Santa Barbara Film Festival 2016

From Feb. 3 through 13, the 31st edition of this renowned film festival will showcase some of the very best independent and international cinema.


Film lovers rejoice – the Santa Barbara International Film Festival has returned.

For 11 days, SBIFF will offer hundreds of films – not to mention a number of tributes and symposiums – transforming downtown Santa Barbara into the premier spot for cinephiles and art lovers alike. More than 90,000 people attend each year, many of them faithfully. A variety of ticket packages are available here.

The festival kicks off with “The Little Prince” at 8 p.m. on opening night. Featuring the voices of Jeff Bridges, Paul Rudd, Rachel McAdams, Ricky Gervais and James Franco, this delightful animated film is based on the beloved classic of the same name by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

On Thursday night, the Maltin Modern Master Award will honor Johnny Depp for his performance as the notorious gangster Whitey Bulger in the film “Black Mass.” Established in 1995, the Modern Master Award pays tribute to a performer with proven accomplishments in the film industry.

For 11 days, Santa Barbara will host its renowned international film festival. For 11 days, Santa Barbara will host its renowned international film festival.

Sunday, Feb. 7 will see the premier of the festival’s centerpiece film, “Knight of Cups” by legendary auteur director Terrence Malick. With performances by Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett and Brian Dennehy, it is one of the festival’s most talked about films.

Sylvester Stallone will be presented with the Montecito Award on Tuesday, Feb. 9. Created to recognize an actor or actress who has given a series of classic or noteworthy performances throughout their career, Stallone is well deserving after his role in last year’s “Creed” reminded audiences of his undiminished talent.

SBIFF will close with “Marguerite,” a funny yet touching tale about a woman (Catherine Frot) who, wrongly convinced by well-intentioned family and friends that she has a spectacular singing voice, decides to give a very public performance.

A complete program guide can be found here.