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Save the Date February 7 - 17, 2024
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Black Tie International Magazine:
Santa Barbara 39th International Film Festival

Santa Barbara Film Festival

Santa Barbara, CA. (Tuesday, January 16, 2024) –The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) announced today the highly anticipated lineup for the 39th edition, which will run February 7 to 17, 2024. The festival will showcase 45 world premieres and 77 U.S. premieres from 48 countries, along with tributes featuring the year’s top talent, panel discussions, and free community education and outreach programs.
“We have a wonderfully eclectic program this year from 48 countries around the world,” said Claudia Puig, Programming Director of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. “We are especially proud that half of our slate of films are directed by women, and a large percentage by under-represented filmmakers. We know there will be something for everyone at our festival-- and likely quite a lot for most.  Nearly three-quarters of the films we’re showcasing have never been seen before in the US. We're excited to introduce these films to audiences and thrilled that filmmakers from nearly every continent will be on hand to meet those attending SBIFF, and share in the communal love of film."



SBIFF 2024 will kick off  on Opening Night Wednesday, February 7 with the World Premiere of the documentary MADU directed by Matt Ogens and Joel 'Kachi Benson. Both directors will be joining us in-person.

From practicing barefoot on the streets of Lagos to performing on stage in England, twelve-year-old Anthony Madu leaves his home in Nigeria to study at one of the most prestigious ballet schools in the world. Anthony, who had barely left his neighborhood in Lagos, finds himself thrust into a new world where his wildest dream is suddenly within reach. His journey is a story of extraordinary obstacles, courage, growth, and ultimately, his search for belonging.




SBIFF 2024 will close on Saturday, February 17 with the World Premiere of CHOSEN FAMILY directed by Heather Graham and starring Heather Graham, Julia Stiles, Thomas Lennon, and Michael Gross. Director and cast will be joining us in-person.

Yoga teacher Ann is trying to find inner peace despite having a manic family, a miserable dating life, and an inability to say no that keeps her busy trying to fix everyone else's problems.




SBIFF is an important showcase for Academy Award frontrunners, many of whom have arrived as nominees and gone on to win the Oscar. The 39th SBIFF proudly celebrates some of the year’s finest work in film. All tributes will be in person at the historic Arlington Theatre.


·         Outstanding Performer of the Year Award sponsored by Deadline honoring Bradley Cooper - Thursday, February 8 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Pete Hammond.

·         Maltin Modern Master Award Presented by Manitou Fund honoring Robert Downey Jr. - Friday, February 9 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Leonard Maltin.

·         Virtuosos Award honoring Danielle Brooks (The Color Purple), Colman Domingo (The Color Purple & Rustin), America Ferrera (Barbie), Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon), Greta Lee (Past Lives), Charles Melton (May December), Da’Vine Joy Randolph (The Holdovers), and Andrew Scott (All of Us Strangers) - Saturday, February 10 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Dave Karger.

·         Variety Artisans Award sponsored by Variety - Sunday, February 11 at 11:00am. Honorees to be announced. Moderated by Jazz Tangcay.

·         American Riviera Award honoring Mark Ruffalo - Sunday, February 11 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Anne Thompson.

·         Outstanding Directors of the Year Award sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter - Monday, February 12 at 8:00pm. Honorees to be announced. Moderated by Scott Feinberg.

·         Montecito Award honoring Jeffrey Wright - Thursday, February 15 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Roger Durling.

·         Cinema Vanguard Award honoree and date to be announced




SBIFF is renowned for creating smart, insightful panels that feature a who’s who in the world of filmmaking, including many Oscar contenders. Returning will be our annual Producers, Writers, Women’s and International Panels. All Panels will be in person at the historic Arlington Theatre. Panelists, dates and times to be announced.




SBIFF Poster Designed by Acclaimed Artist Angela Perko

The 2024 SBIFF poster was painted by acclaimed artist and Santa Barbara resident Angela Perko. Like many women artists, Angela started painting later in life, after her children were older and the family business was well established. Angela and her husband own a rare bookstore, and she credits exposure to art books for sparking her interest in painting. Although she studied plein-air painting with Santa Barbara artist Michael Drury, she is essentially a self taught artist. The Canadian Group of Seven greatly influenced her early work, as well as many of the Santa Fe artists. A trip to the Yucatán had profound impact and motifs of ancient art and popular Mexican art began to appear in her work. Currently her work explores where nature and culture intersect over time and place.


