Tag Archives: Jean-Michel Cousteau

The 805 keeps it reel: Local filmmakers at the film fest and how short documentaries show off our town

Ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau, filmmaker Jim Knowlton and a team of scientists explore tiny Swains Island in "Swains Island: One of the Last Jewels on the Planet. SBIFF
Ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau, filmmaker Jim Knowlton and a team of scientists explore tiny Swains Island in “Swains Island: One of the Last Jewels on the Planet.
SBIFF

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival brings Hollywood to our own backyard, but what about the filmmakers who are already here? The festival has long given our writers and directors their own sidebar to show off the many documentaries and fiction films produced here. Some come out of the many production courses available here, others from small production studios and others just have to make films by any means possible.

For the first time this year, SBIFF offers a prize for Best Santa Barbara Feature, and all the contestants are documentaries.

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All in the family: SBIFF honors the film and environmental work of the Cousteau family

 Jean-Michel Cousteau, along with son Fabien and daughter Céline, will be honored for their excellence in nature filmmaking. Ocean Futures Society

Jean-Michel Cousteau, along with son Fabien and daughter Céline, will be honored for their excellence in nature filmmaking.
Ocean Futures Society

The well-loved Wes Anderson film “The Life Aquatic” offered a parody of the ocean-bound family— the patriarch with his zeal for the open sea, and a family following in his footsteps, some with enthusiasm, some begrudgingly— and it worked so well because a generation knew the love-object of its satire, the Cousteau family. The real Cousteau family, now in its third generation (or fourth if you count their children), has wavered a bit from their grandfather Jacques’ mission, but they have never stopped putting the earth and the oceans first.

And so on Wednesday night, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival honors father Jean-Michel, along with son Fabien and daughter Céline for the many documentaries, non-profits and awareness they have brought while carrying on the family name. The Richard Attenborough Award, which the festival has not awarded for five years, will feature an evening of interviews and screenings.

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SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL’S GALA OPENING: Film locally, screen globally

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From environmental artists to family dramas that span generations, this year the Santa Barbara International Film Festival is more home-grown than ever, with many films and many more of its filmmakers sporting Santa Barbara addresses. And the festival’s new artistic director, Roger Durling, said it’s about time.

“This year we’ve put much more thought into (the Santa Barbara filmmakers) section,” said Mr. Durling. “I’ve been banging the drum about this since we started. We should be more community-focused.”

To attach Santa Barbara to the name and not show our own artists, he said, “would be hypocritical.”

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