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Santa Barbara Film Festival Announces 2018 Slate, Will Open with Emilio Estevez’s ‘the public’

SBIFF director Roger Durling is committed to carrying on with its 33rd annual program, even after deadly mudslides rocked the region.

“Oh Lucy!,” “Faces Places,” and “Icarus”

Photos courtesy of NHK, Le Pacte, and Netflix

Despite the devastating mudslides that overwhelmed the Santa Barbara, California community of Montecito last week — resulting in at least 20 deaths and the destruction of 100-plus homes — the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) will go on as usual. A reason to celebrate is “needed now more than ever,” wrote SBIFF director Roger Durling in a letter soon to be shared with festival-goers. He continued, “It is an opportunity for people to gather – reflect – experience – feel – and process,” noting that cinema attendance was strong during the Great Depression.

Launched in 1986, this year’s SBIFF will include films from 58 countries. Numbered among its 45 world premieres is opening night film “the public,” the first feature written and directed by Emilio Estevez since 2010’s “The Way.” Set at a Cincinnati public library, the film follows its homeless and marginalized patrons during a dangerous cold spell. The cast includes Alec Baldwin, Jena Malone (“Neon Demon”), Christian Slater (“Mr. Robot”), Taylor Schilling (“Orange Is The New Black”), Gabrielle Union (“Almost Christmas”), Jeffrey Wright (“Westworld”), and Estevez. The closing night film has yet to be announced, but Amazon Studios will sponsor the festival’s bookending galas.

SBIFF will run from January 31 through February 10. On each of the festival’s 11 days, Durling wrote that the first responder and other organizations working to combat the effects of the mudslides will be spotlighted. Several stars will also be honored for their Oscar-contending work, including Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”), Willem Dafoe (“The Florida Project”), and Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri).”

Scroll down for the full line-up.


23 World Premiere Feature Films

“A Sniper’s War,” USA, Ukraine, Russia (Directed by Olya Schechter)

“Acid Horizon,” USA (Directed by Ivan Hurzeler)

“Broke: The Santa Barbara Oil Pipeline Spill of 2015,” USA (Directed by Gail Osherenko)

“Chasing the Thunder,” USA (Directed by Mark Benjamin and Marc Levin)

“The Doctor From India,” USA (Directed by Jeremy Frindel)

“The End of Meat (Eine welt ohne fleisch),” Germany (Directed by Marc Pierschel)

“The Independents,” USA (Directed by Greg Naughton)

“Living in the Futures Past,” USA (Directed by Susan Kucera)

“Making Babies,” USA (Directed by Josh Huber)

“Metamorphosis,” Canada (Directed by Nova Ami and Velcrow Ripper)

“My Indiana Muse,” USA (Directed by Ric and Jen Serena)

“¡Oh Mamy Blue!,” Spain (Directed by Antonio Hens)

“Off the Menu,” USA (Directed by Jay Silverman)

“One Last Night,” USA (Directed by Anthony Sabet)

“the public,” USA (Directed by Emilio Estevez)

“The Push,” USA (Directed by Grant Korgan)

“Scotch: A Golden Dream,” USA (Directed by Andrew Peat)

“Silicon Beach,” USA (Directed by Max Gold)

“Threesome (Le trip à trois),” Canada (Directed by Nicolas Monette)

“Waiting for the Drop: Rise of the Superstar DJs,” USA (Directed by Alexei Barrionuevo)

“The War in Between,” USA (Directed by Riccardo Ferraris)

“We Are Galapagos,” USA (Directed by Kum-Kum Bhavnani)

“The White Orchid,” USA (Directed by Steve Anderson)


46 U.S. Premiere Feature Films

“3 Things (3 ting),” Denmark (Directed by Jens Dahl)

“A Land Without Borders,” Israel (Directed by Michael Alalu and Nir Baram)

“Adventures in Public School,” Canada (Directed by Kyle Rideout)

“Before I Forget (Antes que eu me esqueça),” Brazil (Directed by Tiago Arakilian)

“Beyond – An African Surf Documentary,” Austria (Directed by Mario Hainzl)

“Beyond Dreams (Dröm vidare),” Sweden (Directed by Rojda Serkersöz)

“Big Wata,” Netherlands (Directed by Jan Paul Van der Velden)

“Bingo: The King of the Mornings (Bingo: O rei das manhãs),” Brazil (Directed by Daniel Rezende)

“Black Kite,” Canada, Afghanistan (Directed by Tarique Qayumi)