Mike’s FieldTrip to the Movies – Named for renowned nature cinematographer Mike deGruy, Mike’s FieldTrip to the Movies uses filmmaking to nurture creative, confident, and culturally aware thinkers. This year’s program will be offered to 4,000+ 4th--6th grade students from Title I (low-income) schools throughout Santa Barbara County. This year will feature two in-person Q&As; Directors Joaquim Dos Santos, Justin K. Thompson, and Kemp Powers following SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE and Director Peter Sohn following ELEMENTAL. Sponsored by Montecito Bank & Trust, US Bank, Yardi, Bentson Foundation, Volentine Family Foundation.


Film Studies Program – The Film Studies Program will invite 30 undergraduate film students from across the country to the Film Festival where they'll take part in a packed curriculum that turns the festival into an interactive classroom. Participants receive priority access to the films, panels, filmmaker seminars, tributes, as well as intimate Q&As with filmmakers.


10–10–10 Student Screenwriting and Filmmaking Mentorship and Competition – The 10-10-10 Program is made up of 20 area high school and college screenwriters and filmmakers. This year’s program includes filmmaking workshops, individual mentorship, and access to casting, visual effects, producing and sound mentors. The student screenwriters and directors are paired together and guided through the process of taking a film from script to screen. Sponsored by Kaleidoscope Productions.


Free Filmmaker Seminars – SBIFF will again present seminars with filmmakers premiering at this year’s festival. These seminars will be FREE to the public and will take place on each weekday during the Festival at Tamsen Gallery at 911 1/2 State Street.


The ADL Stand Up Award sponsored by ADL Santa Barbara/Tri-Counties – This award will be presented to a dramatic film in the festival that represents an important message consistent with ADL’s efforts "to secure justice and fair treatment for all." The winner will be announced during the Festival.


The ASC Award for Cinematography sponsored by The American Society of Cinematographers has been added to the list of SBIFF's 2024 awards and will recognize a film with exceptional visual composition that advances the art and science of cinematography and promotes the motion picture as an art form.


2024 FILMS


Below is the list of feature and short films at the 2024 SBIFF. For the complete list of films, synopses, and other special events please visit or the SBIFF app.


19 WORLD PREMIERE FEATURE FILMS (listed alphabetically)


76 Days

Directed by Joe Wein

United States


Alien Contact

Directed by Rick Rosenthal

United States


Art and Life: The Story of Jim Phillips

Directed by John Edward Makens


Books & Drinks

Directed by Geoffrey Cowper

Dominican Republic


Chosen Family

Directed by Heather Graham

United States



Directed by Basil Mironer

United States


Diving into the Darkness

Directed by Nays Baghai




Directed by Hala Matar



The Fight for Black Lives

Directed by Micere Keels

United States


Giants Rising

Directed by Lisa Landers

United States


God & Country

Directed by Dan Partland

United States



Directed by Sylwia Rosak



The Long Game

Directed by Jace Anderson

United States



Directed by Matt Ogens, Joel 'Kachi Benson

United States, Nigeria, United Kingdom


The Movie Man

Directed by Matt Finlin




Directed by Kate Cobb

United States


Running for the Mountains

Directed by Babette Hogan, Julie Eisenberg

United States


Send Kelp!

Directed by Blake McWilliam




Directed by Michael Fiore

United States


56 U.S. PREMIERE FEATURE FILMS (listed alphabetically)



Directed by Farhad Delaram

Iran, France Germany



Directed by Wregas Bhanuteja



Atikamekw Suns

Directed by Chloé Leriche



The Ballad of a Hustler

Directed by Heitor Dhalia

United States, Brazil


Before It Ends (Når befrielsen kommer)

Directed by Anders Walter



Birthday Girl

Directed by Michael Noer



The Blue Star (La estrella azul)

Directed by Javier Macipe

Spain, Argentina


Cinema Laika

Directed by Veljko Vidak

France, Finland


Cold (Kuldi)

