The Santa Barbara Film Festival


Image courtesy of Steve Kennedy

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is a world-renowned film festival that awards a wide range of industry professionals on their newly made films. Many of the movies and actors that come to the film festival are nominated and will likely win an Oscar. This year in our hometown we have some major faces walking the carpet including Jamie Lee Curtis and Austin Butler. As well some newly famous movies being shown like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and ELVIS.

The first night of the Film Festival was the Montecito Award, the highest honor of the Film Festival, that recognizes an individual who made a significant impact to the entertainment industry and the world. This year they recognized Angela Bassett. She was being awarded for her role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, where she played Ramonda, the Queen of Wakanda. She is currently nominated for Best Supporting Actress at Oscars, the first actor from a Marvel Studios movie to be nominated for an Academy Award. She showed up to the red carpet looking stunning in an all white crop top and trousers. At the Montecito awards she talked about her journey to becoming an actor and the unpredictability of the later half of her career. 

“Getting to hear Angela Bassett talk was captivating,” said junior Olivia Miller. “She is such a balance of intelligence and humor, I could’ve listened to her for a lot longer.”

On night two of the Film Festival, the Outstanding Performer Award was given to Cate Blanchett for her role in Tàr,  where she plays Lydia Tàr, a renowned musician and mother. She is currently nominated for an Oscar for this role as Best Actress. She was wearing a beautiful black and sparkling silver outfit and in her interview she talked about her career and her current academy nominations and past movies.  

Image Courtesy Kate Blanchett

Night three was one for the books with the awarding of Jamie Lee Curtis the Modern Masters Award for her role in Everything Everywhere all at Once. She is currently nominated at the Oscars for Best Supporting Actress for this role. She showed up to the film festival in an all white suit. She talked about her career from being a college dropout to a big time actor in movies like Halloween and Everything Everywhere All At Once. 

The Santa Barbara Film Festival also held a 10-10-10 student screenwriting and filmmaking mentorship and competition program. Five high school students are selected to write ten minute screenplays and are paired with their own high school director to make them into film. At San Marcos, freshman Sofia Parisotto and junior Olivia Miller are screenwriters in the program. 

When asked about her experience in the program, Sofia Parisotto said, “Participating in the SBIFF’s 10-10-10 Screenwriting and Filmmaking Mentorship program has been a unique opportunity. I’ve always had an interest in creative writing: from short stories, to theater and video scripts. SBIFF’s Education programs offer summer camps and workshops that help build on those interests as well as bringing in industry professionals who mentor to gain insight into what a possible career in TV or film would look like.” Any students that have an interest in this program can visit the Santa Barbara International Film Festival Website.

The Film Festival is still happening until February 17th, 2023, you can look forward to seeing Brandan Fraser at the American Riviera Award show. A spotlight of Stephanie Hsu from Everything Everywhere all at Once, Austin Butler from ELVIS, Nina Hoss from Tàr, and a few other actors with noteworthy performances at the Virtuous Awards. Then ending the amazing lineup for the Santa Barbara Film Festival is the Outstanding Directors award at the Riviera Theater on Friday February 17 at 8pm. We are so lucky to have such amazing artists at The Santa Barbara Film Festival this year.