Entertainment Magazine: Film: California: Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara Film Festival: 2011

The 2011 Santa Barbara International Film Festival 

SBIFF Filmmaker interviews

At the 26th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival in 2011, there were 30 world premieres and 33 US premieres among the 170 films that screened during the 10-day fest  Some filmmakers were there to support their films, and meeting the filmmakers is always a highlight of the festival.

Marvelous Monstrosity, Pleasing Pearl:
Meet Filmmaker Alyssa Price

The Monstrosity, which premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, is about a 12-year-old girl named Milly as she embarks on that most treacherous of passages – her first day of middle school.  Problem is a big zit decides to make that day twice as nice. 
 
As always, I was all the more curious about the film after reading that it was basically a female coming-of-age comedy, by a woman writer-director.  That woman is Alyssa Price.
 
When I met her, Alyssa informed me that she had another short film that had just won the “Get L.A.” film competition and was beginning its own festival run.  Luckily, through the filmmaker, I soon saw that film as well. Continue reading the interview with Alyssa Price.

SBIFF 2011: Part 1 | SBIFF 2011: Part 2: by Madelyn Ritrosky

A Fistful of Something Good: Good for Nothing

Covered in an outlaw’s grime of gunpowder and trail dust, The Man grunted quite matter-of-factly:  “My dick’s broke.” That, my friends, quite amusingly and quite seriously sums up the spirit, theme, plot, and overall greatness of Good For Nothing.  And we can thank writer-director Mike Wallis, producer-actress Inge Rademeyer, and actor Cohen Holloway for, amazingly, shooting this gem on less than $60,000.  Adding higher post-production costs makes it no less amazing.

Interviewing Filmmakers/Actors at the 2011 SBIFF by Jared Winslow

Part 1 Will Eubank, writer-director; Gunner Wright, actor; Ed Harris, actor; Christopher Lloyd, actor and festival juror and William Baldwin, actor and festival juror

Part II Russ Spencer, filmmaker, The Book of Santa Barbara; Matt Kleiner, filmmaker, Way of the Ocean: Mike Wallis, filmmaker, Cohen Holloway, actor, Inge Rademeyer, actor/filmmaker, Good for Nothing

Four Fantastic Animated Worlds

26th Santa Barbara
International Film Festival (SBIFF)

January 27-February 6, 2011

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Index

Santa Barbara Entertainment Magazine

Oscar nominee James Franco is interviewed on stage by noted film critic Leonard Maltin.  Franco was given the Outstanding Performance of the Year Award for his portrayal of mountain climber Aron Ralston trapped in a canyon for 127 Hours.

SBIFF favorite Annette Bening receives the American Riviera Award

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) welcomed back three-time Academy Award nominee Annette Bening by bestowing her with the American Riviera Award.

Annette BeningPhoto: Oscar nominee Annette Bening, answering questions on the red carpet, was honored with the American Riviera Award.

Bening, who has received critical acclaim this year for her performances in The Kids Are All Right and Mother and Child, was honored at the Arlington Theatre on Friday, January 28, 2011 for the Fest’s 26th edition. Bening was previously honored in 2005.
 
“I fell in love with Annette Bening the moment I saw her on Broadway in Coastal Disturbances in 1987," commented SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling.  “It was one of those ‘a star is born’ moments.  Ever since, she's been one of my favorite actresses, and she will always have a home here at the festival.”
 
The American Riviera Award was established to recognize an actor who has had a strong influence on American Cinema.  Bening will join an illustrious group of past recipients:  Sandra Bullock (10), Mickey Rourke (09), Tommy Lee Jones (08), Forrest Whitaker (07), Philip Seymour Hoffman (06), Kevin Bacon (05) and Diane Lane (04).
 
In her most recent performance as Nic in The Kids Are All Right, she expertly navigated through a vast range of emotions, bringing to light and life the non-traditional family with a character determined to keep her family together.  Earlier this year in Mother and Child saw Bening personify a very different character in Karen who was isolated and distant in her relationships with everyone.

