Credit: Jean Ziesenhenne

In response to concerns raised by the Omicron variant, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival has announced a new set of more stringent safety measures in advance of the 37th festival, which runs from March 2 through March 12. The popular festival has already scheduled two major tribute events. Kristen Stewart will receive the American Riviera Award on Friday, March 4, at the Arlington Theatre, and Will Smith and Aunjanue Ellis will be honored jointly with Performer of the Year Awards on Sunday, March 6, also at the Arlington. 

The new safety protocols are as follows:

  • All attendees, staff and volunteers will be required to provide photo ID and proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including a booster shot for those eligible and for whom the CDC recommends.
  • To pick up your festival pass, you will be required to show a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 48 hours prior.
  • Some festival events will require another negative COVID-19 test taken prior to admission.
  • Masks will be required while inside as well as while in line for any and all festival events and screenings.
  • Theatres will operate at a reduced capacity.

For more information and tickets to the festival, visit

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