2023 SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2023 PROGRAM

FESTIVAL TO PRESENT 52 WORLD PREMIERES AND 78 U.S. PREMIERES FROM 43 COUNTRIES

38TH FESTIVAL OPENS WITH THE WORLD PREMIERE OF “MIRANDA’S VICTIM” AND CLOSES WITH US PREMIERE OF “I LIKE MOVIES”

Santa Barbara, CA. (Wednesday, January 18, 2023) –The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) announced today the highly anticipated lineup for the 38th edition, which will run February 8 to 18, 2023. The festival will showcase 52 world premieres and 78 U.S. premieres from 43 countries, along with tributes featuring the year’s top talent, panel discussions, and free community education and outreach programs.

 SBIFF’s Executive Director Roger Durling stated this morning, “At a time where there’s a dwindling of movie theater attendance, the role of film festivals has never been more important. At SBIFF, with the 38th edition, our marching orders are clear, to celebrate movies and to nurture and exalt the film community, the artists as well as the cinephiles. It’s a great slate with 43 countries represented.”

OPENING NIGHT

SBIFF 2023 will kick off  on Opening Night Wednesday, February 8 with the WORLD Premiere of MIRANDA’S VICTIM. Directed by Michelle Danner and starring Abigail Breslin, Ryan Phillippe, Luke Wilson, Donald Sutherland, Mireille Enos and Andy Garcia.

It’s 1963 when eighteen-year-old Patricia “Trish” Weir is kidnapped and brutally raped at knife-point. Committed to putting Ernesto Miranda in prison, Trish’s life is destroyed by America’s legal system as she triggers a law that transforms the nation.

CLOSING NIGHT

SBIFF 2023 will close on Saturday, February 18 with the US Premiere of I LIKE MOVIES. Directed by Chandler Levack and starring Isaiah Lehtinen, Romina D’Ugo, Krista Bridges, Percy Hynes White.

Lawrence, a socially inept, 17-year-old cinephile, gets a job at a video store, where he forms a complicated friendship with his older female manager.

THE TRIBUTES

SBIFF is an important showcase for Academy Award frontrunners, many of whom have arrived as nominees and gone on to win the Oscar. The 38th SBIFF proudly celebrates some of the year’s finest work in film. All tributes will be in person at the historic Arlington Theatre.

  • Montecito Award honoring Angela Bassett – Thursday, February 9 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Roger Durling.
  • Outstanding Performer of the Year Award presented by Manitou Fund honoring Cate Blanchett – Friday, February 10 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Scott Feinberg.

  • Maltin Modern Master Award honoring Jamie Lee Curtis – Saturday, February 11 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Leonard Maltin.

  • Variety Artisans Award sponsored by Variety – Monday, February 13 at 8:00pm. Honorees to be announced. Moderated by Jazz Tangcay.

  • American Riviera Award sponsored by Deadline honoring Brendan Fraser – Tuesday, February 14 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Pete Hammond.

  • Virtuosos Award honoring Austin Butler (Elvis), Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin), Danielle Deadwyler (Till), Nina Hoss (Tár), Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All At Once), Jeremy Pope (The Inspection), Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All At Once), and Jeremy Strong (Armageddon Time) – Wednesday, February 16 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Dave Karger.

  • Cinema Vanguard Award honoring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson – Thursday, February 16 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Dave Karger

  • Outstanding Directors of the Year Award sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter – Friday, February 17 at 8:00pm. Honorees to be announced. Moderated by Scott Feinberg.

THE PANELS

SBIFF has become renowned for creating smart, insightful panels that feature a who’s who in the world of filmmaking, including many Oscar contenders. Returning will be our annual Producers Panel, Writers Panel, and Women’s Panel and introducing the NEW International Directors Panel. All Panels will be in person at the historic Arlington Theatre. Panelists to be announced.

  •  Writers Panel – Saturday, February 11 at 11:00am – Moderated by Anne Thompson
  • Women’s Panel – Saturday, February 11 at 2:00pm – Moderated by Claudia Puig
  • Producers Panel – Sunday, February 12 at 11:00am – Moderated by Glenn Whipp
  • International Directors Panel – Sunday, February 12 at 7:00pm – Moderated by Roger Durling *FREE Admission

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS, FREE PROGRAMS, AND OTHER MENTIONS

SBIFF Poster Designed by Acclaimed Artist Patricia Chidlaw
The 2023 SBIFF poster was painted by acclaimed artist and Santa Barbara resident Patricia Chidlaw. She commented “As an artist I am honored to be part of this celebration of artistry that is the Santa Barbara Film Festival. And happy my painting can pay homage to our historic movie palace: the Arlington Theater.”