Proving yet again that she is not one to shy away from a challenge, she took on two diametrically opposed versions of the modern day mother.  
 
From her work in romantic comedies such as The American President and American Beauty, to her dramatic and compelling performances in Being Julia, Regarding Henry and The Grifters, Bening consistently embraces the story as well as the character adding a level of authenticity rarely seen on screen.

She has time and again made a significant contribution to the world of films and of America throughout her career. 
 
The festivities took place at the historic Arlington Theatre on Friday, January 28, 2011.

NICOLE KIDMAN HONORED WITH CINEMA VANGUARD AWARD

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival honored Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman with the Cinema Vanguard Awardat the 26th edition of the Fest.  The Tribute took place on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at the historic Arlington Theatre.

The Cinema Vanguard Award was created in recognition of an actor who has forged his/her own path - taking artistic risks and making a significant and unique contribution to film. The award has previously been awarded toChristoph Waltz, Vera Farmiga, Stanley Tucci, Peter Sarsgaard, Kristin Scott Thomas and Ryan Gosling.

“Honoring Nicole Kidman is so exciting for us here at SBIFF,” comments Roger Durling.  “Her work is immensely diverse and with this year’s heart-wrenching and brilliant performance in ‘Rabbit Hole’ - a project she helped develop as well - it is exactly who we should be celebrating with the 2011 Cinema Vanguard Award.”

With each of her performances, Nicole Kidman represents the actor in its finest and most polished form. A woman of many talents, she effortlessly navigates through a diverse range of genres; mastering drama, horror, comedy, romance, and even the musical. In her upcoming film Rabbit Hole, which she also co-produced, Kidman plunges heart-first into the role of Becca Corbett, a wife and mother who experiences the ultimate loss. Starring alongside Aaron Eckhart, Kidman delivers a performance so passionate and engrossing, that the audience can’t help but to place themselves in Becca’s shoes.

Beginning her career in the realm of Australian cinema, she starred in the thriller Dead Calm (1989), starring opposite Sam Neil. In 1990 she made the breakthrough into Hollywood cinema, staring alongside Tom Cruise in Days of Thunder. She paired with Cruise once again in 1992 for epic Far and Away, directed by Ron Howard. In 1995 she starred as Dr. Chase Meridian in the blockbuster hit Batman Forever, and also earned critical acclaim for her portrayal of a fame crazed housewife in To Die For. Kidman followed her success with the role of Isabel Archer in Portrait of a Lady (1996), and teamed up once again with Tom Cruise in Stanley Kubrick’s sexual thriller, Eyes Wide Shut (1999). In 2001, she stepped into one of her career defining roles as courtesan Satine in the musical Moulin Rouge, earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Leading Actress. In the same year, she was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in writer/director Alejandro Amenabar’s psychological thriller, The Others.

The next year, Kidman followed up with her portrayal of Virginia Woolf in The Hours and won the Academy Award for Best Actress. In the next several years, she continued to show her range, performing in a wide variety of films, such as the Civil War epic Cold Mountain (2003), the film adaptation of the TV show Bewitched (2005), Sydney Pollack’s The Interpreter (2005), and the film adaptation of the novel The Golden Compass (2007) among others.

The festivities will take place at the Arlington Theatre on Saturday, February 5 2011.

26TH SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OPENED WITH U.S. PREMIERE OF “SARAH’S KEY”

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, January 27 – February 6, opened the 2011 Festival with the film SARAH’S KEY. Already receiving critical acclaim across the world, the French film will make its U.S. premiere at the Santa Barbara Festival’s opening night event. The filmstarsKristin Scott Thomas and is directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, both of whom were scheduled to be in attendance

Remarked SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling, “From its triumphant unveiling in Toronto to its recent accolades in France and Tokyo, SARAH’S KEY has been stunning audiences, and we’re proud to open our 26th edition with it.”

