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38th SBIFF Poster

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Announces 2023 Program

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) announced todaythe highly anticipated lineup for the 38th edition, which will run February 8 to 18, 2023. The festival will showcase 52 world premieres and 78 U.S. premieres from 43 countries, along with tributes featuring the year’s top talent, panel discussions, and free community education and outreach programs.

SBIFF’s Executive Director Roger Durling stated this morning, “At a time where there's a dwindling of movie theater attendance, therole of film festivals has never been more important. At SBIFF, with the 38th edition, our marching orders are clear, to celebrate movies and to nurture and exalt the film community, the artists as well as the cinephiles. It's a great slate with 43 countries represented.”


SBIFF 2023 will kick off on Opening Night Wednesday, February 8 with the WORLD Premiere of MIRANDA’S VICTIM. Directed byMichelle Danner and starring Abigail Breslin, Ryan Phillippe, Luke Wilson, Donald Sutherland, Mireille Enos and Andy Garcia.

It’s 1963 when eighteen-year-old Patricia “Trish” Weir is kidnapped and brutally raped at knife-point. Committed to putting ErnestoMiranda in prison, Trish’s life is destroyed by America’s legal system as she triggers a law that transforms the nation.


SBIFF 2023 will close on Saturday, February 18 with the US Premiere of I LIKE MOVIES. Directed by Chandler Levack and starring Isaiah Lehtinen, Romina D’Ugo, Krista Bridges, Percy Hynes White.

Lawrence, a socially inept, 17-year-old cinephile, gets a job at a video store, where he forms a complicated friendship with his older female manager.


SBIFF is an important showcase for Academy Award frontrunners, many of whom have arrived as nominees and gone on to winthe Oscar. The 38th SBIFF proudly celebrates some of the year’s finest work in film. All tributes will be in person at the historicArlington Theatre.

  • Montecito Award honoring Angela Bassett - Thursday, February 9 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Roger Durling.

  • Outstanding Performer of the Year Award presented by Manitou Fund honoring Cate Blanchett - Friday, February 10 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Scott Feinberg.

  • Maltin Modern Master Award honoring Jamie Lee Curtis - Saturday, February 11 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Leonard Maltin.

  • Variety Artisans Award sponsored by Variety - Monday, February 13 at 8:00pm. Honorees to be announced. Moderated by Jazz Tangcay.

  • American Riviera Award sponsored by Deadline honoring Brendan Fraser - Tuesday, February 14 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Pete Hammond.

  • Virtuosos Award honoring Austin Butler (Elvis), Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin), Danielle Deadwyler (Till), Nina Hoss (Tár), Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All At Once), Jeremy Pope (The Inspection), Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All At Once), and Jeremy Strong (Armageddon Time) - Wednesday, February 16 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Dave Karger.

  • Cinema Vanguard Award honoring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson - Thursday, February 16 at 8:00pm. Moderated by Dave Karger

  • Outstanding Directors of the Year Award sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter - Friday, February 17 at 8:00pm. Honorees to be announced. Moderated by Scott Feinberg.


SBIFF has become renowned for creating smart, insightful panels that feature a who’s who in the world of filmmaking, including many Oscar contenders. Returning will be our annual Producers Panel, Writers Panel, and Women’s Panel and introducing the NEW International Directors Panel. All Panels will be in person at the historic Arlington Theatre. Panelists to be announced.

  • Writers Panel - Saturday, February 11 at 11:00am - Moderated by Anne Thompson

  • Women’s Panel - Saturday, February 11 at 2:00pm - Moderated by Claudia Puig

  • Producers Panel - Sunday, February 12 at 11:00am - Moderated by Glenn Whipp

  • International Directors Panel - Sunday, February 12 at 7:00pm - Moderated by Roger Durling

*FREE Admission


SBIFF Poster Designed by Acclaimed Artist Patricia Chidlaw

The 2023 SBIFF poster was painted by acclaimed artist and Santa Barbara resident Patricia Chidlaw. She commented “As an artist I am honored to be part of this celebration of artistry that is the Santa Barbara Film Festival. And happy my painting can pay homage to our historic movie palace: the Arlington


Mike’s FieldTrip to the Movies – Named for renowned nature cinematographer Mike deGruy, Mike’s FieldTrip to the Movies usesfilmmaking to nurture creative, confident, and culturally aware thinkers. This year’s program will be offered to 4,000+ 4th--6th grade students from Title I (low-income) schools

throughout Santa Barbara County. This year will feature an in-person Q&A with Guillermo del Toro following a screening of GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO from Netflix. Sponsored by John C. Mithun Foundation, Montecito Bank & Trust, Patagonia, Union Bank, Bentson Foundation, and Volentine Family Foundation.

