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Jessica Lange Set For Santa Barbara Film Fest Honor

Jessica Lange Set For Santa Barbara Film Fest HonorThe actress who went from reclining in King Kong’s hand to creeping us out on American Horror Story, picking up a pair of Oscars along the way, will be feted this fall by the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Organizers said today that Jessica Lange will receive the ninth annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film during a black-tie gala on November 16 in Santa Barbara. Presenters will be revealed in the coming months. Here’s the release: Read More »

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Super Bowl? WHAT Super Bowl? More Awards, Controversy, & The Santa Barbara Film Festival Keeps Oscar Season Sizzling

Pete Hammond

If you think Hollywood’s awards season will come to a complete stop just because of a little thing called Super Bowl29th Santa Barbara International Film Festival -  Outstanding Performer of the Year Award to Cate Blanchett Weekend, think again! As already covered extensively on Deadline yesterday, the pre-Oscar madness was running full tilt Saturday with the WGA, ASC and Annie awards, the Santa Barbara Film Festival and lots of lingering controversies about nominees and “rescinded” nominees. Whew! You’d think they’d give it a rest to let football take over but NOTHING gets in the way of Hollywood’s own Super Bowl!

Related:
28th Annual ASC Awards: ‘Gravity’s Emmanuel Lubezki Wins Feature Film Honor
WGA Awards: ‘Captain Phillips’ & ‘Her’ Win Top Film Awards
Annie Awards: ‘Frozen’ Wins Big Including Best Feature

I am up at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival this weekend where I moderated the two-hour sold-out Performance Of The Year tribute to Oscar frontrunner Cate Blanchett at the 2000-seat dream palace known as the Arlington Theatre. At the end of it, Cate received a standing ovation when future co-star Rooney Mara (they start shooting Todd Haynes’ Carol in March) presented her with the latest trinket in a season in which she has so far run the table  in terms of awards. She was a willing and warm subject onstage as we showed clips and I dissected her career, informing her at one point that, with The Aviator in which she played Katharine Hepburn, she became the only person to win an Oscar playing an Oscar winner. Always glad to pass on useless trivia to movie stars.

Over the years I have hosted several of these tributes, which are obviously well-timed as part of the Academy season. Festival executive director Roger Durling picks the honorees months in advance but always seems to have a good hunch who is going to be in the Oscar game. Among those 29th Santa Barbara International Film Festival -  Outstanding Performer of the Year Award to Cate BlanchettSBIFF plays to are numerous Academy members who live in the area, so it’s always smart exposure on the part of awards consultants — just as is the early-January Palm Springs fest in the pre-nomination period. Durling himself moderated a rollicking free-form session with American Hustle writer-director and Oscar nominee David O. Russell at the same venue Friday night. And earlier Saturday at the Lobero, there was a producers panel mostly populated with Oscar nominees followed by the annual Women’s Panel (moderated in style as usual by Madelyn Hammond — yes, we’re related) which also sported several current contenders. Among those coming up in the next week are Bruce Dern, Robert Redford, Oprah Winfrey, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio and several others. Some landed nominations, some didn’t, but they are all showing up regardless. It’s that time of year. Read More »

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Bruce Dern To Receive SBIFF’s Modern Master Award, Steps In For Emma Thompson

By | Tuesday January 28, 2014 @ 6:56am PST

dern2Santa Barbara, CA – The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will honor Academy Award-nominated actor Bruce Dern with the Modern Master Award at the 29th edition of the Fest, which runs January 30 – February 9, 2014, it was announced today by SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. The Tribute will take place on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at the historic Arlington Theatre and is sponsored by Adobe.

Emma Thompson, who was slated to receive the Modern Master Award, is unfortunately now not able to be in attendance as she is required for rehearsal in London on the New York Philharmonic staging of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, which will be directed by Lonny Price.

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SBIFF Sets First Weekend Panelists

By | Monday January 27, 2014 @ 5:20pm PST

SBIFF__140107180103Santa Barbara, CA – The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG® Australia, is pleased to announce the first weekend panelists. Starting at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 1, at the Lobero Theatre will be the Movers and Shakers panel, which brings together some of today’s most established producers to discuss their current projects and their vision of American cinema within the Hollywood system. Moderated by Los Angeles Times film writer John Horn, this year’s panelists include: Albert Berger (Nebraska), Robbie Brenner (Dallas Buyers Club), Dana Brunetti (Captain Phillips), Dede Gardner (12 Years a Slave), Joey McFarland (producer, Wolf of Wall Street) Charles Roven (American Hustle), Gaby Tana (Philomena) and Ron Yerxa (Nebraska). Sponsored by Integrated Media Technologies, Inc.

