SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2024 PROGRAM

39TH FESTIVAL OPENS WITH THE WORLD PREMIERE OF “MADU” AND CLOSES WITH WORLD PREMIERE OF “CHOSEN FAMILY”

FESTIVAL TO PRESENT 45 WORLD PREMIERES AND 77 U.S. PREMIERES FROM 48 COUNTRIES

Santa Barbara, CA. (Tuesday, January 16, 2024) –The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) announced today the highly anticipated lineup for the 39th edition, which will run February 7 to 17, 2024. The festival will showcase 45 world premieres and 77 U.S. premieres from 48 countries, along with tributes featuring the year’s top talent, panel discussions, and free community education and outreach programs.

OPENING NIGHT

SBIFF 2024 will kick off  on Opening Night Wednesday, February 7 with the World Premiere of the documentary MADU directed by Matt Ogens and Joel ‘Kachi Benson. Both directors will be joining us in-person.

From practicing barefoot on the streets of Lagos to performing on stage in England, twelve-year-old Anthony Madu leaves his home in Nigeria to study at one of the most prestigious ballet schools in the world. Anthony, who had barely left his neighborhood in Lagos, finds himself thrust into a new world where his wildest dream is suddenly within reach. His journey is a story of extraordinary obstacles, courage, growth, and ultimately, his search for belonging.

CLOSING NIGHT

SBIFF 2024 will close on Saturday, February 17 with the World Premiere of CHOSEN FAMILY directed by Heather Graham and starring Heather Graham, Julia Stiles, Thomas Lennon, and Michael Gross. Director and cast will be joining us in-person.

Yoga teacher Ann is trying to find inner peace despite having a manic family, a miserable dating life, and an inability to say no that keeps her busy trying to fix everyone else’s problems.

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 39th SBIFF proudly celebrates some of the year’s finest work in film. All tributes will be in person at the historic Arlington Theatre.

  • Outstanding Performer of the Year Award sponsored by Deadline honoring Bradley Cooper – Thursday, February 8 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Pete Hammond.
  • Maltin Modern Master Award Presented by Manitou Fund honoring Robert Downey Jr. – Friday, February 9 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Leonard Maltin.
  • Virtuosos Award honoring Danielle Brooks (The Color Purple), Colman Domingo (The Color Purple & Rustin), America Ferrera (Barbie), Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon), Greta Lee (Past Lives), Charles Melton (May December), Da’Vine Joy Randolph (The Holdovers), and Andrew Scott (All of Us Strangers) – Saturday, February 10 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Dave Karger.
  • Variety Artisans Award sponsored by Variety – Sunday, February 11 at 11:00am. Honorees to be announced. Moderated by Jazz Tangcay.
  • American Riviera Award honoring Mark Ruffalo – Sunday, February 11 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Anne Thompson.
  • Outstanding Directors of the Year Award sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter – Monday, February 12 at 8:00pm. Honorees to be announced. Moderated by Scott Feinberg.
  • Montecito Award honoring Jeffrey Wright – Thursday, February 15 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Roger Durling.
  • Cinema Vanguard Award honoree and date to be announced

THE PANELS

SBIFF is 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, Writers, Women’s and International Panels. All Panels will be in person at the historic Arlington Theatre. Panelists, dates and times to be announced.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS, FREE PROGRAMS, AND OTHER MENTIONS

SBIFF Poster Designed by Acclaimed Artist Angela Perko

The 2024 SBIFF poster was painted by acclaimed artist and Santa Barbara resident Angela Perko. Like many women artists, Angela started painting later in life, after her children were older and the family business was well established. Angela and her husband own a rare bookstore, and she credits exposure to art books for sparking her interest in painting. Although she studied plein-air painting with Santa Barbara artist Michael Drury, she is essentially a self taught artist. The Canadian Group of Seven greatly influenced her early work, as well as many of the Santa Fe artists. A trip to the Yucatán had profound impact and motifs of ancient art and popular Mexican art began to appear in her work. Currently her work explores where nature and culture intersect over time and place.