“The Butterfly Tree,” Australia (Directed by Priscilla Cameron)

“Cardinals,” Canada (Directed by Grayson Moore and Aidan Shipley)

“Catch the Wind (Prendre le large),” France (Directed by Gaël Morel)

“Darling,” Denmark (Directed by Birgitte Stærmose)

“Daybreak (Dita zë fill),” Albania (Directed by Gentian Koçi)

“The Double Lover (L’amant double),” France (Directed by François Ozon)

“Edie,” UK (Directed by Simon Hunter)

“The Eternal Road (Ikitie),” Finland (Directed by Antti-Jussi Annila)

“Euthanizer (Armomurhaaja),” Finland (Directed by Teemu Nikki)

“The Faithful Son (La part sauvage),” Belgium (Directed by Guérin van de Vorst)

“Fence Your Best,” Israel (Directed by Liat Mer)

“Fifty Springtimes (Aurore),” France (Directed by Blandine Lenoir)

“Filthy (Spina),” Czech Republic, Slovakia (Directed by Tereza Nvotová)

“Get the Weed (Misión no oficial),” Uruguay (Directed by Denny Brechner, Alfonso Guerrero and Marcos Hecht)

“Giant (Handia),” Spain (Directed by Jon Garaño and Aitor Arregi)

“Grace and Splendor (Donaire y esplendor),” Panama (Directed by Arturo Montenegro)

“Grand Cru,” Canada (Directed by David Eng)

“Guerrero,” Mexico (Directed by Ludovic Bonleux)

“Imposed Piece (Opgelegd Werk),” Belgium (Directed by Brecht Vanhoenacker)

“In Love and In Hate (Los que aman, odian),” Argentina (Directed by Alejandro Maci)

“The Island,” Israel (Directed by Adam Weingrod)

“The Last Suit (El último traje),” Argentina (Directed by Pablo Solarz)

“Maracaibo,” Argentina (Directed by Miguel Angel Rocca)

“Mary Goes Round,” Canada (Directed by Molly McGlynn)

“Meditation Park,” Canada (Directed by Mina Shum)

“Modified,” Canada (Directed by Aube Giroux)

“The Order of Things (L’ordine delle cose),” Italy (Directed by Andrea Segre)

“Sad Hill Unearthed,” Spain (Directed by Guillermo de Oliveira)

“Secret Ingredient (Iscelitel),” Greece (Directed by Gjorce Stavreski)

“Soviet Hippies, Estonia, Germany,” Finland (Directed by Terje Toomistu)

“Sunshine That Can Move Mountains,” China (Directed by Qiang Wang)

“Star Boys (Kaiken se kestää),” Sweden (Directed by Visa Koiso-Kanttila)

“The Swan (Svanurinn),” Iceland, Estonia, Germany (Directed by Ása Hjörleifsdóttir)

“The Unseen (Los últimos),” Argentina (Directed by Nicolás Puenzo)

“Unwanted (T’padashtun),” Kosovo, Netherlands (Directed by Edon Rizvanolli)

“Wall,” Canada (Directed by Cam Christiansen)

“While We Live (Mens vi lever),” Denmark (Directed by Mehdi Avaz)


Non-Premiere Feature Films

“All You Can Eat Buddha,” Canada, Cuba (Directed by Ian Lagarde)

“Angels Wear White (Jia nian hua),” China, France (Directed by Vivian Qu)

“Arrhythmia (Aritmiya),” Russia, Finland, Germany (Directed by Boris Khlebnikov)

“Back to Burgundy (Ce qui nous lie),” France (Directed by Cédric Klapisch)

“Beartrek,” USA, Canada, Indonesia, Peru (Directed by Chris Morgan and Joe Pontecorvo)

“Blue,” Australia (Directed by Karina Holden)

“Borg vs. McEnroe,” Sweden, Denmark, Finland (Directed by Janus Metz)

“Breath (Nafas),” Iran (Directed by Narges Abyar)

“Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey,” USA, Canada, China (Directed by Dave O’Leske)

“Elish’s Notebooks,” Israel (Directed by Golan Rise)

“The Essential Link – The Story of Wilfred Israel,” Israel (Directed by Yonatan Nir)

“Faces Places (Visages, villages),” France (Directed by JR and Agnès Varda)

“The Future Ahead (El futuro que viene),” Argentina (Directed by Constanza Novick)

“The Gospel According to André,” USA (Directed by Kate Novack)

