Santa Barbara International Film Festival

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Experience the 28th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival presented by



This week, tons of movie fanatics and film connoisseurs are heading to Park City, Utah to attend Sundance, one of the most publicized independent film festivals in the world.


But “you don’t need to attend Sundance in the dead of winter to get a film fix and rub elbows with some of the top names in show business,” travel expert Peter Greenberg says. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) takes place among the beautiful California coastal area that is considered the American Riviera™. With the city’s destination desirability and the Festival’s attraction of stellar luminaries and exceptional programming, the SBIFF is truly “unmissable.”


Given its knack for predicting Academy Award® winners, a proximal distance to Los Angeles and timing close to the big event, this year the SBIFF will once again establish itself as the preeminent Oscar® film festival.


In its 28th edition, SBIFF will offer a vast array of films representing 49 countries and a rich selection of films sure to delight audiences from all reaches of the globe. In fact, the Festival has added 15 more films to the already stellar lineup of films being showcased, including three Academy Award nominees, two World Premieres and two U.S. Premieres:


World Premieres:


Angels in Exile, South Africa – World Premiere
Directed by Billy Raftery, Narrated by Charlize Theron
An 8-year journey that challenges viewers to look past the violent and often graphic image of homeless youth and see them for what they are…children.


Retreat, Canada – World Premiere
Directed by David Cherniack
A documentary that follows the trials and tribulations of thirty-five Westerners as they go through an intense eight-week meditation retreat in Thailand led by Alan Wallace.


U.S. Premieres:


Maddened by His Absense (J’enrage de son Absence), France – US Premiere
Directed by Sandrine Bonnaire
Deeply affected by the death of his son in a car accident nine years ago, Jacques (William Hurt) struggles to come to terms with his past.


Shymal Uncle Turns Off the Lights, India – US Premiere
Directed by Suman Ghosh
An 80-year-old Kolkata retiree is determined to turn off the streetlights after sunrise, but finding someone to take him seriously proves a battle against indifference and complacency


Oscar nominated films:


A Royal Affair (En kongelig affære), Denmark/Sweden/Czech Republic/Germany
Directed by Nikolaj Arcel
This sumptuous historical drama from writer-director Nikolaj Arcel (screenwriter of the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) chronicles the scandalous love triangle between a queen, her German doctor and the mad King of Denmark.


How to Survive a Plague, USA
Directed by David France
A vital documentary that traces the history of the AIDS activist coalitions ACT UP and TAG, whose radical initiatives broke crucial new ground in the fight against HIV in the 1980s and 1990s.


War Witch (Rebelle), Canada
Directed by Kim Nguyen
In Sub-Saharan Africa, a 14-year-old girl tells her unborn child the story of her life at war. It all started when she was abducted by the rebel army at the age of 12.


In addition, the following are also added to the program: Beijing Flickers (China – West Coast Premiere, Directed by Yuan Zhang); Beyond the Hills (Romania/France, Directed by Cristian Mungiu); Mumbai’s King, (India, Directed by Manjeet Singh); Steel (Italy, Directed by Stefano Mordini); Sound City (USA – West Coast Premiere, Directed by Dave Grohl); Still Mine (Canada, Directed by Michael McGowan); Student (Kazakhstan – West Coast Premiere, Directed by Darezhan Omirbayev); The Punk Syndrome (Finland/Norway/Sweden, Directed by Jukka Kärkkäinen, J-P Passi).


On its opening night, SBIFF will kick off at the Arlington Theatre with the U.S. Premiere of Disconnect, directed by Henry-Alex Rubin and starring Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, Frank Grillo, Paula Patton, Michael Nyqvist, Andrea Riseborough, Alexander Skarsgård and Max Thieriot. The film is a drama centered on a group of people searching for human connections in today’s wired world. The director and cast are expected to attend opening night.


On the Festival’s closing night, SBIFF will present the U.S. Premiere of Wasteland, written and directed by Rowan Athale, and starring Matthew Lewis, Timothy Spall and Iwan Rheon. In this thriller, a young Englishman recently released from prison recruits his three best friends and to rob the local drug kingpin who is responsible for his incarceration. Closing night will also take place at the Arlington Theater with director and cast expected to attend.


In between SBIFF’s opening and closing nights, this year’s Festival will also include its highly acclaimed Panel Series where accomplished industry professionals and celebrities come together for discussion; the 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting Competition; AppleBox – a free family film section for children that screens family-focused films and shorts; the honoring of actors/actresses Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck (just to name a few); and much more.


*Photo from SBIFF Facebook Page


The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is dedicated to the art of filmmaking, which seeks out and consequently offers a broad array of international and independent films, with a commitment to diversity. SBIFF, which attracts more than 70,000 visitors each year, endeavors to enrich the community both culturally and economically by presenting eleven days of films, tributes and symposiums, raising consciousness of film as an art form. SBIFF presents quality American and world independent films, Latin American and French sidebars as well as documentary cinema within the beautiful setting of downtown Santa Barbara, a premier tourist destination. SBIFF continues its commitment to education through its 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting Competitions, Field Trip to the Movies, presented by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and educational seminars. –The Santa Barbara Independent



Dates: Thursday, January 24, 2013 through Sunday, February 3, 2013

Tickets: Tickets are still available for all events.




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