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 two in-person Q&As; Directors Joaquim Dos Santos, Justin K. Thompson, and Kemp Powers following SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE and Director Peter Sohn following ELEMENTAL. Sponsored by Montecito Bank & Trust, US Bank, Yardi, Bentson Foundation, 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.

The ASC Award for Cinematography sponsored by The American Society of Cinematographers has been added to the list of SBIFF’s 2024 awards and will recognize a film with exceptional visual composition that advances the art and science of cinematography and promotes the motion picture as an art form.

2024 FILMS

Below is the list of feature and short films at the 2024 SBIFF. For the complete list of films, synopses, and other special events please visit www.sbiff.org or the SBIFF app.

19 WORLD PREMIERE FEATURE FILMS (listed alphabetically)

76 Days

Directed by Joe Wein

United States

Alien Contact

Directed by Rick Rosenthal

United States

Art and Life: The Story of Jim Phillips

Directed by John Edward Makens

Books & Drinks

Directed by Geoffrey Cowper

Dominican Republic

Chosen Family

Directed by Heather Graham

United States

Dandelions

Directed by Basil Mironer

United States

Diving into the Darkness

Directed by Nays Baghai

Australia

Electra

Directed by Hala Matar

Bahrain

The Fight for Black Lives

Directed by Micere Keels

United States

Giants Rising

Directed by Lisa Landers

United States

God & Country

Directed by Dan Partland

United States

Lili

Directed by Sylwia Rosak

Poland

The Long Game

Directed by Jace Anderson

United States

Madu

Directed by Matt Ogens, Joel ‘Kachi Benson

United States, Nigeria, United Kingdom

The Movie Man

Directed by Matt Finlin

Canada

Okie

Directed by Kate Cobb

United States

Running for the Mountains

Directed by Babette Hogan, Julie Eisenberg

United States

Send Kelp!

Directed by Blake McWilliam

Canada

Veselka

Directed by Michael Fiore

United States

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

Achilles

Directed by Farhad Delaram

Iran, France Germany

Andragogy

Directed by Wregas Bhanuteja

Indonesia

Atikamekw Suns

Directed by Chloé Leriche

Canada

The Ballad of a Hustler

Directed by Heitor Dhalia

United States, Brazil

Before It Ends (Når befrielsen kommer)

Directed by Anders Walter

Denmark

Birthday Girl

Directed by Michael Noer

Denmark

The Blue Star (La estrella azul)

Directed by Javier Macipe

Spain, Argentina

Cinema Laika

Directed by Veljko Vidak

France, Finland

Cold (Kuldi)

Directed by Erlingur Thoroddsen

Iceland

Cold Sigh

Directed by Nahid Azizi Sedigh

Iran

Coup!

Directed by Austin Stark, Joseph Schuman

United States

Crush: Message in a Bottle

Directed by Maya Gallus

Canada

Dance First

Directed by James Marsh

United Kingdom

Days of Happiness

Directed by Chloé Robichaud

Canada

Dear Jassi

Directed by Tarsem Singh Dhandwar

India

Disconnect Me

Directed by Alex Lykos

Australia

Edge of Everything

Directed by Sophia Sabella, Pablo Feldman

United States

El paraiso

Directed by Enrico Maria Artale

Italy

Estonia

Directed by

Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Estonia

Excursion (Ekskurzija)

Directed by Una Gunjak

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, France, Norway, Qatar

French Girl

Directed by James A. Woods, Nicolas Wright

Canada

Good Savage

Directed by Santiago Mohar Volkow

Mexico

Green Night

Directed by Han Shuai

Hong Kong

Hoard

Directed by Luna Carmoon

United Kingdom

Homecoming (Máhccan)