Film Studies Program – The Film Studies Program will invite 30 undergraduate film students from across the country to the FilmFestival where they'll take part in a packed curriculum that turns the festival into an interactive classroom. Participants receivepriority access to the films, panels, filmmaker seminars, tributes, as well as intimate Q&As with filmmakers.

10–10–10 Student Screenwriting and Filmmaking Mentorship and Competition – The 10-10-10 Program is made up of 20 area high school and college screenwriters and filmmakers. This year’s program includes filmmaking workshops, individual mentorship, and access to casting, visual effects, producing and sound mentors. The student screenwriters and directors are pairedtogether and guided through the process of taking a film from script to screen. Sponsored by Kaleidoscope Productions.

Free Filmmaker Seminars – SBIFF will again present seminars with filmmakers premiering at this year’s festival. These seminars will be FREE to the public and will take place on each weekday during the Festival at Tamsen Gallery at 911 1/2 State Street.

The ADL Stand Up Award sponsored by ADL Santa Barbara/Tri-Counties – This award will be presented to a dramatic film in the festival that represents an important message consistent with ADL’s efforts "to secure justice and fair treatment for all." The winner will be announced during the Festival.

2023 FILMS

Below is the list of feature and short films at the 2023 SBIFF. For the complete list of films, synopses, and other special events please visit or the SBIFF app.

30 WORLD PREMIERE FEATURE FILMS (listed alphabetically)

21 Miles in Malibu Directed by Nic Davis United States

American Outlaws Directed by Sean McEwen United States

Bringing Back Our Wetland Directed by Michael Love United States


Directed by Peter Pontikis Sweden

Call Me Dancer

Directed by Leslie Shampaine, Pip Gilmour United States

Commitment to Life Directed by Jeffrey Schwarz United States

Dancing with Mom Directed by Trish Neufeld Canada

The Dirty Divide

Directed by Paul Freedman United States

Dr. Tony Fauci

Directed by Mark Mannucci United States

Full Circle

Directed by Josh Berman United States

Go On, Be Brave

Directed by Miriam McSpadden, Brian Beckman United States

Grace Point

Directed by Rory Karpf United States

The Harvest

Directed by Caylee So United States


Directed by Dylan Mulick United States

The House Band

Directed by Laura Brownson United States

Ibiza Blue (La corriente) Directed by Jesús Lloveras Spain

Karen Carpenter: Starving for Perfection

Directed by Randy Martin United States

Killing Me Softly With His Songs

Directed by Danny Gold United States

The Legend of MexMan Directed by Josh Polon United States

Miranda's Victim

Directed by Michelle Danner United States

Rachel Hendrix Directed by Victor Nuñez United States

Rachel's Farm

Directed by Rachel Ward Australia

The Right to Read

Directed by Jenny Mackenzie United States

Samichay, in Search of Happiness (Samichay, en busca de la felicidad)

Directed by Mauricio Franco Tosso Peru

The Team (El equipo) Directed by Bernardo Ruiz United States

Tove's Room (Toves værelse) Directed by Martin Zandvliet Denmark


Directed by Laura Bialis United States

Voices Rising: The Music of Wakanda Forever

Directed by Bernardo Ruiz

Wade in the Water: A Journey Into Black Surfing and Aquatic Culture

Directed by David Mesfin

United States

53 U.S. PREMIERE FEATURE FILMS (listed alphabetically)


Directed by Firas Khoury Palestine


Directed by Makbul Mubarak Indonesia

Baby Ruby

Directed by Bess Wohl United States

A Bit of Light

Directed by Stephen Moyer United Kingdom

Black Mambas Directed by Lena Karbe Germany

Bones of Crows

Directed by Marie Clements Canada

Bread and Salt (Chleb i sól) Directed by Damian Kocur Poland

A Bunch of Amateurs Directed by Kim Hopkins United Kingdom

The Chambermaid (Sluzka)

Directed by Mariana Čengel Solčanská Slovakia

Coyote (Le coyote)