Directed by Erlingur Thoroddsen



Cold Sigh

Directed by Nahid Azizi Sedigh




Directed by Austin Stark, Joseph Schuman

United States


Crush: Message in a Bottle

Directed by Maya Gallus



Dance First

Directed by James Marsh

United Kingdom


Days of Happiness

Directed by Chloé Robichaud



Dear Jassi

Directed by Tarsem Singh Dhandwar



Disconnect Me

Directed by Alex Lykos



Edge of Everything

Directed by Sophia Sabella, Pablo Feldman

United States


El paraiso

Directed by Enrico Maria Artale




Directed by

Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Estonia


Excursion (Ekskurzija)

Directed by Una Gunjak


Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, France, Norway, Qatar


French Girl

Directed by James A. Woods, Nicolas Wright



Good Savage

Directed by Santiago Mohar Volkow



Green Night

Directed by Han Shuai

Hong Kong



Directed by Luna Carmoon

United Kingdom


Homecoming (Máhccan)

Directed by Suvi West, Anssi Kömi

Finland, Norway


I'm Just Here for the Riot

Directed by Asia Youngman, Kathleen Jayme



The King Tide

Directed by Christian Sparkes



The Last Daughter

Directed by Brenda Matthews, Nathaniel Schmidt



The Last Movie

Directed by Olaug Spissøy Kyvik



Let Me Go (Laissez-moi)

Directed by Maxime Rappaz




Directed by Christina Ioakeimidi




Directed by Kim Tae-yang

South Korea


The Movie Teller

Directed by Lone Scherfig

Spain, France, Chile


Mr. Freeman

Directed by Mads Matthiesen



Much Ado About Dying

Directed by Simon Chambers



On Earth as in Heaven (Sur la terre comme au ciel)

Directed by Nathalie Saint-Pierre



On the Edge (État limite)

Directed by Nicolas Peduzzi



The Other Son

Directed by Juan Sebastián Quebrada

Colombia, France, Argentina


Over the Cracks (Sous le tapis)

Directed by Camille Japy




Directed by Ivan Ostrochovský, Pavel Pekarčík

Slovakia, Czech Republic, Ukraine


Point of Change

Directed by Rebecca Coley

United Kingdom, United States, Australia and Indonesia


Prison in the Andes (Penal Cordillera)

Directed by Felipe Carmona

Chile, Brazil


Queen of Bones

Directed by Robert Budreau

United States



A Ravaging Wind

Directed by Paula Hernández

Argentina, Uruguay


The Reeds

Directed by Cemil Ağacıkoğlu




Directed by Adrian Goiginger

Austria, Germany


The Rooster

Directed by Mark Leonard Winter




Directed by Meredith Hama-Brown



Snow Leopard (雪豹)

Directed by Pema Tseden




Directed by Linsey Stewart, Dane Clark



That They May Face the Rising Sun

Directed by Pat Collins



The Tundra Within Me (Eallogierdu)

Directed by Sara Margrethe Oskal




Directed by Caroline Ingvarsson

United Kingdom


Until the Music is Over (Até que a Música Pare)

Directed by Cristiane Oliveira

Brazil, Italy



Directed by Paul Middleditch, Hamish Bennett

New Zealand


The Vourdalak

Directed by Adrien Beau



NON PREMIERE FEATURE FILMS (listed alphabetically)



Directed by Giovanni Fumu

South Korea, United States


All You Hear is Noise

Directed by Ned Castle, Matt Day

United States


Another Happy Day

Directed by Nora Fiffer

United States



Directed by Kenji Tsukamoto

United States


Blaga's Lessons (Urotcite na Blaga)

Directed by Stephan Komandarev



Brothers (Bratři)

Directed by Tomáš Mašín

Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia


Bye Bye Tiberias

Directed by Lina Soualem

France, Palestine, Belgium, Qatar


City of Wind (Sèr sèr salhi)