Directed by Suvi West, Anssi Kömi

Finland, Norway

I’m Just Here for the Riot

Directed by Asia Youngman, Kathleen Jayme

Canada

The King Tide

Directed by Christian Sparkes

Canada

The Last Daughter

Directed by Brenda Matthews, Nathaniel Schmidt

Australia

The Last Movie

Directed by Olaug Spissøy Kyvik

Norway

Let Me Go (Laissez-moi)

Directed by Maxime Rappaz

Switzerland

Medium

Directed by Christina Ioakeimidi

Greece

Mimang

Directed by Kim Tae-yang

South Korea

The Movie Teller

Directed by Lone Scherfig

Spain, France, Chile

Mr. Freeman

Directed by Mads Matthiesen

Denmark

Much Ado About Dying

Directed by Simon Chambers

Ireland

On Earth as in Heaven (Sur la terre comme au ciel)

Directed by Nathalie Saint-Pierre

Canada

On the Edge (État limite)

Directed by Nicolas Peduzzi

France

The Other Son

Directed by Juan Sebastián Quebrada

Colombia, France, Argentina

Over the Cracks (Sous le tapis)

Directed by Camille Japy

France

Photophobia

Directed by Ivan Ostrochovský, Pavel Pekarčík

Slovakia, Czech Republic, Ukraine

Point of Change

Directed by Rebecca Coley

United Kingdom, United States, Australia and Indonesia

Prison in the Andes (Penal Cordillera)

Directed by Felipe Carmona

Chile, Brazil

Queen of Bones

Directed by Robert Budreau

United States

A Ravaging Wind

Directed by Paula Hernández

Argentina, Uruguay

The Reeds

Directed by Cemil Ağacıkoğlu

Turkey

Rickerl

Directed by Adrian Goiginger

Austria, Germany

The Rooster

Directed by Mark Leonard Winter

Australia

Seagrass

Directed by Meredith Hama-Brown

Canada

Snow Leopard (雪豹)

Directed by Pema Tseden

China

Suze

Directed by Linsey Stewart, Dane Clark

Canada

That They May Face the Rising Sun

Directed by Pat Collins

Ireland

The Tundra Within Me (Eallogierdu)

Directed by Sara Margrethe Oskal

Norway

Unmoored

Directed by Caroline Ingvarsson

United Kingdom

Until the Music is Over (Até que a Música Pare)

Directed by Cristiane Oliveira

Brazil, Italy

Uproar

Directed by Paul Middleditch, Hamish Bennett

New Zealand

The Vourdalak

Directed by Adrien Beau

France

NON PREMIERE FEATURE FILMS (listed alphabetically)

Abroad

Directed by Giovanni Fumu

South Korea, United States

All You Hear is Noise

Directed by Ned Castle, Matt Day

United States

Another Happy Day

Directed by Nora Fiffer

United States

Ashima

Directed by Kenji Tsukamoto

United States

Blaga’s Lessons (Urotcite na Blaga)

Directed by Stephan Komandarev

Bulgaria

Brothers (Bratři)

Directed by Tomáš Mašín

Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia

Bye Bye Tiberias

Directed by Lina Soualem

France, Palestine, Belgium, Qatar

City of Wind (Sèr sèr salhi)