Mike’s FieldTrip to the Movies – Named for renowned nature cinematographer Mike deGruy, Mike’s FieldTrip to the Movies uses filmmaking to nurture creative, confident, and culturally aware thinkers. This year’s program will be offered to 4,000+ 4th–6th grade students from Title I (low-income) schools throughout Santa Barbara County. This year will feature an in-person Q&A with Guillermo del Toro following a screening of GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO from Netflix. Sponsored by John C. Mithun Foundation, Montecito Bank & Trust, Patagonia, Union Bank, Bentson Foundation, and Volentine Family Foundation.

Film Studies Program – The Film Studies Program will invite 30 undergraduate film students from across the country to the Film Festival where they’ll take part in a packed curriculum that turns the festival into an interactive classroom. Participants receive priority access to the films, panels, filmmaker seminars, tributes, as well as intimate Q&As with filmmakers.

 10–10–10 Student Screenwriting and Filmmaking Mentorship and Competition – The 10-10-10 Program is made up of 20 area high school and college screenwriters and filmmakers. This year’s program includes filmmaking workshops, individual mentorship, and access to casting, visual effects, producing and sound mentors. The student screenwriters and directors are paired together and guided through the process of taking a film from script to screen. Sponsored by Kaleidoscope Productions.  

Free Filmmaker Seminars – SBIFF will again present seminars with filmmakers premiering at this year’s festival. These seminars will be FREE to the public and will take place on each weekday during the Festival at Tamsen Gallery at 911 1/2 State Street.

The ADL Stand Up Award sponsored by ADL Santa Barbara/Tri-Counties – This award will be presented to a dramatic film in the festival that represents an important message consistent with ADL’s efforts “to secure justice and fair treatment for all.” The winner will be announced during the Festival.

2023 FILMS

Below is the list of feature and short films at the 2023 SBIFF. For the complete list of films, synopses, and other special events please visit www.sbiff.org or the SBIFF app.

30 WORLD PREMIERE FEATURE FILMS (listed alphabetically)

21 Miles in Malibu
Directed by Nic Davis
United States

 American Outlaws
Directed by Sean McEwen
United States

Bringing Back Our Wetland
Directed by Michael Love
United States

Bullets
Directed by Peter Pontikis
Sweden

Call Me Dancer
Directed by Leslie Shampaine, Pip Gilmour
United States 

Commitment to Life
Directed by Jeffrey Schwarz
United States

Dancing with Mom
Directed by Trish Neufeld
Canada 

The Dirty Divide
Directed by Paul Freedman
United States

Dr. Tony Fauci
Directed by Mark Mannucci
United States

Full Circle
Directed by Josh Berman
United States

Go On, Be Brave
Directed by Miriam McSpadden, Brian Beckman
United States

Grace Point
Directed by Rory Karpf
United States

The Harvest
Directed by Caylee So
United States

HELEN|BELIEVE
Directed by Dylan Mulick
United States

The House Band
Directed by Laura Brownson
United States

Ibiza Blue (La corriente)
Directed by Jesús Lloveras
Spain

Karen Carpenter: Starving for Perfection
Directed by Randy Martin
United States

Killing Me Softly With His Songs
Directed by Danny Gold
United States

The Legend of MexMan
Directed by Josh Polon
United States

Miranda’s Victim
Directed by Michelle Danner
United States

Rachel Hendrix
Directed by Victor Nuñez
United States

Rachel’s Farm
Directed by Rachel Ward
Australia

The Right to Read
Directed by Jenny Mackenzie
United States

Samichay, in Search of Happiness (Samichay, en busca de la felicidad)
Directed by Mauricio Franco Tosso
Peru

The Team (El equipo)
Directed by Bernardo Ruiz
United States

Tove’s Room (Toves værelse)
Directed by Martin Zandvliet
Denmark

Vishniac
Directed by Laura Bialis
United States

Voices Rising: The Music of Wakanda Forever
Directed by Bernardo Ruiz

Wade in the Water: A Journey Into Black Surfing and Aquatic Culture
Directed by David Mesfin
United States

53 U.S. PREMIERE FEATURE FILMS (listed alphabetically)

Alam
Directed by Firas Khoury
Palestine

Autobiography
Directed by Makbul Mubarak
Indonesia

Baby Ruby
Directed by Bess Wohl
United States

A Bit of Light
Directed by Stephen Moyer
United Kingdom

Black Mambas
Directed by Lena Karbe
Germany

Bones of Crows
Directed by Marie Clements
Canada

Bread and Salt (Chleb i sól)
Directed by Damian Kocur
Poland

A Bunch of Amateurs
Directed by Kim Hopkins
United Kingdom

The Chambermaid (Sluzka)
Directed by Mariana Čengel Solčanská
Slovakia

Coyote (Le coyote)
Directed by Katherine Jerkovic
Canada

Daughter of Rage (La hija de todas las rabias)
Directed by Laura Baumeister
Nicaragua