Directed by Katherine Jerkovic Canada

Daughter of Rage (La hija de todas las rabias)

Directed by Laura Baumeister Nicaragua

Dear Memories

Directed by Nahuel Lopez Germany

Everybody Wants to Be Loved (Alle wollen geliebt werden)

Directed by Katharina Woll Germany


Directed by Abbe Hassan Sweden

Fathers & Mothers (Fædre og mødre)

Directed by Paprika Steen Denmark


Directed by Michał Kwiecinski Poland

The Hotel (Lu guan) Directed by Wáng Xiăoshuài Chinese Hong Kong

How is Katia? (Yak Tam Katia?) Directed by Christina Tynkevych Ukraine

I Like Movies

Directed by Chandler Levack United States

Into My Name (Nel mio nome) Directed by Nicolò Bassetti Italy

Jane Campion, The Cinema Woman (Jane Campion, la femme cinéma)

Directed by Julie Bertuccelli France

La jauría

Directed by Andrés Ramírez Pulido Colombia


Directed by Robert Higgins, Patrick McGivney Ireland

Leila's Brothers

Directed by Saeed Roustaee Iran

A Letter from Helga (Svar við bréfi Helgu)

Directed by Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir Iceland


Directed by Alison Millar Ireland


Directed by Bruno Chiche France

A Man (Aru otoko) Directed by Kei Ishikawa Japan


Directed by Clara Cullen United States

My Name is Happy

Directed by Nick Read, Ayse Toprak United Kingdom

The Nannies (Les femmes du square)

Directed by Julien Rambaldi France


Directed by Martijn de Jong Netherlands

North Circular

Directed by Luke McManus Ireland

The Other Widow (Pilegesh) Directed by Ma'ayan Rypp Israel


Directed by Narges Abyar Iran

Red Shoes (Zapatos rojos)

Directed by Carlos Eichelmann Kaiser Mexico

Retreat (Réduit)

Directed by Leon Schwitter Switzerland


Directed by Sudhanshu Saria India


Directed by Zohar Wagner Israel

Second Act (Andra akten) Directed by Mårten Klingberg Sweden


Directed by Caterina Mona Switzerland

The Sixth Child (Le sixième enfant)

Directed by Léopold Legrand France

Stay With Us (Reste un peu) Directed by Gad Elmaleh France

Stellar (Ananghoonska) Directed by Darlene Naponse Canada

Summerlight And Then Comes The Night (Sumarljós og svo kemur nóttin)

Directed by Elfar Aðalsteins Iceland

T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets Directed by Sophie Fiennes United Kingdom

The Taste of Apples is Red (Ta'am al tufah, ahmar)

Directed by Ehab Tarabieh Israel

Three Nights A Week (Trois nuits par semaine)

Directed by Florent Gouëlou France

Traces (Tragovi)

Directed by Dubravka Turić Croatia

Valeria is Getting Married (Valeria mithatenet)

Directed by Michal Vinik Israel

The Volunteer (La voluntaria) Directed by Nely Reguera Spain

Wild Flowers (Girasoles silvestres)

Directed by Jaime Rosales Spain

Woman at Sea (Grand marin) Directed by Dinara Drukarova Iceland

The Young Arsonists Directed by Sheila Pye Canada

NON PREMIERE FEATURE FILMS (listed alphabetically)

26.2 to Life

Directed by Christine Yoo United States

The 50

Directed by Brenton Gieser United States

American Dreamer Directed by Paul Dektor United States

Anxious Nation

Directed by Vanessa Roth, Laura Morton United States

The Art of Eating: The Life of M.F.K. Fisher

Directed by Gregory Mark Bezat

United States

The Baby Daddy (הקדוש והזרע ארי ) Directed by Adi Rabinovici, Yair Cymerman Israel

Butterfly in the Sky

Directed by Bradford Thomason, Brett Whitcomb United States

Category: Woman Directed by Phyllis Ellis Canada

Chile '76

Directed by Manuela Martelli Chile

Cinema Sabaya

Directed by Orit Fouks Rotem Israel

Corner Office

Directed by Joachim Back Canada

Desperate Souls, Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy

Directed by Nancy Buirski United States

The Grab

Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite United States

Gumbo Coalition

Directed by Barbara Kopple United States

The Happiest Man in the World (Najsreќniot čovek na svetot)

