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Opening night for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Posted at 4:46 AM, Feb 09, 2023

International and local filmmakers gathered Wednesday for the opening of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

The feature film of the night at the Arlington Theater was "Miranda's Victim." The story follows an 18-year-old kidnapping and assault victim who fought for justice in a case that changed America.

"Often justice doesn't prevail and many times it does. It's important to tell the stories when justice wins," said "Miranda's Victim" director Michelle Danner.

From fighting for justice to saving the environment, there are plenty of films on tap.

"Bringing Back Our Wetlands" documents a real-life environmental success story at UC Santa Barbara.

For 10 years, director Michael Love followed students and staff as they worked to transform a golf course back into a natural wetland.

"That is the crux of my filmmaking—to try to tell stories that inspire people to take environmental action and to actually see people making a difference. The north campus open space is once again home to endangered plant species as wildlife returns to the area," said Love.

The film festival runs through February 18.

More movie screenings, filmmaker Q&As, industry panels, and celebrity tributes are in store.

Actress Angela Bassett is set to receive the Montecito Award Thursday. Cate Blanchett will be honored as the outstanding performer of the year on Friday, and on Saturday Jamie Lee Curtis will receive the Maltin Modern Master Award.

A complete list of SBIFF events can be found here.