Film: California: Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara Film Festival: 2009

Highlights of the 2009 Santa Barbara International Film Festival 

Woman Behind the Camera: Director Drew Rosenberg

More Festival Favorites: Five and Five

SBIFF: Festival Favorites

Cayman Grant’s Good Will

Director Daniel Persitz and Zac Kintner strike a pose for Alex’s HalloweenNo Horror Here:
Daniel Persitz and Alex’s Halloween

By Madelyn Ritrosky and Jared Winslow

At this year’s 2009 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Jared and I saw two live-action shorts in the Apple Box Shorts program, i.e. the family films, that we especially liked – and for which we were lucky enough to meet the filmmakers.  That is, of course, one of the pleasures of film festivals.
One of those films was Alex’s Halloween.  In this article, you’re going to hear about Alex’s Halloween, written and directed by Daniel Persitz. Alex’s Halloween is a 14-minute film about an 8-year-old boy who is quite enthusiastic about Halloween – as it turns out, for more than one reason.

Continue reading about Alex's Halloween and an interview with Daniel Peritz.

Mixing at the 24th SBIFF

By Madelyn Ritrosky and Jared Winslow

Once again, the 2009 Santa Barbara International Film Festival offered something for everyone.

With ten days and mostly sunny weather, five theater venues within easy walking distance of each other, and local shorts to world-class filmmakers like Clint Eastwood, it was a pleasure covering the 24th annual SBIFF. 
As always, our coverage included a mix...  Late evening screenings at Victoria Hall mixed with splashing on Hendry’s Beach.  Filmmaker interviews at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort mixed with wintering butterflies at the Coronado Monarch Butterfly Preserve.  Kate Winslet and Mickey Rourke mixed with pelicans and seagulls at Stearns Wharf. 
My festival collaborator and 9-year-old son, Jared Winslow, loves this mix.  It’s a time for visiting grandparents, enjoying outdoors Santa Barbara, seeing interesting films, and meeting filmmakers.  And meeting filmmakers can be especially exciting.  Like last year, one particular night on the red carpet stood out for Jared as a special thrill. 
In 2008, it was meeting and talking with American Riviera Award recipient Tommy Lee Jones – gotta love those Men in Black movies.  Not surprisingly, it was a festival highlight for Jared and even landed him on the front page of the local newspaper, The Santa Barbara News-Press.  The next day, a waitress at the State & A restaurant recognized Jared – which meant a free dessert for the ‘star’ of the day.
2009 Santa Barbara International Film Festival This year, when we attended the red carpet event for the American Riviera Award, which was given to Mickey Rourke, another actor in attendance nabbed Jared’s attention.  It was local resident Christopher Lloyd.  Luckily, Jared managed to nab his attention as well with a not-so-loud “Excuse me...”  Who can resist a polite 9-year-old?
Gotta love those Back to the Future movies.  But one week earlier in the festival, Jared and I saw Christopher Lloyd on the big screen at the Arlington Theatre in the U.S. premiere of Richard Gabai’s Call of the Wild 3D.  You will read more about that fun family film when you read our interview feature with Richard Gabai.  Coming soon...
For the festival as a whole, our screening mix included long and short, narrative and documentary, live and animated films.  Between the two of us, we saw 29 films.  While I saw some non-child-appropriate films without Jared, and Jared screened a couple titles with his grandparents, for the most part we watched the films together.  Fun stuff. 
And you will read more about some of those films in our articles coming out over the next couple months.  So stay tuned... 

SBIFF favorite Kate Winslet returns to receive Montecito Award

2009 Santa Barbara International Film Festival  Kate WinsletSanta Barbara, CA- The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is thrilled to welcome back five-time Academy Award nominee Kate Winslet by honoring her with the Montecito Award. Having previously received the Performance of the Year Award in 2005, Winslet returns to the hallowed halls of the Arlington Theatre on Friday, January 23, becoming the festival’s first two-time honoree. Continue reading...

Six actors receive the 2009 Virtuosos Award

Santa Barbara, CA- The Santa Barbara International Film Festival continues its tradition of honoring the year’s standout performers by presenting The 2009 Virtuosos Award to Viola Davis, Rosemarie DeWitt, Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Melissa Leo and Michael Shannon.  The Award presentation will take place Wednesday, January 28 at the 24th edition of the Fest, which runs January 22-February 1, 2009, it was announced by SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. Continue reading...

The 6th Annual 10-10-10 Student Competitions

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (which runs Thursday, January 22, through Sunday, February 1) presented Sotheby’s International Realty 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking Competition for their sixth consecutive year. SBIFF will also continue the exciting 10-10-10 Student Screenwriting Competition that debuted in 2006. Continue reading...

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The SB Independent Audience Choice Award for 2009 went to Anthony Fabian’s “Skin,” starring Sophie Okonedo, Sam Neill and Alice Krige, based on the true story of a black girl who was born to two white Afrikaner parents in South Africa during the apartheid era.

SBIFF is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching local culture and raising consciousness of film as an art form.  SBIFF presents quality American and world independent films, Latin American and Asian sidebars as well as documentary cinema within the beautiful setting of downtown Santa Barbara, a premier tourist destination.

The SBIFF is also committed to education through its 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting Competitions, Field Trip to the Movies, and educational seminars.  With a projected audience of over 70,000 viewing more than 200 films over its eleven-day run, the SBIFF attracts an affluent local and national consumer base, while maintaining strong ties with the entertainment industry in nearby Los Angeles.  For more information, please visit

Santa Barbara International Film Festival INDEX

top photo: The Arlington Theatre marquee.
2nd photo: Kate Winslet and the press
3rd photo: Kate Winslet
4th photo: Santa Barbara, California downtown’s State Street.
Photos by Madelyn Ritrosky © 2009

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2009 Santa Barbara International Film Festival24th Anuual SBIFF
Jan 22 - Feb 1, 2009

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Index

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