Santa Barbara International Film Festival Thanks Benedict Cumberbatch for Gift to Direct Relief in Ukraine

SBIFF Cinema Vanguard Honoree Boosts Festival’s Fund for Ukraine to $100,000

Benedict Cumberbatch holds up a Ukrainian flag in support of the people of Ukraine at the Cinema Vanguard Award ceremony. | Credit: Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for SBIFF

When the Santa Barbara International Film Festival set up a fundraising campaign to send money to Direct Relief for Ukraine, the goal was impressive — $100,000 in just 10 days. As the last film of the festival unspooled at the Arlington Theatre on Sunday, March 12, the campaign was tantalizingly close to that figure — $96,000, just $4,000 short. 

That was until SBIFF Cinema Vanguard honoree Benedict Cumberbatch heard about it. He immediately donated the remaining amount, ensuring that the entire sum would be available for Santa Barbara–based international nonprofit Direct Relief to spend helping the people of Ukraine. Festival Executive Director Roger Durling said, “We were short $4k of reaching our goal of $100k toward Direct Relief — and his people reached out to us yesterday about closing the gap. We’ve been floored by everyone’s generosity!  And this gesture from one of SBIFF’s honorees is so moving.”

See To review the Indy’s extensive daily coverage of the 37th SBIFF, go here

Support the Santa Barbara Independent through a long-term or a single contribution.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.