Directed by Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir

Mongolia, Portugal, Netherlands, Germany, Qatar, France

The Contestant

Directed by Clair Titley

United Kingdom

Copa 71

Directed by Rachel Ramsay, James Erskine

United Kingdom

The Cowboy and the Queen

Directed by Andrea Nevins

United States

Eat Bitter

Directed by Pascale Appora-Gnekindy, Ningyi Sun

Central African Republic, China

Ezra

Directed by Tony Goldwyn

United States

First Time Female Director

Directed by Chelsea Peretti

United States

First We Bombed New Mexico

Directed by Lois Lipman

United States

Fresh Kills

Directed by Jennifer Esposito

United States

A Happy Day

Directed by Hisham Zaman

Norway

I’ll Be Right There

Directed by Brendan Walsh

United States

In the Rearview

Directed by

Poland, France, Ukraine

Joika

Directed by James Napier Robertson

New Zealand, Poland

La Extorsión

Directed by Martino Zaidelis

Argentina, USA

Limbo

Directed by Ivan Sen

Australia

A Look Through His Lens

Directed by Matthew Berkowitz, Gregory Hoblit

United States, France, Ireland, United Kingdom

Lucha: A Wrestling Tale

Directed by Marco Ricci

United States

Mourning in Lod

Directed by Hilla Medalia

United States

One Life

Directed by James Hawes

United Kingdom

Pet Shop Days

Directed by Olmo Schnabel

United States, Italy, United Kingdom, Mexico

Seven Blessings

Directed by Ayelet Menahemi

Israel

Shari & Lamb Chop

Directed by Lisa D’Apolito

United States

Show Her the Money

Directed by Ky Dickens

United States

Sira

Directed by Apolline Traoré

Burkina Faso, France, Germany, Senegal

Solitude

Directed by Ninna Pálmadóttir

Iceland

Sorry/Not Sorry

Directed by Caroline Suh, Cara Mones

United States

The Taste of Things

Directed by Trần Anh Hùng

France

Thank You Very Much

Directed by Alex Braverman

United States

TransMexico

Directed by Claudia Sanchez

United States

We Are Guardians

Directed by Edivan Guajajara, Chelsea Greene, Rob Grobman

United States, Brazil

We Grown Now

Directed by Minhal Baig

United States

Wicked Little Letters

Directed by Thea Sharrock

United Kingdom

Without Air

Directed by Katalin Moldovai

Hungary

2024 SBIFF SHORT FILMS – (listed alphabetically)

26 WORLD PREMIERES AND 21 U.S. PREMIERES

72

Directed by Marissa Chibás

United States

World Premiere

841

Directed by Rachel Burnett

United States

World Premiere

The ABCs of Book Banning

Directed by Sheila Nevins

United States

Above & Within

Directed by Patrick Hall

United States

World Premiere

Alarms (Apnées)

Directed by Nicolas Panay

France

US Premiere

And Now I Lay Me Down

Directed by Rani DeMuth

United States

World Premiere

Area Boy

Directed by Iggy London

United Kingdom

US Premiere

The Ballad of Tita and the Machines

Directed by Miguel Angel Caballero

United States

Basri and Salma in a Never-ending Comedy (Basri & Salma dalam Komedi yang Terus Berputar)

Directed by Khozy Rizal

Indonesia

A Bird Called Memory (Pássaro Memória)

Directed by Leonardo Martinelli

Brazil, United Kingdom

US Premiere

The Birthday Party (Il compleanno di Enrico)

Directed by Francesco Sossai

Germany, France, Italy

US Premiere

A Body Called Life

Directed by Spencer MacDonald

United States

World Premiere

Boo

Directed by Genevieve Aniello

United States

World Premiere

Breaking Silence

Directed by Amy Bench, Annie Silverstein

United States

The Breakthrough

Directed by Daniel Sinclair

United States

Dammi

Directed by Yann Mounir Demange

France, United Kingdom

US Premiere

Dog Apartment (Koerkorter)

Directed by Priit Tender

Estonia

Don’t Cry, Gabriel (Pleure pas Gabriel)

Directed by Mathilde Chavanne

France

US Premiere

Farms and Tables

Directed by Taylor Scott Mason, Noah Forbes

United States

World Premiere

Forget Me Again

Directed by Noah Freeman Hecht

United States

World Premiere

Fracture

Directed by Joel Novoa, Marilu Godinez

United States

World Premiere

The Golden West

Directed by Tom Berkeley, Ross White

Ireland

Good Boy

Directed by Tom Stuart

United Kingdom

US Premiere

Gorgeous

Directed by Morgan Gould

United States

World Premiere

Gorgo (Γοργώ)

