Santa Barbara International Film Fest Set for 20th Anniversary Event
by Eugene Hernandez
A special preview screening of Woody Allen's latest, "Melinda, Melinda," will kick-off the 2005 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, running January 28 - February 6, 2005 in California. Allen's new movie, described as a film in which the same love story is treated both comically and tragically, stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Will Ferrell, Jonny Lee Miller, Radha Mitchell, Amanda Peet, Chloë Sevigny and Wallace Shawn. The world premiere of "The Moguls" by Michael Traeger will close the festival. It is the story of a group of small town residents who join forces to make an adult film, with Jeff Bridges, Glenne Headley, Tim Blake Nelson, Joe Pantoliano, and Ted Danson.
9 world premieres and 11 U.S. premieres mark the 2005 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the 20th anniversary installment of the event. The centerpiece screening for this year's festival will be Jeff Arch's "Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys," with a cast that includes John Cleese, Dan Marino, and Barry.
Organizers will present tributes to Kevin Bacon, recipient of the Riviera Award, Leonardo DiCaprio, recipient of the Platinum Award, Kate Winslet, recipient of the Outstanding Performance prize and Annette Bening, recipient of the Montecito Award. A tribute to Sir David Attenborough will include the presentation of the first Attenborough Nature Filmmaker Award to the director.
Festival director Richard Durling and critic Elvis Mitchell will moderate "Conversations With," featuring chats with Javier Bardem, Laura Dern and Paul Giamatti. Among the panels already scheduled include the annual "Mover and Shakers" session, a screenwriting discussion entitled "It Starts with the Script," a "Directors on Directing" panel moderated by Peter Guber and a film scoring session.
Two silent films are set for the '05 fest, including Buster Keaton's "The General" and Alfred Hitchcock's "Blackmail." Both will feature music from the Alloy Orchestra. Sidebars set for the festival include "The Reel Ocean," offering nature films, while horror, suspense and anime from Asia will be screened in the "Cult Asian" section. Also on tap is "To the Maxx" with extreme sports films and a Latino film sidebar.
"This year is thrilling -- we have reached the milestone of our 20th anniversary! To celebrate a Festival that continues to grow by leaps and bounds each year, we have assembled our most ambitious program yet," said Durling in a statement. "Beginning with one of the most stellar Opening and Closing Nights, we will collaborate with local arts organizations for special presentations and offer a diverse selection of films ranging from Asian cult films to extreme sports."
World premieres include Victoria Holt's "A Walk of Wisdom," Dana Brown's "Dust to Glory," Lisa Lamm & Nancy Stern's "Emmanuel's Gift," Joe Berlinger's "Gray Matter," Greg Pritikin's "Surviving Eden," Gal Katzir's "The Works" and Barry Adrich's "The Last Mogul."
[ For more information and the complete lineup, please visit: http://www.sbfilmfestival.org. ]