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‘Mission Blue’ To Open Santa Barbara International Film Fest; Full Lineup Unveiled

By | Tuesday January 7, 2014 @ 10:02am PST

SBIFFThe Santa Barbara International Film Festival has announced its 2014 lineup. The 29th edition features 23 World Premieres and 31 U.S. Premieres and runs January 30-February 9. Robert Nixon and Fisher Stevens’ Mission Blue opens the fest and Before Midnight closes it, followed by a Q&A with Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. Here’s the full lineup: Read More »

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Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio To Receive SBIFF’s Cinema Vanguard Award

SBIFF__121113035017-200x200 (1)Santa Barbara, CA- The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will honor director Martin Scorsese and actor Leonardo DiCaprio with the Cinema Vanguard Award at the 29th edition of the Fest, which runs January 30 -February 9, 2014, it was announced today by SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. The award presentation and evening tribute, sponsored by lynda.com, will take place on Thursday, February 6, 2014 at the historic Arlington Theatre.

Scorsese and DiCaprio will be celebrated for their extraordinary film collaboration which has produced five exemplary films including Gangs of New York, The Aviator, Shutter Island, The Departed and their latest, the critically acclaimed hit film The Wolf of Wall Street, which has taken their fearless and uncompromising work together to an even deeper level.

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Santa Barbara To Screen ‘Before’ Trilogy With Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy & Richard Linklater

By | Monday December 23, 2013 @ 11:29am PST

SBIFF__121113035017-200x200Los Angeles, CA (December 23, 2013) – The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) will present the critically acclaimed Before trilogy: Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight with an in-depth conversation with co-screenwriters Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and Richard Linklater following the third film at the 29th edition of the Fest, which runs January 30 – February 9, 2014. The screenings and conversation will take place on Sunday, February 9, 2014 at the historic Lobero Theatre.

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Robert Redford Set For Santa Barbara Fest’s American Riviera Award

all-is-lost-robert-redford-02-600-370The All Is Lost star might have been passed over for SAG Award nomination last week, but he’ll get a career award from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The fest will honor Robert Redford on February 7 at the Arlington Theatre. The nod recognizes an actor who has had a strong influeSanta Barbara International Film Festival logonce on American Cinema. “To honor Robert Redford with the American Riviera Award is an immense privilege for SBIFF,”  festival Exec Director Roger Durling said.“His 50-year career, filled with significant achievements both on and off camera, is reason enough for celebration, but his role in All Is Lost proves that he’s an artist that continues to evolve and inspire us.” The 29th edition of SBIFF runs January 30-February 9.

Related: OSCARS Q&A: Robert Redford On Returning To His Roots In ‘All Is Lost’Read More »

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Emma Thompson To Receive Modern Master Award At Santa Barbara

By | Tuesday November 19, 2013 @ 7:28am PST

Santa Barbara, CA – The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will honor actor, screenwriter and producer Emma Thompson with the Modern Master Award at the 29th edition of the Fest, which runs January 30 – February 9, 2014, it was announced today by SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. The Tribute will take place on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at the historic Arlington Theatre and is sponsored by Adobe.

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

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Santa Barbara Film Festival To Honor Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey will receive the festival‘s Montecito Award for her performance in Lee Daniels’ The Butler and a celebration of her overall career. The Tribute to Winfrey is set for February 5 at the Arlington Theatre. Previous recipients of the award, given in recognition of a performer who has given a series of classic and standout performances, has gone to the likes of Daniel Day-Lewis, Geoffrey Rush, Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet, Javier Bardem, Naomi Watts and Annette Bening. Winfrey’s most recent work includes her moving portrayal of supportive wife Gloria Gaines in Lee Daniels’ The Butler. The historical drama stars Forest Whitaker as a White House butler who served seven American presidents over three decades. “Ms. Winfrey, the actress, inhabits Gloria Gaines with such gusto – she makes you forget Oprah the impresario,” says SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “Her performance is career-defining and reason to rejoice.” The festival runs January 30-February 9.

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Santa Barbara To Honor Cate Blanchett As Performer Of The Year

Oscar winner Cate Blanchett will receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival‘s 2014 Outstanding Performer of the Year Award for her performance in Woody Allen‘s Blue Jasmine on Saturday February 1. She’ll be honored during the 29th edition of the fest which runs January 30-February 9. “In her first collaboration with master director Woody Allen, Blanchett knocks it out of the park in the best performance of her already illustrious career,“ said Roger Durling, SBIFF Executive Director. “We’re so grateful to be able to celebrate her achievement.” In Blue Jasmine Blanchett portrays Jasmine French, a deeply conflicted and complex woman in the throes of her world unraveling. Her compelling performance generated early Oscar buzz for the film since its limited debut in July. Read the release here: Read More »

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Santa Barbara To Honor Forest Whitaker With Kirk Douglas Award For Excellence

By | Friday October 25, 2013 @ 6:23am PDT

Santa Barbara, CA – The Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s eighth annual KIRK DOUGLAS AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN FILM will be presented to Academy Award-winning actor FOREST WHITAKER. Guests will gather to celebrate his achievements at a black-tie Gala dinner at Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara on Sunday, December 15, 2013. In the tradition of the award, top-name presenters will be revealed closer to the event.

