The Santa Barbara International Film Festival honored movie star, writer, activist and feminist icon Jane Fonda at its annual fundraiser Saturday with the 10th annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film.
The black-tie gala at the Bacara Resort & Spa recognized the iconic movie star in much the same way as the honors and tribute evenings that make up the February festival’s week-plus schedule.
Tomorrow will be the last day of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and the closing night film is set to inspire and warm hearts in a story set in the San Joaquin Valley. Kevin Costner and director Niki Caro will be in attendance.
“McFarland, USA” tells the true story of coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), who accepts a job at a high school in McFarland, a tiny farming community, mostly Latino, and not only creates their first cross-country running team, but then takes them to Nationals.
Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette have amassed such a body of work individually that either actor could have been the subject of Thursday night’s American Riviera Award at the Arlington Theatre, the penultimate tribute of this year’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
But after last year’s stunning “Boyhood,” in which they play parents to the lead character Mason (Ellar Coltrane), it only made sense to honor both at the same time.
Santa Barbara film lovers packed the Lobero Theatre Saturday for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Producers Panel. Although one of the speakers joked about having to explain to Mom what a producer actually does, the audience seemed to know, as attendees sat rapt listening to the often-entertaining stories of the struggle of movie-making. Despite large budgets and years of industry experience, things sometimes go wrong, and sometimes ingenuity is the best weapon.
Los Angeles Times film writer Glenn Whipp sat down with six producers of this year’s Best Picture Oscar nominees: Cathleen Sutherland (“Boyhood”), Teddy Schwarzman (“The Imitation Game”), Robert Lorenz (“American Sniper”), John Lesher (“Birdman”), Jeremy Dawson (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”) and Lisa Bruce (“The Theory of Everything”). Jon Kilik of “Foxcatcher,” also on the panel, didn’t get a Best Picture nomination this year but took his “snub” with great humor. (He was nominated in 2007 for a Best Picture Oscar for “Babel,” so he’s in the club.)
For many movie fans, Michael Keaton’s Oscar-nominated role in “Birdman” was so good people wondered where the star had been for so many years.
But as Leonard Maltin, moderator for SBIFF’s Modern Master Award, pointed out on Saturday night at the Arlington Theatre, “He’s never gone away. But it’s been a little while since we’ve seen a performance that’s been able to showcase his talent as fully and richly as ‘Birdman’ does.”
Jennifer Aniston has spent a career trying to rise above the tabloids and the paparazzi that have recorded her every move and emotion, calling it “white noise” tonight on the red carpet outside the Arlington Theatre, where she was to be awarded the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Montecito Award for her career and her Golden Globe nominated role in the indie drama “Cake,” which only just opened in Santa Barbara.
But the star got a little of both slavish fan treatment and serious consideration tonight at this sold out show. The celebrity photo bank on the red carpet was a noisy, crazed affair, with shoving and elbows among the photographers trying to get a shot of the star. The crowds outside screamed and hollered and got autographs, a group of girls who looked like they were born in the early ’90s sang the theme song to “Friends” in a loop as Ms. Aniston talked to the press. And inside the audience was just as heated and excited, as she sat down with Deadline Hollywood’s Pete Hammond.
The return of Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens, that beloved watering hole, under new owners and the new name of Bob Lovejoy’s Pickle Room is an anomaly. In a world where beloved places vanish or are bought out and torn down, never to return, the case of this bar on Canon Perdido is a cause for celebration, and Casey McGarry’s documentary does right by it.
The 30-something director, who made the documentary in between funding for a longer, even-more personal documentary, remembers the Chinese food from the kitchen half of the establishment as a kid, but was too young to really know where the fun was. But after a chance encounter with Bob Lovejoy, he quickly caught up and knew a story needed to be told.
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.
Actor Eddie Redmayne revealed himself to be as much in awe of Hollywood and the movie-making machine as his fans are in awe of him.
At the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Cinema Vanguard Award event Thursday at the Arlington Theatre, where he and his co-star Felicity Jones, from “The Theory of Everything,” were honored for their Oscar-nominated performances, the star talked about his first big Tinseltown experience.