Directed by Teona Strugar Mitevska North Macedonia

I Like it Here

Directed by Ralph Arlyck United States

It Ain't Over

Directed by Sean Mullin

United States


Directed by Tayfun Pirselimoğlu Turkey

Know Your Place

Directed by Zia Mohajerjasbi United States

A Little Prayer

Directed by Angus MacLachlan United States

Luxembourg, Luxembourg Directed by Antonio Lukich Ukraine

No Ordinary Campaign Directed by Christopher Burke United States

Other People's Children (Les enfants des autres)

Directed by Rebecca Zlotowski France

Our Father, the Devil (Mon père, le diable)

Directed by Ellie Foumbi United States

Patrick and the Whale Directed by Mark Fletcher Austria

The Prank

Directed by Maureen Bharoocha United States

Pray for Our Sinners Directed by Sinéad O'Shea Ireland

The Quiet Girl (An cailín ciúin) Directed by Colm Bairéad Ireland

Return to Seoul (Retour à Séoul)

Directed by Davy Chou


Safe Place (Sígurno ́esto) Directed by Juraj Lerotić Croatia

Shot in the Arm

Directed by Scott Hamilton Kennedy United States

Snow and the Bear (Kar ve ayı)

Directed by Selcen Ergun Turkey

The Soldier's Opinion (Daato shel hahayal)

Directed by Assaf Banitt Israel

Soul of the Ocean Directed by Howard Hall United States

Starring Jerry As Himself Directed by Law Chen United States

Susie Searches

Directed by Sophie Kargman United States


Directed by Stéphane Lafleur Canada

We Are Still Here

Directed by Beck Cole, Dena Curtis, Tracey Rigney, Danielle MacLean, Tim Worrall, Renae Maihi, Miki Magasiva, Mario Gaoa, Richard Curtis, Chantelle Burgoyne


Werner Herzog: Radical Dreamer Directed by Thomas von Steinaecker Germany

Who Are the Marcuses? Directed by Matthew Mishory Israel

2023 SBIFF SHORT FILMS - (listed alphabetically)


À la vie à l'amor

Directed by Emilie Mannering US Premiere


All-inclusive (Todo incluido) Directed by Duván Duque Vargas US Premiere



Directed by Zeppelin Zeerip World Premiere

United States

Are You Awake? Directed by Gabriel Caste World Premiere

United States

Barefoot Empress Directed by Vikas Khanna India

Becoming Yamazushi Directed by G Yamazawa United States

Big Water Summer: A Creation Story

Directed by Sophie Harris United States

Bourn Kind

Directed by Rachel Myers United States


Directed by Farzaneh Omidvarnia World Premiere


Cara Romero: Following the Light

Directed by Kaela Waldstein United States

Christopher at Sea

Directed by Tom CJ Brown France


Directed by Torbjörn Edwall US Premiere


Earthbound: Nzambi Matee Directed by Farhoud Meybodi World Premiere



Directed by Ben Wolin, Michael Minahan World Premiere

United States

Epicenter (소문의 진원지 ) Directed by Heeyoon Hahm US Premiere

South Korea

Everything At Once (Alt på en gang)

Directed by Henrik Dyb Zwart US Premiere


Falling Forward into an Unknown and Dangerous Future

Directed by Mike Ambs World Premiere

United States

The Fear Cycle

Directed by Dexter Brierley, Matt Seger World Premiere

United States


Directed by Julia Bales World Premiere

United States

The Golden Cage

Directed by Francisco Lopez, Mitchka Saberi World Premiere

United States

Here to Stay

Directed by Jared Peraglia United States

I have no tears, and I must cry (Sin lágrimas para llorar)

Directed by Luis Fernando Puente United States


Directed by Adisa Septuri, Ebony Gilbert World Premiere

United States


Directed by Salomé Villeneuve US Premiere


It's Nice in Here

Directed by Robert-Jonathan Koeyers US Premiere



Directed by Anders Walter US Premiere


John Leguizamo Live at Rikers Directed by Elena Francesca Engel United States


Directed by Kalainithan Kalaichelvan World Premiere



Directed by Bo Yoon Ha Uganda


Directed by Sinéad O'Loughlin Ireland

Last Weekend with Jenny and John (Sista helgen med Jenny och John)

