movies!


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