Last night the 36th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG®, opened with the world premiere of Invisible Valley. Drive-in movie go-ers watched on as Director Aaron Mauer and producer Zachary McMillan took to the stage with the festival’s Executive Director Roger Durling and introduced the film with the backdrop of the ocean in sight, with online attendees joining from all around the world.
Invisible Valley skillfully weaves together the seemingly disparate stories of undocumented farmworkers, wealthy snowbirds, and music festival-goers over the course of a year in California’s Coachella Valley. The intimate, on-the-ground profiles drive home the incongruity of the lifestyles that coexist in an affluent community. In exploring the history of the region as well as its future, the film uncovers an undercurrent of a looming ecological crisis threatening it all.
The once in a lifetime hybrid festival model gave the community in-person access for free, and funds raised by the online ticketed festival are used to support the organization’s year-round commitment to the city, serving over 14,000 people annually including at-risk and underserved youth, low-income families and their children, cancer patients, and transit-dependent senior citizens.
Upcoming tributes will include live presentations to Bill Murray, Sacha Baron Cohen, Zendaya, Riz Ahmed, Maria Bakalova, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Andra Day, Sidney Flanigan, Vanessa Kirby, Tahar Rahim, Amanda Seyfried, Carey Mulligan, and many more. On April 1, all films will be released simultaneously with the exception of closing day short films – which will be released on the final day of the festival, April 10. A full schedule of events including where fans can purchase 10-day festival passes now through April 10 can be found by visiting www.sbiff.org.