Directed by Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir

Mongolia, Portugal, Netherlands, Germany, Qatar, France


The Contestant

Directed by Clair Titley

United Kingdom


Copa 71

Directed by Rachel Ramsay, James Erskine

United Kingdom


The Cowboy and the Queen

Directed by Andrea Nevins

United States


Eat Bitter

Directed by Pascale Appora-Gnekindy, Ningyi Sun

Central African Republic, China



Directed by Tony Goldwyn

United States


First Time Female Director

Directed by Chelsea Peretti

United States


First We Bombed New Mexico

Directed by Lois Lipman

United States


Fresh Kills

Directed by Jennifer Esposito

United States


A Happy Day

Directed by Hisham Zaman



I'll Be Right There

Directed by Brendan Walsh

United States


In the Rearview

Directed by

Poland, France, Ukraine



Directed by James Napier Robertson

New Zealand, Poland


La Extorsión

Directed by Martino Zaidelis

Argentina, USA



Directed by Ivan Sen



A Look Through His Lens

Directed by Matthew Berkowitz, Gregory Hoblit

United States, France, Ireland, United Kingdom


Lucha: A Wrestling Tale

Directed by Marco Ricci

United States


Mourning in Lod

Directed by Hilla Medalia

United States


One Life

Directed by James Hawes

United Kingdom


Pet Shop Days

Directed by Olmo Schnabel

United States, Italy, United Kingdom, Mexico


Seven Blessings

Directed by Ayelet Menahemi



Shari & Lamb Chop

Directed by Lisa D'Apolito

United States


Show Her the Money

Directed by Ky Dickens

United States



Directed by Apolline Traoré

Burkina Faso, France, Germany, Senegal



Directed by Ninna Pálmadóttir



Sorry/Not Sorry

Directed by Caroline Suh, Cara Mones

United States


The Taste of Things

Directed by Trần Anh Hùng



Thank You Very Much

Directed by Alex Braverman

United States



Directed by Claudia Sanchez

United States


We Are Guardians

Directed by Edivan Guajajara, Chelsea Greene, Rob Grobman

United States, Brazil


We Grown Now

Directed by Minhal Baig

United States


Wicked Little Letters

Directed by Thea Sharrock

United Kingdom


Without Air

Directed by Katalin Moldovai



2024 SBIFF SHORT FILMS - (listed alphabetically)




Directed by Marissa Chibás

United States

World Premiere



Directed by Rachel Burnett

United States

World Premiere


The ABCs of Book Banning

Directed by Sheila Nevins

United States


Above & Within

Directed by Patrick Hall

United States

World Premiere


Alarms (Apnées)

Directed by Nicolas Panay


US Premiere


And Now I Lay Me Down

Directed by Rani DeMuth

United States

World Premiere


Area Boy

Directed by Iggy London

United Kingdom

US Premiere


The Ballad of Tita and the Machines

Directed by Miguel Angel Caballero

United States


Basri and Salma in a Never-ending Comedy (Basri & Salma dalam Komedi yang Terus Berputar)

Directed by Khozy Rizal



A Bird Called Memory (Pássaro Memória)

Directed by Leonardo Martinelli

Brazil, United Kingdom

US Premiere


The Birthday Party (Il compleanno di Enrico)

Directed by Francesco Sossai

Germany, France, Italy

US Premiere


A Body Called Life

Directed by Spencer MacDonald

United States

World Premiere



Directed by Genevieve Aniello

United States

World Premiere


Breaking Silence

Directed by Amy Bench, Annie Silverstein

United States


The Breakthrough

Directed by Daniel Sinclair

United States



Directed by Yann Mounir Demange

France, United Kingdom

US Premiere


Dog Apartment (Koerkorter)

Directed by Priit Tender



Don't Cry, Gabriel (Pleure pas Gabriel)

Directed by Mathilde Chavanne


US Premiere


Farms and Tables

Directed by Taylor Scott Mason, Noah Forbes

United States

World Premiere


Forget Me Again

Directed by Noah Freeman Hecht

United States

World Premiere



Directed by Joel Novoa, Marilu Godinez

United States

World Premiere


The Golden West

Directed by Tom Berkeley, Ross White



Good Boy

Directed by Tom Stuart

United Kingdom

US Premiere



Directed by Morgan Gould

United States

World Premiere


Gorgo (Γοργώ)

Directed by Veniamin Gialouris


US Premiere


Greetings From Summerland

Directed by Joey Szalkiewicz, Harry Rabin

United States

World Premiere


Help Me Understand

Directed by Aemilia Scott

United States


I'm on Fire

Directed by Michael Spiccia

United States


In the Shadow of the Cypress (Dar saaye sarv)

Directed by Hossein Molayemi, Shirin Sohani


US Premiere



Directed by Francesca de Fusco

Italy, United States

US Premiere


Jane Austen's Period Drama

Directed by Julia Aks, Steve Pinder

United States

World Premiere



Directed by Aner Etxebarria Moral




Directed by Adela Kaczmarek


US Premiere


Making Babies (Faire un enfant)