“Gutland,” Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium (Directed by Govinda Van Maele)

“Holy Camp! (La Llamada),” Spain (Directed by Javier Ambrossi and Javier Calvo)

“Hotel Salvation (Mukti Bhawan),” India (Directed by Shubhashish Bhutiani)

“Icarus,” USA (Directed by Bryan Fogel)

“In Syria (Insyriated),” Belgium, France, Lebanon (Directed by Philippe Van Leeuw)

“The Insult (L’insulte),” Lebanon (Directed by Ziad Doueiri)

“Just Like Our Parents,” Brazil (Directed by Laís Bodanzky)

“Killer Bees,” USA (Directed by Ben and Orson Cummings)

“Kim Swims,” USA (Directed by Kate Webber)

“Leaning Into the Wind: Andy Goldsworthy,” USA (Directed by Thomas Riedelsheimer)

“The Line (Čiara),” Slovakia, Ukraine (Directed by Peter Bebjak)

“Love Means Zero,” USA (Directed by Jason Kohn)

“Miracle on 42nd Street,” USA (Directed by Alice Elliott)

“Montana,” Israel (Directed by Limor Shmila)

“Nelson Algren Live,” USA (Directed by Oscar Bucher)

“Oh Lucy!,” USA, Japan (Directed by Atsuko Hirayanagi)

“The Party,” USA (Directed by Sally Potter)

“Point of No Return,” USA (Directed by Quinn Kanaly and Noel Dockstader)

“The Quartette (Kvarteto),” Czech Republic (Directed by Miroslav Krobot)

“Racer and the Jailbird (Le fidèle),” Belgium (Directed by Michaël R. Roskam)

“Scaffolding (Pigumim),” Israel, Poland (Directed by Matan Yair)

“Scary Mother,” Georgia, Estonia (Directed by Ana Urushadze)

“Skid Row Marathon,” USA (Directed by Mark Hayes)

“Sky and Ground,” USA, Serbia/Montenegro, Macedonia, Hungary, Greece, Germany, Austria (Directed by Talya Tibbon and Joshua Bennett)

“Something New (Qualcosa di nuovo),” Italy (Directed by Cristina Comencini)

“Soufra, Singapore,” USA, Lebanon (Directed by Thomas A. Morgan)

“The Starry Sky Above Me, (Le ciel étoilé au-dessus de ma tête),” France (Directed by Ilan Klipper)

“Streetlight Harmonies,” USA (Directed by Brent Wilson)

“The Third Murder, (Sandome no Satsujin),” Japan (Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda)

“Tulipani: Love, Honour and a Bicycle (Tulipani: Liefde, Eer en een Fiets),” Netherlands (Directed by Mike van Diem)

“Triumph: The Untold Story of Perry Wallace,” USA (Directed by Rich Gentile)

“Under the Tree (Undir Trénu),” Iceland, Denmark, Poland and Germany (Directed by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson)

“Wife and Husband (Moglie e marito),” Italy (Directed by Simone Godano)

“You Disappear (Du forsvinder),” Denmark, Sweden (Directed by Peter Schønau Fog)


Short Films (22 World Premieres/7 U.S. Premieres)

“72%,” Spain – US Premiere (Directed by Lluis Quilez)

“Abroad,” USA – World Premiere (Directed by Zayn Alexandar)

“Aeris,” USA (Directed by Paul Castro Jr.)

“Afterwork,” Spain, Peru, Ecuador – World Premiere (Directed by Luis Uson)

“The Artist & The Great Bear,” USA – World Premiere (Directed by Jeff Mcloughlin)

“As Long As It Takes (Le temps qu’il faut),” Canada (Directed by Abeille Tard)

“Audition,” USA (Directed by Richard Van)

“Bargain,” USA – World Premiere (Directed by Clifford Miu)

“Basha Man,” China (Directed by Daniel Chein)

“Bigfoot’s Love Slave,” USA (Directed by Heather Tom)

“The Cannonball Woman, (La femme canon),” France, Switzerland, Canada – US Premiere (Directed by David Toutevoix and Albertine Zullo)

“Cascarón,” USA – World Premiere (Directed by Casey McGarry)

“Catacomb,” USA – World Premiere (Directed by Alex Z. Avila)

“Couch for Sale,” USA – World Premiere (Directed by Takashi Doscher)

“Cowboy of Mount Laurier (Le cowboy du mont Laurier),” Canada – US Premiere (Directed by Gabriel Vilandré)

