2006 Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Welcome to Santa Barbara, California

By Madelyn Ritrosky
Entertainment Magazine

Photo: The opening night party at Paseo Nuevo after the premiere of "Ask the Dust."

The 21st Santa Barbara International Film Festival is now underway.

There's a little bit of everything, and something for everyone. Not too big, not too small. If you want to see stars, then you're in luck. How about George Clooney or Salma Hayek? Or maybe your tastes run toward Jeff Bridges or Naomi Watts.

Those actors have already made appearances, and there are more to come.

Big premieres? Yes, they've got 'em here. There are the world premieres of Robert Towne's "Ask the Dust," with Salma Hayek and Colin Farrell, and Mike Binder's "Man About Town," with Ben Affleck.

How about independent American films struggling for an audience? There are lots and lots to choose from. From "Planet Ibsen" to "The Legend of Lucy Keyes," "Halfway Decent" to "Aurora Borealis" to name but four of the 150+ films screening in this delightful seaside city.

Films from other countries? There's "Sequins" (France), "2 Girls" (Turkey), "A Dios Momo" (Uruguay), "D" (Japan) and numerous others. This fest truly earns its moniker as an international film festival.

And then there are the shorts, including student films. It all adds up to ten days of distinctive, often daring films, panel discussions, award presentations, and on-stage "conversations" with people from behind and in front of the camera.

And, you can walk from venue to venue, which include historic theaters like The Arlington and The Lobero.

But what also makes this film fest so much fun and so pleasant is the city itself, very much one of the stars of the festival. Walking downtown, you can stop at any number of outdoor cafes, stroll through the open-air Paseo Nuevo mall, and take State St. to its end into Stearns Wharf and look out over the Pacific Ocean.

If you keep heading up (that is, northwest) along the beaches, you eventually come upon a college campus - the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) is right on the ocean. (In fact, I liked that so much a number of years ago that today I am counted as one of the university's alumni.)

This is just the first of several articles about films and events at the Santa
Barbara Film Festival. Stay tuned.

Tickets for events are on sale NOW at the official SBIFF Box Office, toll free 888.456.2376 or local 805.963.0761 or visit www.sbfilmfestival.org.

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching local culture and raising consciousness of film as an art form.

It presents quality American independent, Spanish and Latin American, European World and Documentary cinema within the beautiful setting of downtown Santa Barbara, a premier tourist destination. SBIFF is also committed to education through its Student Filmmaking Competitions, Field Trip to the Movies, Kids' Fest, and educational seminars. With a projected audience of over 40,000 viewing more than 150 films over its eleven-day run, SBIFF attracts an affluent local and national consumer base, while maintaining strong ties with the entertainment industry in nearby Los Angeles.

For festival information, log onto www.sbfilmfestival.org.

Santa Barbara Film Festival Links
Movie Schedule

More articles on the SBFF to come by EM reporter Madelyn Ritrosky.

2006 Entertainment Magazine / EMOL.org. All rights reserved.

Film Entertainment Magazine

Santa Barbara
International Film Festival

February 2-12, 2006