Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced it’s going digital plus + drive-in theatre for its 36th festival, set for March 31 – April 10, 2021.
Festival organizers announced two beachside drive-in theaters will debut, presented by Toyota Mirai and hosted at Santa Barbara City College. They will include 80+ film screenings, all offered for FREE. RSVPing prior to arriving will be required.
“It’s imperative we bring a sense of hopefulness to 2021, but in the safest way possible,” says Roger Durling, SBIFF’s Executive Director. “A virtual component was a given but experiencing movies in socially distanced cars and being by the ocean felt oh so perfectly Santa Barbara, California.”
Passes for the 2021 Festival are now on sale, as are tickets for the celebrity tributes at http://sbiff.org.
In addition to the drive-ins, SBIFF will offer a full-scale, ticketed virtual component, which will include online film screenings, filmmaker Q&As, industry panels and celebrity tributes. To date, SBIFF has announced tribute honorees including Bill Murray, Sacha Baron Cohen, Amanda Seyfried, Riz Ahmed, Maria Bakalova, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Andra Day, Sidney Flanigan, Vanessa Kirby, Tahar Rahim, Zendaya, and Delroy Lindo. The tributes and industry panels will be aired live, over the festival’s virtual platform.
Santa Barbara Film Fest virtual + drive-in strategy is similar to other SoCal film festivals that have adapted to virtual + drive-in approach during pandemic, including OutFest which had a drive-in in Malibu, and San Diego International Film Festival with a drive-in at UTC La Jolla.
SBIFF programmers—who received a record number of film submissions this year—have assembled an impressive and diverse line-up that includes over 100 films, many of them World and US premieres. The film lineup and schedule will be announced in early March.
“We have poured all of our creativity into this plan and are very proud of the shape it is taking. SBIFF 2021 will be completely unique and marked by the excellence SBIFF is known for.”
SBIFF is known for film screenings and panels attracting top Hollywood talent to drive up from LA, with upscale film galas and parties at shopping plazas, art galleries, and other Santa Barbara venues. Last year’s gala was held at an outdoor shopping plaza with multiple food and drink stations, and performances under the stars.
For additional information or to buy passes, visit sbiff.org.
About the Santa Barbara International Film Festival
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 35 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.
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