Sun. Sep 20th, 2020

35th Santa Barbara International Film Festival closes with Women’s Panel, Local Doc Shorts, Awards

The 35th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) officially closed out by putting the spotlight on Santa Barbara to highlight a series of short documentaries by local filmmakers, featuring 10 Miles Out ( Preston Maag), Cabrillo Village (Chris Ward, Ben Leanos, Dyvianne Martinez, Eric Coronado, Ingrid Bolio), Carrizo Plain: A Sense of Place (Jeff McLoughlin), Hannah’s Ride (Andrew Schoneberger), The Last Ride (Andrew Schoneberger) and State Street Serenade (Michael Love). 

The distinctive selection of films covered a range of iconic people and places in the Santa Barbara area including immigrant farm workers, an aging bronc rider, a female cyclist that defied all odds, backpackers exploring the Los Padres National Forest, artists documenting the breathtaking landscapes of the Carrizo Plain, and a celebrated local guitarist who performs in parking garages and public spaces throughout downtown Santa Barbara. 

Prior to the start of the screening at the historic Arlington Theatre, Executive Director Roger Durling thanked all of the hard working volunteers and staff that made the festival happen, saying: “Every morning of the festival I wake up early and head to the Metro Theatre to introduce the Breakfast Club screening, and as I walk through the Metro, I’m greeted by an army of smiling volunteers who got up earlier than me to set everything up make all of the screenings run smoothly. The smiles. The welcome. The positive attitude. That to me is the highlight of the film festival.” 

In addition to the Documentary Shorts Closing Night event, SBIFF’s daytime programming offered festival-goers a number of events and screenings featuring some of this year’s most celebrated filmmakers and performers.

The morning kicked off with the announcement of the award-winning films for the 35th Festival at a breakfast held in their honor at Belmond El Encanto, culminating in the coveted Audience Choice Award sponsored by The Santa Barbara Independent, which went to Richard Hobert’s The Birdcatcher’s Son (Fågelfångarens son). The films were chosen by jury members Jason Baffa, Max Barbakow, Lisa Black, Alex Carter, Geoff Green, Paul Kurta, Perry Lang, Artie Schmidt, Rita Taggart, Diego Tinoco, John Williams, and Anthony & Arnette Zerbe. See below for the full list of winners. 

Following the ceremony, festival-goers piled into the Lobero Theatre for a panel featuring some of the top women working in the film industry today. Moderated by Madelyn Hammond the panel included Aneta Hickinbotham (Producer; Corpus Christi), Anne Morgan (Make-Up; Bombshell), Arianne Phillips (Costume Designer; Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood), Julia Reichert (Director, American Factory), Mayes C. Rubeo (Costume Designer; Jojo Rabbit), Regina Graves (Set Decorator; The Irishman), Rosana Sullivan (Director, Kitbull) and Sarah Finn (Casting Director; The Lion King).  

In the early afternoon, the festival hosted the 10-10-10 Student Competition Film Screenings Sponsored by Final Draft.

The annual 10-10-10 (Ten Writers – Ten Directors – Ten Films) Screenwriting and Filmmaking Mentorship and Competition began in 2004 and we are excited to host it once again this year. At the heart of 10-10-10 is mentorship, and SBIFF is proud to offer aspiring screenwriters and filmmakers the expertise of our panel of respected and successful industry professionals. Those professionals, over a span of several months before the festival, lead and mentor each of the 10 film crews through all stages of planning and production. Mentors provide feedback on a rough cut of the film, then filmmakers submit the final version for the competition. One judging panel scores the screenplays and selects a high school and college winner. Another judging panel screens the films privately before scoring them and selecting a high school and college winner. All of the films are shown at a free screening at the Arlington Theatre on the final day of the Festival, with an awards ceremony following to honor the achievements of the screenwriters and filmmakers.

The festival also hosted a free screening of Tell My Story and an encore AppleBox Family screening of Frozen 2

SBIFF will return for the 36th edition January 27th – February 6th, 2021. 200+ films featuring over 120 World and US premieres, Industry Panels, Celebrity Tributes, and Educational and Free Community Programs will be held throughout Santa Barbara.


Audience Choice Award sponsored by The Santa Barbara Independent: Richard Hobert’s The Birdcatcher’s Son (Fågelfångarens son)

Best Documentary Short Film Award: Henry Roosevelt’s Sixth of June

Bruce Corwin Award – Best Live-Action Short Film: Jianna Maartin’s Sin Cielo

Bruce Corwin Award – Best Animated Short Film: Jonathan Langager’s Cosmic Fling

Best Documentary Award sponsored by SEE International: Brian Morrison’s Bastards’ Road

Jeffrey C. Barbakow Award – Best International Feature Film: Fatos Berisha’s The Flying Circus (Cirku Fluturues)

Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema: William Nicholson’s Hope Gap

Nueva Vision Award for Spain/Latin America Cinema: Gerardo Herrero’s The Goya Murders

Valhalla Award for Best Nordic Film: Jesper W. Nielsen’s The Exception (Undtagelsen)

ADL Stand Up Award sponsored by ADL Santa Barbara/Tri-Counties: Lydia Dean Pilcher’s Liberté: A Call to Spy

Social Justice Award for Documentary Film: Katherine Hervey’s The Prison Within

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