Based on the international bestselling novel by Tatiana de Rosnay, the film beautifully interweaves two seemingly different stories, illustrating a remarkable connection between the past and present.  The first story is that of Sarah Starzynski (Mélusine Mayance), a ten year old Jewish girl living in Paris during World War II. After the Vichy government and Nazi occupiers begin arresting Jews, Sarah attempts to save her family by locking her four-year old brother in a cupboard. Seen through her eyes, Sarah and her parents are taken from their home and eventually sent to the Nazi death camps.

The second story follows Julia Jarmond (Kristin Scott Thomas), an American journalist living in modern day Paris with her French husband. Julia is assigned to write a story on the Vel’d’Hiv roundup of 1942, and upon investigation discovers she has a personal connection. The home owned by her husband’s family is actually the same one that Sarah and her family were taken from. The film takes an emotional look into a historical event long hidden, but now sure to never be forgotten.

Sarah’s Key, due to open late Spring, 2011, is a Hugo Production of a Weinstein Company and directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, produced by Stepháne Marsil.

GEOFFREY RUSH RECEIVED MONTECITO AWARD AT THE 26TH SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Photo left: Geoffrey Rush was presented the Montecito Award by Colin Firth.  Both actors are nominated for Oscars for their inspired performances in The King’s Speech.

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival honored Academy Award® winning actor Geoffrey Rush with the Montecito Award at the 26th edition of the Festival.  The Tribute took place Monday, January 31, 2011, at the historic Arlington Theatre.

The Montecito Award was created in recognition of a performer who has given a series of classic and standout performances in his/her career, and has previously been presented to Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet, Javier Bardem, Naomi Watts and Annette Bening, who was the very first recipient in 2005. Geoffrey Rush stands tall within a rare and genuine class of actors, able to command the screen in each and every one of his roles. Ranging from the comedic to the dramatic, Rush’s vast and eclectic body of work illustrates him as one of Hollywood’s most versatile actors.

“I feel like Royalty’s coming to SBIFF,” remarked Durling.  “Having been an admirer of everything Geoffrey Rush has done (including his Tony-winning performance in Exit The King), we’re truly blessed to get to celebrate him this year where he once again reminds us in The King’s Speechthat he’s one of our greatest actors.”

CHRISTOPHER NOLAN TO RECEIVE ESTEEMED MODERN MASTER AWARD AT 26TH SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Photo; Modern Master Award recipient Christopher Nolan.

Christopher Nolan, writer/director/producer of the acclaimed blockbuster Inception, received the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s highest honor, Modern Master Award, presented by lynda.com.

The Modern Master Award is the highest honor presented by SBIFF.  Established in 1995, it was created to honor an individual who has enriched our culture through his/her multi-faceted accomplishments in the motion picture industry.  Nolan joins an illustrious group of past recipients including Michael Douglas, Jodie Foster, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Diane Keaton, Sean Penn, Jeff Bridges, Peter Jackson, George Clooney, Will Smith, Cate Blanchett, Clint Eastwood, and James Cameron.  

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by lynda.com, ran January 27 - February 6, 2011.  Now in its 26th year, SBIFF is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching local culture and raising consciousness of film as an art form and continues to be an essential stop on the road to the Oscars.The 2012 SBIFF is now being planned.

SBIFF presents quality American Independent, Spanish and Latin American, European, World and Documentary cinema, as well as nature and surf films, all within the beautiful setting of downtown Santa Barbara, a perfect backdrop and premier tourist destination.  SBIFF is also committed to education through its 10-10-10 youth filmmakers project, 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, SBIFF attracts an eclectic and diverse consumer base, both locally and nationally, while maintaining strong ties with the entertainment industry in nearby Los Angeles.  For more information, please visit www.sbfilmfestival.org.  Tickets can be purchased through www.sbfilmfestival.org or by calling 805-963-0023.

Santa Barbara International Film Festival INDEX

Photos by Madelyn Ritrosky © 2011


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Above: Husband and wife actors Ed Harris and Amy Madigan enjoy their red carpet arrival for the world premiere of their latest film, That’s What I Am, SBIFF’s Centerpiece Film.

The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper arrives at the Arlington Theatre for the first-ever presentation of an SBIFF ensemble award to that film’s cast.  Hooper presented the award to Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter. 

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