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Ben Affleck To Receive Modern Master Award At Santa Barbara

By | Monday November 12, 2012 @ 7:53pm PST

Santa Barbara, CA- The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by lynda.com, will honor director, producer and actor Ben Affleck with the Modern Master Award at the 28th edition of the Fest, which runs January 24 -February 3, 2013, it was announced today by SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. The Tribute will take place on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at the historic Arlington Theatre.

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Phase 4 Films Gets ‘Sassy Pants’

Phase 4 Films has acquired the North American rights to Sassy Pants. The company announced today that it will release the coming-of-age comedy in theatres and on VOD later this fall. Sassy Pants tells the tale of a teen girl who leaves her domineering mother behind to live with her father and his much younger boyfriend. Directed and written by Coley Sohn, the film stars Ashley Rickards, Haley Joel Osment and Anna Gunn who is known for her Emmy-nominated role as Skyler White on AMC’s Breaking Bad. Sassy Pants made its world premiere earlier this year at the 2012 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Adam Wilkins and Pavlina Hatoupis produced the movie. Phase 4’s Larry Greenberg and Katharyn Howe negotiated the Sassy Pants deal with Traction Media on behalf of the filmmakers.

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Entertainment One Acquires Festival Audience Award Winner ‘Starbuck’

Santa Barbara and Palm Springs film festival audience winner Starbuck is headed to indie company Entertainment One. The distributor acquired all U.S. distribution rights for the feature directed by Ken Scott and written by Scott and Martin Petit. Caramel Films produced the comedy starring Patrick Huard, Julie LeBreton and Antoine Bertrand. Starbuck revolves around David Wosniak (Huard), an 42-year-old eternal teenager who decides to finally take control of his life. He discovers that he’s the biological father of 533 children and suddenly, his life is much more complicated than he ever anticipated. The feature has grossed over $3.5 millino in Canada, making it the highest-grossing Canadian film in 2011. eOne’s international sales team recently announced sales of the film to Benelux, France, Spain, Switzerland, German & Austria, Japan and Israel.

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Oscars Q&A Fever As Campaigns Swing Into Final Stretch: Hammond

Pete Hammond

Hollywood has caught Q&A fever: I have now learned the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences has plans to keep the Q&A spirit alive year-round and not just “in season”. Academy regulations loosening rules that previously forbid members from attending filmmaker Q&As were severely relaxed this year — particularly in the months leading up to nominations, when members could attend and even be served food and drink at receptions, a past no-no. Post-nomination Q&As are limited to screenings and nominees (or others connected to nominated movies) and members are allowed to appear at just two each, with no food or receptions. But the Q&A craze has spread, and I hear the Academy has decided to make them an option at their own weekend film programs starting  in June at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre. The programs (usually two on Saturday and two Sunday) give studios and distributors the opportunity to have filmmakers and actors appear after their movies for Q&As with members. Previously only films were shown, but this could increase overall attendance, a goal of the Academy’s to encourage seeing films on the big screen. Read More »

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Paladin Buys Santa Barbara Entry ‘Otter 501′

By | Wednesday February 1, 2012 @ 11:22pm PST

Ahead of its world premiere tomorrow at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, New York-based indie distributor Paladin has picked picked up Otter 501. The film is the true story of an orphaned otter that is rescued on the Northern California coast, noted Paladin president Mark Urman. Paladin plans a spring release.

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Santa Barbara Festival Reveals Full Lineup

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival this morning announced its full lineup of movies including 16 world premieres and 37 U.S. debuts for the 27th annual event. The fest runs January 26 through February 5. The centerpiece gala movie will be the U.S. premiere of the documentary Samsara directed by Ron Fricke (Baraka, Chronos). Closing night feature is director Nadine Labaki’s comedy Where Do We Go Now? about a group of Lebanese women who go to extraordinary lengths to keep peace between Christians and Muslims in their village. The previously announced opening-night feature is Lawrence Kasdan’s Darling Companion. Virtuosos Awards will be presented to Demián Bichir (A Better Life), Rooney Mara (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids), Patton Oswalt (Young Adult), Andy Serkis (Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes) and Shailene Woodley (The Descendants). In addition, the festival will pay special tribute to Viola Davis along with previously announced honorees Christopher Plummer and Martin Scorsese.

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Lawrence Kasdan’s ‘Darling Companion’ To Open Santa Barbara Film Festival

Santa Barbara, CA – The 27th Santa Barbara International Film Festival (January 26-February 5), presented by lynda.com, will open the 2012 Festival with the World Premiere of the Sony Classic Pictures film Darling Companion, directed by Lawrence Kasdan and starring Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Dianne Wiest, Richard Jenkins, Sam Shepard, Mark Duplass, Elisabeth Moss, and Ayelet Zurer. Opening night will take place at the Arlington Theatre on Thursday, January 26, 2012 and is sponsored by Studio 7.

“We are incredibly privileged to have the world premiere of a Lawrence Kasdan film. The highly anticipated Darling Companion is a fantastic film to kick off the festival,” remarked SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling.

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