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This year, while marking its 35th anniversary, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival will also celebrate an exciting first: an alum of one of its free filmmaking education programs will be returning as a professional filmmaker whose film has been accepted into the festival program.

Julia Kupiec participated in SBIFF’s 10-10-10 program as a Santa Barbara High School student in 2015, and credits the experience with igniting the spark that led to her acceptance into NYU film school and fueled her subsequent, fledgling film career.

“I made my first narrative short in high school through 10-10-10, and to come back to SBIFF for my first festival run out of NYU is literally like coming home,” says Kupiec. “10-10-10 was where I found out I loved making films - it was the beginning. Now out of college, I'm entering a new kind of beginning - and I'm so happy to be able to celebrate that at a place that has been so supportive of me.”

“Julia’s story represents the original vision of this program come to life,” says SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “When we created 10-10-10, we hoped it would give young people with big dreams the practical skills and insider information to make those big dreams feel possible. The film industry can seem inaccessible; our goal is to say, YOU can do it, whoever you are, and we’ll show you how!”

SBIFF’s 10-10-10 filmmaking program is offered free to ten area high school students and ten area college students each year. The program, which lasts several months, pairs students with professional mentors, all of whom are respected—and often award-winning—industry professionals. Throughout, the students enjoy an intensive workshop and training program that covers every aspect of the filmmaking process, as well as unprecedented access to professional guidance. Student screenwriters are paired with student directors, and the duos collaborate to produce ten films that are scored by a panel of judges and screened during the Film Festival. This year’s 10-10-10 screenings will take place at 1pm on Saturday, January 25, 2020 at the Arlington Theater.

ABOUT SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization whose mission is to engage, enrich, and inspire our community through film. SBIFF is dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema, and over the past 34 years, has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States - attracting 95,000 attendees and offering 11 days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums.

Additionally, every day of the year SBIFF works to provide a thoughtful, and well-developed slate of free educational programs and events. Education is the bedrock of SBIFF's mission, and our educational programming--much of it specifically designed to reach the underserved, at-risk, ill, or immobile--is a major, year-round, organizational priority.

In 2016, SBIFF acquired the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre. After a capital campaign and renovation, the theatre is now SBIFF’s state-of-the-art, year-round home and Santa Barbara’s year-round arthouse theater. In 2019, SBIFF opened its own Education Center in downtown Santa Barbara on State Street to serve as a home for its educational programs.

For more information about SBIFF, its educational programs, or to schedule an interview, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To contact Julia Kupiec, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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