Dear Memories
Directed by Nahuel Lopez
Germany

Everybody Wants to Be Loved (Alle wollen geliebt werden)
Directed by Katharina Woll
Germany

Exodus
Directed by Abbe Hassan
Sweden

Fathers & Mothers (Fædre og mødre)
Directed by Paprika Steen
Denmark

Filip
Directed by Michał Kwiecinski
Poland

The Hotel (Lu guan)
Directed by Wáng Xiăoshuài
Chinese Hong Kong

How is Katia? (Yak Tam Katia?)
Directed by Christina Tynkevych
Ukraine

I Like Movies
Directed by Chandler Levack
United States

Into My Name (Nel mio nome)
Directed by Nicolò Bassetti
Italy

Jane Campion, The Cinema Woman (Jane Campion, la femme cinéma)
Directed by Julie Bertuccelli
France

La jauría
Directed by Andrés Ramírez Pulido
Colombia

Lakelands
Directed by Robert Higgins, Patrick McGivney
Ireland

Leila’s Brothers
Directed by Saeed Roustaee
Iran

A Letter from Helga (Svar við bréfi Helgu)
Directed by Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir
Iceland

Lyra
Directed by Alison Millar
Ireland

Maestro(s)
Directed by Bruno Chiche
France

A Man (Aru otoko)
Directed by Kei Ishikawa
Japan

Manuela
Directed by Clara Cullen
United States

My Name is Happy
Directed by Nick Read, Ayse Toprak
United Kingdom

The Nannies (Les femmes du square)
Directed by Julien Rambaldi
France

Narcosis
Directed by Martijn de Jong
Netherlands

North Circular
Directed by Luke McManus
Ireland

The Other Widow (Pilegesh)
Directed by Ma’ayan Rypp
Israel

Pinto
Directed by Narges Abyar
Iran

Red Shoes (Zapatos rojos)
Directed by Carlos Eichelmann Kaiser
Mexico

Retreat (Réduit)
Directed by Leon Schwitter
Switzerland

Sanaa
Directed by Sudhanshu Saria
India

Savoy
Directed by Zohar Wagner
Israel

Second Act (Andra akten)
Directed by Mårten Klingberg
Sweden

Semret
Directed by Caterina Mona
Switzerland

The Sixth Child (Le sixième enfant)
Directed by Léopold Legrand
France

Stay With Us (Reste un peu)
Directed by Gad Elmaleh
France

Stellar (Ananghoonska)
Directed by Darlene Naponse
Canada

Summerlight And Then Comes The Night (Sumarljós og svo kemur nóttin)
Directed by Elfar Aðalsteins
Iceland

T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets
Directed by Sophie Fiennes
United Kingdom

The Taste of Apples is Red (Ta’am al tufah, ahmar)
Directed by Ehab Tarabieh
Israel

Three Nights A Week (Trois nuits par semaine)
Directed by Florent Gouëlou
France

Traces (Tragovi)
Directed by Dubravka Turić
Croatia

Valeria is Getting Married (Valeria mithatenet)
Directed by Michal Vinik
Israel

The Volunteer (La voluntaria)
Directed by Nely Reguera
Spain

Wild Flowers (Girasoles silvestres)
Directed by Jaime Rosales
Spain

Woman at Sea (Grand marin)
Directed by Dinara Drukarova
Iceland

The Young Arsonists
Directed by Sheila Pye
Canada

NON PREMIERE FEATURE FILMS (listed alphabetically)

26.2 to Life
Directed by Christine Yoo
United States

The 50
Directed by Brenton Gieser
United States

American Dreamer
Directed by Paul Dektor
United States

Anxious Nation
Directed by Vanessa Roth, Laura Morton
United States 

The Art of Eating: The Life of M.F.K. Fisher
Directed by Gregory Mark Bezat
United States

The Baby Daddy (ארי והזרע הקדוש)
Directed by Adi Rabinovici, Yair Cymerman
Israel

Butterfly in the Sky
Directed by Bradford Thomason, Brett Whitcomb
United States

Category: Woman
Directed by Phyllis Ellis
Canada

Chile ’76
Directed by Manuela Martelli
Chile

Cinema Sabaya
Directed by Orit Fouks Rotem
Israel

Corner Office
Directed by Joachim Back
Canada

Desperate Souls, Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy
Directed by Nancy Buirski
United States

