For the team behind the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), as for everyone else in town, 2018 will go down in history as one of the toughest years ever — and we are only one month in. Between the Thomas Fire and the subsequent deadly debris flows in Montecito, people could be forgiven for wondering if the show would go on. But that’s not festival director Roger Durling’s style, and quitting is not in the vocabulary of his determined squad of staffers and valiant volunteers. Against the odds, and through the muck, the stars will descend for 10 days devoted to the best in cinema. From Oscar nominees to art-house indies, this fest schedule is packed with fascinating films that will take you places and show you things beyond what you have ever seen before.
The following coverage focuses on some of the highlights of week one, including Cinema Vanguard Award honoree Willem Dafoe (Thu., Feb. 1, at the Arlington), an inspiring new documentary about a housing project for performing artists in New York, and guides to the festival’s Social Justice, Crossing Borders, and Santa Barbara filmmakers sidebars, among others. Our cover image of Wonder Woman Gal Gadot, who will be in town to accept her Virtuosos Award, reflects not only the fact that this was a year of super-heroic women, but also that we are the beneficiaries of some real-life superheroes in the form of all those men and women who joined forces to fight the fire, rescue our neighbors, and move the mud. Now on to the movies!
- Cinema Vanguard Award: Willem Dafoe
- Films to Find at the Festival
- SBIFF’s Climate Change Films
- Stoner Flicks at SBIFF
- Crossing Borders Features Cross-Cultural Films
- Santa Barbara Filmmakers Take Center Stage
- ‘Miracle on 42nd Street’ Shows Grand Social Experiment That Yielded Notable Results
- ‘We Are Galápagos’ Explores Human Life on the Islands
- Reel Nature Comes to the Festival