Paul Wellman (file)

Just like in the title of the Oscar-nominated song from La La Land, Santa Barbara is a “City of Stars” this week as the 32nd Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival is officially underway, with all manner of film folk — from actors to directors to producers to writers to fans — here to talk, listen, learn, and celebrate the world of cinema.

In this issue are myriad stories that feature the who, what, and why of the festival, including our Meet the Makers magazine, which comprises interviews with more than 50 filmmakers whose work is being shown; “Must-See Films” recommended by Indy film critic Josef Woodard; a look behind the making of the virtual-reality-designed screen titles; a complete festival schedule of films and events; and an interview with SAG award winner and Oscar contender Emma Stone.

After two weeks of cinematic immersion, the festival closes with the world premiere of Their Finest on Saturday, February 11, at the Arlington Theatre. Directed by Lone Scherfig, the romantic comedy is about a film production company tasked with boosting British morale during the Blitz by making a patriotic film on the Miracle of Dunkirk. The picture is based on the eponymous 2009 novel and features an all-star cast including Bill Nighy, Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Jack Huston, and Richard E. Grant.

Whether you submerge yourself in all the festival has to offer or only take in a few events, there’s no doubt that from now until February 11, the City of Santa Barbara will be shining brightly.

• A Chat with Emma Stone – ‘La La Land’ lead talks working with Damien Chazelle and dealing with auditioning.

• Santa Barbara Films @ SBIFF – Features and shorts with Santa Barbara connections.

• Roger Durling on SBIFF in 2017 – The SBIFF executive director touts the festival’s global roster and educational programs.

• Virtual Reality Painting Put on Film – John Oliver and Paul Mathieu create 3-D lead-ins for SBIFF.

• SBIFF’s Mickey Duzdevich Talks Festival Programming – Senior programmer explains how films are selected from the 3,000 plus submitted.

• Josef Woodard’s Must-See Films – Here’s a handful of noteworthy, original, and dramatically powerful movies.

• Courtney Morse Stars in ‘My Marilyn’ – The San Marcos alum plays the lead role in a short featured at SBIFF.

• Indy Local Heroes Films – Fifteen documentary shorts of 2016 Local Heroes to screen at SBIFF.

• SBIFF Discounts and Freebies – Get the info on this year’s festival deals.

• Food & Drink Tips for SBIFF – Here are suggestions from our staff on where to dine quick during the Film Fest.


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