The Grab
Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite
United States

Gumbo Coalition
Directed by Barbara Kopple
United States

The Happiest Man in the World (Najsreќniot čovek na svetot)
Directed by Teona Strugar Mitevska
North Macedonia

I Like it Here
Directed by Ralph Arlyck
United States

It Ain’t Over
Directed by Sean Mullin
United States

Kerr
Directed by Tayfun Pirselimoğlu
Turkey

Know Your Place
Directed by Zia Mohajerjasbi
United States

A Little Prayer
Directed by Angus MacLachlan
United States

Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Directed by Antonio Lukich
Ukraine

No Ordinary Campaign
Directed by Christopher Burke
United States

Other People’s Children (Les enfants des autres)
Directed by Rebecca Zlotowski
France

Our Father, the Devil (Mon père, le diable)
Directed by Ellie Foumbi
United States

Patrick and the Whale
Directed by Mark Fletcher
Austria

The Prank
Directed by Maureen Bharoocha
United States

Pray for Our Sinners
Directed by Sinéad O’Shea
Ireland

The Quiet Girl (An cailín ciúin)
Directed by Colm Bairéad
Ireland

Return to Seoul (Retour à Séoul)
Directed by Davy Chou
Cambodia

Safe Place (Sígurno mj́esto)
Directed by Juraj Lerotić
Croatia

Shot in the Arm
Directed by Scott Hamilton Kennedy
United States

Snow and the Bear (Kar ve ayı)
Directed by Selcen Ergun
Turkey

The Soldier’s Opinion (Daato shel hahayal)
Directed by Assaf Banitt
Israel

Soul of the Ocean
Directed by Howard Hall
United States

Starring Jerry As Himself
Directed by Law Chen
United States

Susie Searches
Directed by Sophie Kargman
United States

Viking
Directed by Stéphane Lafleur
Canada

We Are Still Here
Directed by Beck Cole, Dena Curtis, Tracey Rigney, Danielle MacLean, Tim Worrall, Renae Maihi, Miki Magasiva, Mario Gaoa, Richard Curtis, Chantelle Burgoyne
Australia

Werner Herzog: Radical Dreamer
Directed by Thomas von Steinaecker
Germany

Who Are the Marcuses?
Directed by Matthew Mishory
Israel

2023 SBIFF SHORT FILMS - (listed alphabetically)

22 WORLD PREMIERES AND 25 U.S. PREMIERES 

 À la vie à l’amor
Directed by Emilie Mannering
US Premiere
Canada 

All-inclusive (Todo incluido)
Directed by Duván Duque Vargas
US Premiere
Colombia

Apayauq
Directed by Zeppelin Zeerip
World Premiere
United States

Are You Awake?
Directed by Gabriel Caste
World Premiere
United States

Barefoot Empress
Directed by Vikas Khanna
India

Becoming Yamazushi
Directed by G Yamazawa
United States

Big Water Summer: A Creation Story
Directed by Sophie Harris
United States

Bourn Kind
Directed by Rachel Myers
United States

Broken
Directed by Farzaneh Omidvarnia
World Premiere
Iran

Cara Romero: Following the Light
Directed by Kaela Waldstein
United States 

Christopher at Sea
Directed by Tom CJ Brown
France

Daisy
Directed by Torbjörn Edwall
US Premiere
Sweden

Earthbound: Nzambi Matee
Directed by Farhoud Meybodi
World Premiere
Japan

Echo
Directed by Ben Wolin, Michael Minahan
World Premiere
United States

Epicenter (소문의 진원지)
Directed by Heeyoon Hahm
US Premiere
South Korea

Everything At Once (Alt på en gang)
Directed by Henrik Dyb Zwart
US Premiere
Norway

Falling Forward into an Unknown and Dangerous Future
Directed by Mike Ambs
World Premiere
United States 

The Fear Cycle
Directed by Dexter Brierley, Matt Seger
World Premiere
United States

Followers
Directed by Julia Bales
World Premiere
United States

The Golden Cage
Directed by Francisco Lopez, Mitchka Saberi
World Premiere
United States

Here to Stay
Directed by Jared Peraglia
United States

I have no tears, and I must cry (Sin lágrimas para llorar)
Directed by Luis Fernando Puente
United States

ifine
Directed by Adisa Septuri, Ebony Gilbert
World Premiere
United States

III
Directed by Salomé Villeneuve
US Premiere
Canada

It’s Nice in Here
Directed by Robert-Jonathan Koeyers
US Premiere
Netherlands

Ivalu
Directed by Anders Walter
US Premiere
Denmark

John Leguizamo Live at Rikers
Directed by Elena Francesca Engel
United States

Junglefowl
Directed by Kalainithan Kalaichelvan
World Premiere
Canada

Lamara
Directed by Bo Yoon Ha
Uganda

Lamb
Directed by Sinéad O’Loughlin
Ireland

Last Weekend with Jenny and John (Sista helgen med Jenny och John)
Directed by Jimmy Olsson
US Premiere
Sweden

