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The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is a film festival and non-profit organization, established in 1985, that showcases independent American and international films. The SBIFF line-up includes 20 world premieres and 11 U.S. premieres, with newly expanded 11-day festival. Opening and closing night festivities take place at Santa Barbaramarker's historic Arlington Theatermarker.

The festival has honored and featured many major actors and film personalities, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Gore.

History of Filmmaking in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbaramarker has historical roots in the filmmaking business.

In July 1912, American Film Manufacturing Company based out of Chicagomarker had a studio branch in Santa Barbara nicknamed Flying A, which wasn’t doing so well. The Chicago office sent out Samuel Hutchinson to see if he could turn the company around, otherwise they were going to shut it down. He arrived and took the position as the main director for the company. This was at a time when cross-cutting and flashbacks were just being invented. The most popular genre at the time was the Western, with the Bronco Billy series being the most famous.

Flying A studios was built on an abandoned ostrich farm at the corner of Mission and Chapala streets. By 1913 the studio was cranking out a movie every third day. Movies were a lot shorter then, running about an average of 14 minutes. Business was booming. Flying A was expanding, hiring on more crew members, including Victor Fleming, who later went on to direct Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz. In [1916] the studio cranked out 242 films. They continued to flourish until 1921 when the Great Depression hit and Flying A, like so many other businesses, had to close its doors.

Since then many other films have been made in the Santa Barbara area. More recent titles include, Of Mice and Men, Seabiscuit and Sideways.


One feature of the film festival is the 10-10-10 competition. Ten students have ten days to do a ten-minute short film. Students enrolled in local Santa Barbara schools, from high school to college, are invited to submit a 5-minute sample of their work. A selection committee with representatives from each school and SBIFF select the participants. Then the ten finalists are required to produce a 10-minute film, during the 10 days of the Festival.


The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is the first domestic film festival to offer video podcasts of their annual event. Since its inception, the podcast has been produced by MediaTrust's Scott Parent and Joseph Matheny.


  • The American Spirit Award
  • The Gold Vision Award
  • The Best Foreign Film Award
  • Nueva Vision Award
  • Best Documentary
  • BAFTA Award for Best Short Film
  • Fund for Santa Barbara Social Justice Award
  • Bruce Corwin Award for Best Live Action Short Film
  • Bruce Corwin Award for Best Animation
  • Sotheby's International Realty 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking Competition
  • 10-10-10 Student Screenwriting Competition
  • Audience Choice Award for Best Film
  • Special Jury Selection

Outstanding Performance of the Year Award

External links


  1. MediaTrust Case Study "lights, camera, action"
  2. PodShow's "Backstage Pass" Hits One Million Views in Ten Days With Average View Time of 22 Minutes

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