Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2024 Award Winning Films Announcement

(February 17, 2024) – The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is excited to announce the award-winning films for the 39th edition. Awards were announced at a ceremony this morning hosted by El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel, in Santa Barbara with Jury and Filmmakers in attendance.

“We are so grateful to our dedicated group of jurors for their fine selections,” said  SBIFF’s Programming Director Claudia Puig. “The winning films tell stories that span the globe, from the magic of movie palaces in the Atacama Desert to the stunning mystery of ice caves in Antarctica to the social hazards of cancel culture in Indonesia. All are riveting tales told with verve and originality. We at SBIFF are thrilled to congratulate this year’s jury award winners.

The winning films were chosen by jury members Lesley Chilcott, Alex Keledjian, Chris Landon, Lael Loewenstein, Jacqueline Lyanga, David Magdael, Gail Mancuso, Greg Nava, Pituka Ortega Heilbron, Carla Renata, Gil Robertson, Ondi Timoner, Clay Tweel, and Ali Wolfe.

Audience Choice Award sponsored by The Santa Barbara Independent: TRANSMEXICO directed by Claudia Sanchez

Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema: EDGE OF EVERYTHING directed by Sophia Sabella and Pablo Feldman

*Comes with a prize of a $60,000 camera rental package from Panavision

Jeffrey C. Barbakow Award – Best International Feature Film: ANDRAGOGY directed by Wregas Bhanuteja

Best Documentary Award: DIVING INTO THE DARKNESS directed by Nays Baghai

Nueva Vision Award for Spain/Latin America Cinema: THE BLUE STAR (La estrella azul) directed by Javier Macipe

Best Nordic Film Award: BEFORE IT ENDS (Når befrielsen kommer) directed by Anders Walter

Social Justice Award for Documentary Film: THE LAST DAUGHTER directed by Brenda Matthews and Nathaniel Schmidt

The ASC Award for Cinematography sponsored by The American Society of Cinematographers: THE MOVIE TELLER directed by Lone Scherfig

ADL Stand Up Award, sponsored by ADL Santa Barbara/Tri-Counties: THE LAST DAUGHTER directed by Brenda Matthews and Nathaniel Schmidt

Best Documentary Short Film Award: A MAN’S MAN directed by Myles Desenberg

*Now eligible for the 2025 Academy Awards

Bruce Corwin Award – Best Live-Action Short Film: AREA BOY directed by Iggy London

*Now eligible for the 2025 Academy Awards

Bruce Corwin Award – Best Animated Short Film: ON THE 8TH DAY (Au 8ème Jour) directed by Agathe Sénéchal, Alicia Massez, Elise Debruyne, Flavie Carin and Théo Duhautois

*Now eligible for the 2025 Academy Awards

The 39th Santa Barbara International Film Festival took place LIVE February 7 – February 17, 2024. Official events included screenings, filmmaker Q&As, industry panels, and celebrity tributes, held throughout the city, including at the historic Arlington Theatre.


About the Santa Barbara International Film Festival


The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. Over the past 39 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States – attracting 100,000 attendees and offering 11 days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums, fulfilling their mission to engage, enrich, and inspire the Santa Barbara community through film.


SBIFF continues its commitment to education and the community throughout many free educational programs and events. In 2016, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre. After a capital campaign and renovation, the theatre is now SBIFF’s new state-of-the-art, year-round home, showing new international and independent films every day. In 2019, SBIFF opened its own Education Center in downtown Santa Barbara on State Street to serve as a home for its many educational programs and a place for creativity and learning.

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