Posted by Larry Gleeson

Following this morning’s Press Conference, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), announced its highly anticipated lineup for the 38th edition, which will run February 8 to 18, 2023. The festival will showcase 52 world premieres and 78 U.S. premieres from 43 countries, along with tributes featuring the year’s top talent, panel discussions, and free community education and outreach programs.

 SBIFF’s Executive Director Roger Durling stated this morning, “At a time where there’s a dwindling of movie theater attendance, the role of film festivals has never been more important. At SBIFF, with the 38th edition, our marching orders are clear, to celebrate movies and to nurture and exalt the film community, the artists as well as the cinephiles. It’s a great slate with 43 countries represented.”


SBIFF 2023 will kick off  on Opening Night Wednesday, February 8 with the WORLD Premiere of MIRANDA’S VICTIM. Directed by Michelle Danner and starring Abigail Breslin, Ryan Phillippe, Luke Wilson, Donald Sutherland, Mireille Enos and Andy Garcia.

It’s 1963 when eighteen-year-old Patricia “Trish” Weir is kidnapped and brutally raped at knife-point. Committed to putting Ernesto Miranda in prison, Trish’s life is destroyed by America’s legal system as she triggers a law that transforms the nation.


SBIFF 2023 will close on Saturday, February 18 with the US Premiere of I LIKE MOVIES. Directed by Chandler Levack and starring Isaiah Lehtinen, Romina D’Ugo, Krista Bridges, Percy Hynes White.

Lawrence, a socially inept, 17-year-old cinephile, gets a job at a video store, where he forms a complicated friendship with his older female manager.

SBIFF is an important showcase for Academy Award frontrunners, many of whom have arrived as nominees and gone on to win the Oscar. The 38th SBIFF proudly celebrates some of the year’s finest work in film. All tributes will be in person at the historic Arlington Theatre.

  • Montecito Award honoring Angela Bassett – Thursday, February 9 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Roger Durling.
  • Outstanding Performer of the Year Award presented by Manitou Fund honoring Cate Blanchett – Friday, February 10 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Scott Feinberg.

  • Maltin Modern Master Award honoring Jamie Lee Curtis – Saturday, February 11 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Leonard Maltin.

  • Variety Artisans Award sponsored by Variety – Monday, February 13 at 8:00pm. Honorees to be announced. Moderated by Jazz Tangcay.

  • American Riviera Award sponsored by Deadline honoring Brendan Fraser – Tuesday, February 14 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Pete Hammond.

  • Virtuosos Award honoring Austin Butler (Elvis), Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin), Danielle Deadwyler (Till), Nina Hoss (Tár), Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All At Once), Jeremy Pope (The Inspection), Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All At Once), and Jeremy Strong (Armageddon Time) – Wednesday, February 16 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Dave Karger.

  • Cinema Vanguard Award honoring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson – Thursday, February 16 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Dave Karger

  • Outstanding Directors of the Year Award sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter – Friday, February 17 at 8:00pm. Honorees to be announced. Moderated by Scott Feinberg.


 SBIFF has become 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 Panel, Writers Panel, and Women’s Panel and introducing the NEW International Directors Panel. All Panels will be in person at the historic Arlington Theatre. Panelists to be announced.

  •  Writers Panel – Saturday, February 11 at 11:00am – Moderated by Anne Thompson
  • Women’s Panel – Saturday, February 11 at 2:00pm – Moderated by Claudia Puig
  • Producers Panel – Sunday, February 12 at 11:00am – Moderated by Glenn Whipp
  • International Directors Panel – Sunday, February 12 at 7:00pm – Moderated by Roger Durling *FREE Admission


 SBIFF Poster Designed by Acclaimed Artist Patricia Chidlaw
The 2023 SBIFF poster was painted by acclaimed artist and Santa Barbara resident Patricia Chidlaw. She commented “As an artist I am honored to be part of this celebration of artistry that is the Santa Barbara Film Festival. And happy my painting can pay homage to our historic movie palace: the Arlington Theater.”

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 an in-person Q&A with Guillermo del Toro following a screening of GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO from Netflix. Sponsored by John C. Mithun Foundation, Montecito Bank & Trust, Patagonia, Union Bank, Bentson Foundation, and 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 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 38 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 38th SBIFF include: Manitou Fund, City of Santa Barbara, Kaleidoscope Productions, Montecito Bank & Trust, ADL Santa Barbara/Tri-Counties, Union Bank, Patagonia, Panavision, Montecito Med Spa, Visit the Santa Ynez Valley, Boxed Water is Better, Château Malartic-Lagravière, Toad&Co, Topa Topa Brewing Company, NEFT Vodka, Vega Coffee, Saige Private Wealth, Bentson Foundation, John C. Mithun Foundation, Volentine Family Foundation, California Arts Council, and many more supporting through trade.

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.