Santa Barbara Film Festival Lights Up

Thirty-Four Years Showcasing All Things Cinematic

Thirty-four years ago, when Phyllis de Picciotto met with city officials and Metro Theatre owners Bruce and David Corwin about launching an annual film festival, I imagine all parties thought, “This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship” (Casablanca, 1942). And so it has been. You might even say it’s “the stuff that dreams are made of” (The Maltese Falcon, 1941). Helmed by Executive Director Roger Durling since 2002, the wildly successful Santa Barbara International Film Festival is an 11-day gala is that infuses State Street with the wonders of all things cinematic — from actor tributes to educational seminars to panel discussions to heaps of films.

On Wednesday, January 30, folks can shout, “They’re here!” (Poltergeist, 1982) as the festival kicks off with its opening-night film, Deep Dive: The Life and Times of Mike DeGruy. The next 11 days offer a Tilt-a-Whirl of fun, taking folks inside theaters for mind-expanding cinematic experiences that demonstrate that “where we’re going, we don’t need roads” (Back to the Future, 1985). And while the SBIFF may be particularly satisfying for die-hard cinephiles, who wait all year for the event that makes them squeak, “You complete me” (Jerry Maguire, 1996, and Ice Age: The Meltdown, 2006), the breadth and depth of offerings make certain there is something for everyone to enjoy.

In this week’s Independent, we take a peek at some of the exciting upcoming fare. Read on for an interview with the inimitable Glenn Close, who will receive the Maltin Modern Master Award; see how female filmmakers are gaining a foothold in the industry and at SBIFF; learn about the delicious movies about food in a Screen Cuisine roundup; and discover how Planet of the Apes’s (1968) makeup artists defined the future of their craft.

And cue titles …

[ Click here to view the complete coverage. ]

• Glenn Close to Receive Modern Master Award

• Women Gaining Foothold in the Film Industry

SBIFF’s Screen Cuisine Menu for 2019

• Making Apes: The Artists Who Changed Film

• Films to Find at SBIFF 2019

SBIFF Discounts and Freebies

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Solar Wing’ Builders’ Building Changes Hands

Landlords swap around for Goleta Old Town company on Mars InSight mission.

Work on Carpinteria Section to Close 101

Wednesday and Thursday overnight closures will alternate in both directions.

Pledge of Allegiance Is Back at SBCC Board Meetings

Unruly City College meeting raises unaddressed racial tensions.

Women’s March Organizes Against Emergency Declaration

Grass-roots groups to hold protests on Presidents' Day.

Caltrans Estimates 154 Will Open Mid-March

Repairs ongoing at a cost of $2.2 million after Whittier Fire debris blocks culvert.