Locals Only: The Big Little Pub
Directed by Gareth Kelly
World Premiere
United States

The Moisture (Rutubet)
Directed by Turan Haste
US Premiere
Turkey

Money and Happiness
Directed by Ana Nedeljković, Nikola Majdak
US Premiere
Serbia

More Than Hair (Plus que des cheveux)
Directed by Fitch Jean
Canada

Mud Crab
Directed by David Robinson-Smith
US Premiere
Australia

Night Cafe
Directed by Joshua Nowak
World Premiere
United States

Nowhere to go but everywhere (行き止まりのむこう側)
Directed by Masako Tsumura, Erik Shirai
US Premiere
Japan

Oskar
Directed by Max Vannienschoot
US Premiere
Canada

Pillow Fortress
Directed by Zander Coté
US Premiere
United States

Please Hold the Line (Qing bie gua duan)
Directed by Tan Ce Ding
US Premiere
Malaysia

Range Rider
Directed by Colin Arisman
World Premiere
United States

The Red Suitcase (La valise rouge)
Directed by Cyrus Neshvad
Luxembourg

Regular Rabbit
Directed by Eoin Duffy
Ireland

Rejoice in the Lamb
Directed by Courtney Bush, Will Carington, and Jake Goicoechea
World Premiere
United States

Requiem for a Whale (מותו של לוויתן)
Directed by Ido Weisman
Israel

Run
Directed by Alex Prager
World Premiere
United States

See You In My Dreams (Rencontres nocturnes silencieuses)
Directed by Ariane Louis-Seize
US Premiere
Canada

Shirampari: Legacies of the River (Shirampari, herencias del río)
Directed by Lucía Flórez
Peru

Snow in September
Directed by Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir
France

The Soft Skinned
Directed by Nicky Tyndale-Biscoe
US Premiere
Australia

Starving
Directed by Bobby Louise, Brig
World Premiere
United States

The Tadpole Trilogy (La trilogie des têtards)
Directed by Léonard Giovenazzo
US Premiere
Canada 

Take Me Home
Directed by Liz Sargent
United States

Telos
Directed by Jesse Hovey
World Premiere
United States

This is Not a House
Directed by Morgan Neville
World Premiere
United States

This Will Not Be a Festival Film (To nie będzie film festiwalowy)
Directed by Julia Orlik
US Premiere
Poland 

Three Grains of Salt (Trois grains de gros sel)
Directed by Ingrid Chikhaoui
US Premiere
France

Thursday (Czwartek)
Directed by Bren Cukier
World Premiere
Poland

Tommies
Directed by Brian Fairbairn, Karl Eccleston
US Premiere
United Kingdom

Troy
Directed by Mike Donahue
United States

Trundle and the Lost Borscht of Atlantis
Directed by Laura Lee
World Premiere
United States

Two Chairs, Not One
Directed by Austin Kolodney
United States

The Vacation
Directed by Jarreau Carrillo
United States

Voces de Old Town Carpinteria
Directed by Brent Winebrenner, Leslie A. Westbrook, Suzanne Requejo
World Premiere
United States

Waves Apart
Directed by Josh Greene
World Premiere
United States

Whale-Roads
Directed by Michael Lee, Ethan Takekawa, Meg Kievman, Emma Holm-Olsen
World Premiere
United States

Whiteness at Work
Directed by Peter Bonde Becker Nelson
World Premiere
United States 

Will You Look At Me (Dang wo wang xiang ni de shi hou)
Directed by Shuli Huang
China

You’ll Be Happier
Directed by Daniel Lombroso
United States

WHO

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 38 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. 

Sponsors of the 38th SBIFF include: Manitou Fund, City of Santa Barbara, Kaleidoscope Productions, Montecito Bank & Trust, ADL Santa Barbara/Tri-Counties, Union Bank, Patagonia, Panavision, Montecito Med Spa, Visit the Santa Ynez Valley, Boxed Water is Better, Château Malartic-Lagravière, Toad&Co, Topa Topa Brewing Company, NEFT Vodka, Vega Coffee, Saige Private Wealth, Bentson Foundation, John C. Mithun Foundation, Volentine Family Foundation, California Arts Council, and many more supporting through trade. 

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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