Directed by Eric K. Boulianne



A Man's Man

Directed by Myles Desenberg

United Kingdom

US Premiere


Marungka Tjalatjunu (Dipped in black)

Directed by Matthew Thorne, Derik Lynch



The Meatseller

Directed by Margherita Giusti

US Premiere



Directed by Sam Roebling

United States


My Dead Dad

Directed by Abby Ellis, Erik Osterholm

United States

World Premiere


Nada De Todo Esto

Directed by Patricio Martínez, Francisco Cantón

Argentina, Spain, United Statess

US Premiere


Next Train Out

Directed by Darby Naughton

United States

World Premiere


Nine Lives

Directed by Jessie Davidson

United States

World Premiere


Nun or Never!

Directed by Heta Jäälinoja



On the 8th Day (Au 8ème Jour)

Directed by Agathe Sénéchal, Alicia Massez, Elise Debruyne, Flavie Carin, Théo Duhautois


US Premiere


The Orchestra Chuck Built

Directed by Christopher Stoudt

United States


Our Neighbors, the Peacocks

Directed by Callie Barlow

United States

World Premiere



Directed by Marcela Heilbron


World Premiere


Primero, Sueño

Directed by Andrés Lira

United States


Relationship to Patient

Directed by Caroline Creaghead

United States

World Premiere


Relighting Candles: The Tim Sullivan Story

Directed by Zeberiah Newman, Michiel Thomas

United States


The Salt on Our Skin

Directed by Alessandra Puig-Santana, Reese Raygoza, Lukas Olesinski, Tess McCormick, Audrey Engelsgjerd, Michelle Truong

United States

World Premiere


Save the Cat

Directed by Jordan Matthew Horowitz

United States

World Premiere


Savi the Cat

Directed by Bryan Tucker, Netsie Tjirongo

United States


Sea Salt

Directed by Leila Basma

Czech Republic, Lebanon, Qatar

US Premiere


Seasons (·)

Directed by Xin Li


World Premiere



Directed by Mariame N'Diaye


US Premiere


The Skates

Directed by Halima Ouardiri



Sludge: A PFAS Uprising

Directed by Jeffrey Christian

United States

World Premiere


Someone Lied on the Roommate Form

Directed by Najee Werners

United States

World Premiere


Someone's Trying to Get in

Directed by Colin Nixon


World Premiere


Taking Back the Groove

Directed by Celia Aniskovich

United States


The Voice of Others (La voix des autres)

Directed by Fatima Kaci


US Premiere


Two Cents & A Footlong

Directed by Kanin Guntzelman

United States

World Premiere



Directed by Caroline Renard

United States

World Premiere


Wander to Wonder

Directed by Nina Gantz

Netherlands, France, Belgium

US Premiere


Where the Sun Always Shines

Directed by Rosie Baldwin

United Kingdom


Wild Summon

Directed by Karni Arieli, Saul Freed

United Kingdom


Will You Remember Me?

Directed by Will Dowler

United States

World Premiere



Directed by Mackenzie Davis

United Kingdom

US Premiere




The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. Over the past 39 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States – attracting 100,000 attendees and offering 11 days of 200+ films, tributes, and symposiums, fulfilling their mission to engage, enrich, and inspire the Santa Barbara community through film.


Sponsors of the 39th SBIFF include: Manitou Fund, Black Market Spirits, DAOU Vineyards, Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Panavision, Santa Barbara City, US Bank, Montecito Bank & Trust, Yardi, Kaleidoscope Productions, ADL Santa Barbara/Tri-Counties, American Society of Cinematographers, John C. Mithun Foundation, Audrey Hillman Fisher Foundation, Northern Trust, Netflix, Visit The Santa Ynez Valley, Bentson Foundation, Volentine Family Foundation, Toad&Co, Topa Topa Brewing Company, Boxed Water Is Better, Saige Private Wealth, El Encanto and many more generous supporters.


SBIFF continues its commitment to education and the community throughout many free educational programs and events. In 2016, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre. After a capital campaign and renovation, the theatre is now SBIFF’s new state-of-the-art, year-round home, showing new international and independent films every day. In 2019, SBIFF opened its own Education Center in downtown Santa Barbara on State Street to serve as a home for its many educational programs and a place for creativity and learning.


gerard Mc Keon

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