Directed by Jimmy Olsson US Premiere


Locals Only: The Big Little Pub

Directed by Gareth Kelly World Premiere

United States

The Moisture (Rutubet) Directed by Turan Haste US Premiere


Money and Happiness

Directed by Ana Nedeljković, Nikola Majdak US Premiere


More Than Hair (Plus que des cheveux)

Directed by Fitch Jean Canada

Mud Crab

Directed by David Robinson-Smith US Premiere


Night Cafe

Directed by Joshua Nowak World Premiere

United States

Nowhere to go but everywhere (行き止まりのむこう側 )

Directed by Masako Tsumura, Erik Shirai US Premiere



Directed by Max Vannienschoot US Premiere


Pillow Fortress Directed by Zander Coté US Premiere

United States

Please Hold the Line (Qing bie gua duan)

Directed by Tan Ce Ding

US Premiere Malaysia

Range Rider

Directed by Colin Arisman World Premiere

United States

The Red Suitcase (La valise rouge) Directed by Cyrus Neshvad Luxembourg

Regular Rabbit Directed by Eoin Duffy Ireland

Rejoice in the Lamb

Directed by Courtney Bush, Will Carington, and Jake Goicoechea World Premiere

United States

)מותו של לוויתן( Whale a for Requiem

Directed by Ido Weisman Israel


Directed by Alex Prager World Premiere

United States

See You In My Dreams (Rencontres nocturnes silencieuses)

Directed by Ariane Louis-Seize US Premiere


Shirampari: Legacies of the River (Shirampari, herencias del río)

Directed by Lucía Flórez Peru

Snow in September

Directed by Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir France

The Soft Skinned

Directed by Nicky Tyndale-Biscoe US Premiere



Directed by Bobby Louise, Brig World Premiere

United States

The Tadpole Trilogy (La trilogie des têtards)

Directed by Léonard Giovenazzo US Premiere


Take Me Home Directed by Liz Sargent United States


Directed by Jesse Hovey World Premiere

United States

This is Not a House Directed by Morgan Neville World Premiere

United States

This Will Not Be a Festival Film (To nie będzie film festiwalowy)

Directed by Julia Orlik US Premiere


Three Grains of Salt (Trois grains de gros sel)

Directed by Ingrid Chikhaoui US Premiere


Thursday (Czwartek) Directed by Bren Cukier World Premiere



Directed by Brian Fairbairn, Karl Eccleston US Premiere

United Kingdom


Directed by Mike Donahue United States

Trundle and the Lost Borscht of Atlantis

Directed by Laura Lee World Premiere United States

Two Chairs, Not One Directed by Austin Kolodney United States

The Vacation

Directed by Jarreau Carrillo United States

Voces de Old Town Carpinteria

Directed by Brent Winebrenner, Leslie A. Westbrook, Suzanne Requejo World Premiere

United States

Waves Apart

Directed by Josh Greene World Premiere

United States


Directed by Michael Lee, Ethan Takekawa, Meg Kievman, Emma Holm-Olsen World Premiere

United States

Whiteness at Work

Directed by Peter Bonde Becker Nelson World Premiere

United States

Will You Look At Me (Dang wo wang xiang ni de shi hou)

Directed by Shuli Huang China

You'll Be Happier

Directed by Daniel Lombroso United States


The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. Over the past 38 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States – attracting 100,000 attendees and offering 11 days of 200+ films, tributes, and symposiums, fulfilling their mission to engage, enrich, and inspire the Santa Barbara community through film.

Sponsors of the 38th SBIFF include: Manitou Fund, City of Santa Barbara, Kaleidoscope Productions, Montecito Bank & Trust, ADLSanta Barbara/Tri-Counties, Union Bank, Patagonia, Panavision, Montecito Med Spa, Visit the Santa Ynez Valley, Boxed Water is Better, Château Malartic-Lagravière, Toad&Co, Topa Topa Brewing Company, NEFT Vodka, Vega Coffee, Saige Private Wealth,Bentson Foundation, John C. Mithun Foundation, Volentine Family Foundation, California Arts Council, and many more supporting through trade.

SBIFF continues its commitment to education and the community throughout many free educational programs and events. In 2016, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre. After a capital campaign andrenovation, the theatre is now SBIFF’s new state-of-the-art, year-round home, showing new international and independent filmsevery day. In 2019, SBIFF opened its own Education Center in downtown Santa Barbara on State Street to serve as a home for its many educational programs and a place for creativity and learning.


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