“Crossing the Channel,” USA – World Premiere (Directed by Ryan Slattery)

“Cuba: Music Revolution,” USA (Directed by Juan Ponce de León)

“Dancing with Dragons,” USA, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Mexico, Belize (Directed by Mark Romanov)

“Don’t Mind Alice,” USA – World Premiere (Directed by Maude Apatow and Olivia Rosenbloom)

“The Driver Is Red,” USA (Directed by Randall Christopher)

“Field Song (Canción de Campo),” USA (Directed by Brad Bischoff)

“Fern,” UK – US Premiere (Directed by Johnny Kelly)

“Ferryman at the Wall,” USA (Directed by David Freid)

“Fingerprints,” USA (Directed by Don Hardy)

“From Golf Course to Wetland,” USA – World Premiere (Directed by Michael Love)

“Hide and Seek (Bújócska),” Hungary (Directed by Gábor Benő Baranyi)

“Home Shopper,” USA (Directed by Dev Patel)

“Hybrids,” France (Directed by Florian Brauch, Kim Tailhades, Matthieu Pujol, Romain Thirion and Yohan Thireau)

“Keep Calm and Tampon,” USA – World Premiere (Directed by Claudia Lonow)

“Killing Games: Wildlife in the Crosshairs,” USA (Directed by Camilla H. Fox)

“The Last Man You Meet,” USA (Directed by Chris Bone)

“Long Term Delivery,” USA – World Premiere (Directed by Jake Honig)

“Los Comandos,” USA (Directed by Joshua Bennett and Juliana Schatz-Preston)

“Lunch Ladies,” USA (Directed by J.M. Logan)

“Mariela,” UK (Directed by Victoria Romero)

“Martien,” Switzerland (Directed by Maxime Pillonel)

“Me, My Phone and I,” USA (Directed by Luke Mullen)

“Mi Dulcinea,” Cuba (Directed by Max Barbakow)

“Mott Haven,” USA (Directed by Kyle Morrison)

“Negative Space,” France (Directed by Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata)

“Online Shopping,” Iran (Directed by Ghasideh Golmakani)

“Out of the Ashes,” USA – World Premiere (Directed by Hallie Brown)

“Poles Apart,” USA (Directed by Paloma Baeza)

“Phototaxis,” USA (Directed by Melissa Ferrari”

“The Red Flag,” USA – World Premiere (Directed by Mike Winger)

“RFLKTR,” USA – World Premiere (Directed by Matt K. Turner)

“Santa Claus,” USA (Directed by Jeff Man)

“Sequin,” Taiwan – US Premiere (Directed by Yachi Yang)

“Siren Song: Women Singers of Pakistan,” USA, Pakistan, and India (Directed by Fawzia Afzal-Khan)

“Shadow Boxer (Skyggebokser),” Denmark – World Premiere (Directed by Andreas Bøggild Monies)

“Shark Bight,” USA – US Premiere (Directed by Stephanie Foster)

“The Shift,” USA (Directed by Elivia Shaw)

“Simularity,” USA (Directed by Ryan O’Nan)

“Soul of the City,” USA – World Premiere (Directed by John Klein)

“Souls of Totality,” USA (Directed by Richard Raymond)

“Space Butthole,” USA (Directed by David Chai)

“The Take Off,” USA – World Premiere (Directed by Ryan Kalil)

“The Tesla World Light, (Tesla: Lumière Mondiale),” Canada (Directed by Matthew Rankin)

“Tigerstyle,” United Kingdom, USA – World Premiere (Directed by Elliott Powell, Jordyn Romero, Paloma Young, Rachel Lattin, and Riani Singgih)

“The Tipping Point,” USA – World Premiere (Directed by Danielle Cohen)

“Toward the North (Hacia el norte),” USA (Directed by Jessica Chermayeff, and Joshua Bennett)

“Towards the Sun (Hacia el sol),” United Kingdom (Directed by Monica Santis)

“Two Balloons,” USA – US Premiere (Directed by Mark C. Smith)

“Under Her Wing,” USA (Directed by Keenan McGuckin)

“Undiscovered,” USA (Directed by Sara Litzenberger)

“Virtually Yours,” USA – World Premiere (Directed by Andrea Lithner)

“Wildlife and the Wall,” USA (Directed by Ben Masters)

“You Are Here,” United Kingdom (Directed by Nicholas Jones)

“Yours Sincerely,” Lois Weber, USA (Directed by Svetlana Cvetko)

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