The Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is a cinephile’s paradise – an eleven day celebration of cinema at several historical theaters on the American Rivera in beautiful downtown Santa Barbara. Each year, SBIFF proudly presents a diverse slate of more than 200 films to over 85,000 film enthusiasts – an audience that includes local and regional cinephiles, film students and independent as well as filmmakers industry professionals, leading reporters and critics from Variety, Hollywood Reporter and IndieWire. Attendees, filmmakers and special guests converge in an intimate atmosphere with unprecedented opportunities to network, share advice and see new work from some of the world’s most cutting edge auteurs.

SBIFF has built a reputation for its growing Acquisitions program that features some of the industry’s top distributors in attendance. Some of the highlights of previous years have included Disconnect, Sound City, More Than Honey, No, Pieta, Blood Brother, Somm, Spinning Plates, Beyond The Hills, Hannah Arendt, Caesar Must Die, Storm Surfers 3D, Samsara, West of Memphis, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, The Island President, Pina, Starbuck, Free Men, Storm Surfers 3D, Exit Through The Gift Shop, The Cove, The Illusionist, 180 Degrees South, and Sarah’s Key, as well renowned shorts programs featuring films that would later become nominated or shortlisted for academy awards, including Tiger Boy, Jujitsuing Reality, Asad, La Luna, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, The Gruffalo, and The Lost Thing.

Just a few days after Sundance and well-timed a few weeks before the Academy Awards, SBIFF has become a must-stop for frontrunners on the awards season fast-track. Along with cutting-edge panels for some of the world’s most recognized directors, producers, screenwriters, and women, the festival has honored the artistic achievements of Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett, Oprah Winfrey, Jared Leto, Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bruce Dern, David O. Russell, Ben Affleck, Daniel Day-Lewis, Amy Adams, Quentin Tarantino, Jennifer Lawrence, Christopher Plummer, Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, Viola Davis, Colin Firth, Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, Helen Mirren and many many more.

SBIFF passes are offered which grant priority admission. Individual tickets are available for our tribute and panel events. 4 and 10 Film MiniPak punch cards are offered for film screenings. SBIFF also offers a series of free community screenings and events, including several highly acclaimed animated films for families at the historic Arlington Theatre.