2020 SBIFF Opening Night at the Arlington Theatre. (January 15, 2020) | Credit: Paul Wellman (file)

In 2021, even as the pandemic continues to prohibit in-person events, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s education wing continues to move forward. Last week the organization announced a new initiative called Stories Matter to be led by actor, author, filmmaker, and all-around fearless advocate for women Leslie Zemeckis. Beginning in January, Zemeckis will be conducting a writing workshop for six female participants between the ages of 18 and 25 aimed at releasing their inner storytellers in the service of honoring women’s lives and truths. Having demonstrated an unflagging commitment to telling the stories of marginalized women through her books and documentaries on such subjects as fan dancers, tiger tamers, and burlesque performers, Zemeckis now intends to use Stories Matter as a platform to amplify the voices of a new generation. If this sounds like you, contact the program at storiesmatter101@gmail.com for information about how to apply. Applications are due by January 6, 2021.


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