Blanchett and Bassett honoured At The Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The ten-day affair also fetes Oscar rivals Colin Farrell Brendan Fraser and others




For film-loving Santa Barbarans and visitors eager to escape the streaming world, the 38th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival offers a bounty of reasons to get out of the house. More than 100 films (many of them world or U.S. premieres), special panels and events—featuring a slew of A-list stars and behind-the-scenes creatives—will seize the city from Feb. 8 through 18.

With the potent attraction to this city and its proximity to Hollywood—and shrewd pre-Academy Awards timing—the increasingly influential event, long spearheaded by executive director Roger Durling and now with noted critic Claudia Puig as Programming Director, has upped its game in the ranks of the international festival scene.

Framing the upcoming ten-day festival are the world premiere of the opening film, Miranda’s Victim, and, fittingly, the closing night’s U.S. premiere of director Chandler Levack’s I Like Movies. In between, the densely packed event presents morning-to-night screenings of foreign and domestic films, with a special accent on the “international” aspect of cinema.




Among several live appearances, powerful women are being feted through tribute evenings in the historic Arlington Theater this year, including the great Cate Blanchett, for her stunning performance in Tár, following the Australian actor’s two prior SBIFF tributes, in 2007 and 2013 (the year of her Oscar-winning role in Blue Jasmine). Angela Bassett will also appear, in the wake of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and veteran Jamie Lee Curtis will nab the coveted “Maitlin Modern Master Award.”

Also in the tribute mix are Brendan Fraser, praised for his lead in The Whale, and the dynamic duo of Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson from the Beckett-ian The Banshees of Inisherin, up for the Best Picture Oscar. Apart from the onscreen celebrity sightings, the Outstanding Directors night has become a grand tradition, packed with Oscar-contending directors. Once again, SBIFF puts the “international film” back in Santa Barbara’s spotlight.


February 7, 2023

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