One of the South Coast’s biggest events is underway this week.
The 34th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival kicked off Wednesday. Movie fanatics will have many opportunities to watch films and even meet celebrities in Santa Barbara over the next 10 years.
This year’s festival will feature more than 200 films and honor some of Hollywood’s biggest names.
With award-season in full-swing, coming to Santa Barbara for SBIFF can be a bit of a working-vacation for many of the honorees.
Thursday, five outstanding directors will be highlighted. They are Alfonso Cuaron for “Roma,” Yorgos Lanthimos for “The Favourite,” Spike Lee for “BlacKkKlansman,” Adam McCay for “Vice,” and Pawel Pawlikowski for “Cold War.”
Friday, the breakout star of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Rami Malek who plays Freddie Mercury in the film, is expected to walk the red carpet to receive the festival’s Outstanding Performer award.
Best actor Oscar-nominee Viggo Mortensen will be in town Saturday to talk about his work in “Green Book.”
Glenn Close will also be celebrated this weekend with the festival’s highest honor, the Maltin Modern Master award for her Oscar-nominated role in “The Wife.”
Melissa McCarthy is the Montecito award recipient for her Oscar-nominated role in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Next week, Michael B. Jordan of “Black Panther” and “Creed II” will be given the Cinema Vanguard award.
SBIFF also showcases the work of local student filmmakers and hosts panels of industry experts.
The festival provides a big economic boost to the South Coast and invites thousands of local school children to the Arlington Theater for a field trip to learn about the film industry.
Click here for tickets and schedule information.