Directed by Veniamin Gialouris

Australia

US Premiere

Greetings From Summerland

Directed by Joey Szalkiewicz, Harry Rabin

United States

World Premiere

Help Me Understand

Directed by Aemilia Scott

United States

I’m on Fire

Directed by Michael Spiccia

United States

In the Shadow of the Cypress (Dar saaye sarv)

Directed by Hossein Molayemi, Shirin Sohani

Iran

US Premiere

Incroci

Directed by Francesca de Fusco

Italy, United States

US Premiere

Jane Austen’s Period Drama

Directed by Julia Aks, Steve Pinder

United States

World Premiere

Joy

Directed by Aner Etxebarria Moral

Spain

Magda

Directed by Adela Kaczmarek

Poland

US Premiere

Making Babies (Faire un enfant)

Directed by Eric K. Boulianne

Canada

A Man’s Man

Directed by Myles Desenberg

United Kingdom

US Premiere

Marungka Tjalatjunu (Dipped in black)

Directed by Matthew Thorne, Derik Lynch

Australia

The Meatseller

Directed by Margherita Giusti

US Premiere

Merv

Directed by Sam Roebling

United States

My Dead Dad

Directed by Abby Ellis, Erik Osterholm

United States

World Premiere

Nada De Todo Esto

Directed by Patricio Martínez, Francisco Cantón

Argentina, Spain, United Statess

US Premiere

Next Train Out

Directed by Darby Naughton

United States

World Premiere

Nine Lives

Directed by Jessie Davidson

United States

World Premiere

Nun or Never!

Directed by Heta Jäälinoja

Finland

On the 8th Day (Au 8ème Jour)

Directed by Agathe Sénéchal, Alicia Massez, Elise Debruyne, Flavie Carin, Théo Duhautois

France

US Premiere

The Orchestra Chuck Built

Directed by Christopher Stoudt

United States

Our Neighbors, the Peacocks

Directed by Callie Barlow

United States

World Premiere

Panadrilo

Directed by Marcela Heilbron

Panamá

World Premiere

Primero, Sueño

Directed by Andrés Lira

United States

Relationship to Patient

Directed by Caroline Creaghead

United States

World Premiere

Relighting Candles: The Tim Sullivan Story

Directed by Zeberiah Newman, Michiel Thomas

United States

The Salt on Our Skin

Directed by Alessandra Puig-Santana, Reese Raygoza, Lukas Olesinski, Tess McCormick, Audrey Engelsgjerd, Michelle Truong

United States

World Premiere

Save the Cat

Directed by Jordan Matthew Horowitz

United States

World Premiere

Savi the Cat

Directed by Bryan Tucker, Netsie Tjirongo

United States

Sea Salt

Directed by Leila Basma

Czech Republic, Lebanon, Qatar

US Premiere

Seasons (四·季)

Directed by Xin Li

China

World Premiere

Sira

Directed by Mariame N’Diaye

France

US Premiere

The Skates

Directed by Halima Ouardiri

Canada

Sludge: A PFAS Uprising

Directed by Jeffrey Christian

United States

World Premiere

Someone Lied on the Roommate Form

Directed by Najee Werners

United States

World Premiere

Someone’s Trying to Get in

Directed by Colin Nixon

Canada

World Premiere

Taking Back the Groove

Directed by Celia Aniskovich

United States

The Voice of Others (La voix des autres)

Directed by Fatima Kaci

France

US Premiere

Two Cents & A Footlong

Directed by Kanin Guntzelman

United States

World Premiere

Unbraided

Directed by Caroline Renard

United States

World Premiere

Wander to Wonder

Directed by Nina Gantz

Netherlands, France, Belgium

US Premiere

Where the Sun Always Shines

Directed by Rosie Baldwin

United Kingdom

Wild Summon

Directed by Karni Arieli, Saul Freed

United Kingdom

Will You Remember Me?

Directed by Will Dowler

United States

World Premiere

WOACA

Directed by Mackenzie Davis

United Kingdom

US Premiere

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