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Santa Barbara Film Fest Names 2020 Winners

Honors were handed out today in Santa Barbara, wrapping the festival's 35th edition.

The Birdcatcher's Son

“The Birdcatcher’s Son”


The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has wrapped for 2020, concluding a slate that featured more than 120 world and American premieres, panels, tributes, and education programs. The festival has announced its award winners for the 35th edition, including the Audience Award, which went to Richard Hobert’s “The Birdcatcher’s Son.”

The films were chosen by jury members Jason Baffa, Max Barbakow, Lisa Black, Alex Carter, Geoff Green, Paul Kurta, Perry Lang, Artie Schmidt, Rita Taggart, Diego Tinoco, John Williams, and Anthony and Arnette Zerbe.

Among those who received tributes and honors in their respective categories were Renée Zellweger (American Riviera Award), Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver (Outstanding Performers of the Year Award), Laura Dern (Cinema Vanguard Award), Brad Pitt (Maltin Modern Master Award), along with the winners of the Virtuosos Award: Awkwafina, Taron Egerton, Cynthia Erivo, Beanie Feldstein, Aldis Hodge, George MacKay, Florence Pugh, and Taylor Russell.

Other notable events included a retrospective on the films of Bong Joon Ho, whose “Parasite” is a major Academy Award contender this year, and a 20th-anniversary screening of David O. Russell’s “Three Kings,” with the director on hand to discuss his Gulf War-era satire. The writer and producer panels also provided an opportunity for audiences to hear from some of this year’s top Oscar contenders.

The festival also announced its 2021 dates. The 36th edition will take place January 27 – February 6, 2021. See the full list of 2020 winners below.

Audience Choice Award
Richard Hobert’s “The Birdcatcher’s Son”

Best Documentary Short Film Award:
Henry Roosevelt’s “Sixth of June”

Bruce Corwin Award – Best Live-Action Short Film:
Jianna Maartin’s “Sin Cielo”

Bruce Corwin Award – Best Animated Short Film:
Jonathan Langager’s “Cosmic Fling”

Best Documentary Award sponsored by SEE International:
Brian Morrison’s “Bastards’ Road”

Jeffrey C. Barbakow Award – Best International Feature Film:
Fatos Berisha’s “The Flying Circus”

Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema:
William Nicholson’s “Hope Gap”

Nueva Vision Award for Spain/Latin America Cinema:
Gerardo Herrero’s “The Goya Murders”

Valhalla Award for Best Nordic Film:
Jesper W. Nielsen’s “The Exception”

ADL Stand Up Award sponsored by ADL Santa Barbara/Tri-Counties:
Lydia Dean Pilcher’s “Liberté: A Call to Spy”

Social Justice Award for Documentary Film:
Katherin Hervey’s “The Prison Within”

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