The 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival will, in fact, be held this year, but in a way like none other.
The festival announced Tuesday it is planning an elaborate build-out of two beachside drive-in theaters for the festival presented by UGG, beginning March 31 and continuing to April 10.
The drive-in theaters will be presented by Toyota Mirai and hosted at Santa Barbara City College. They’ll include more than 80 film screenings, all offered for free, with viewers RSVPing prior to arrival.
The festival also unveiled its poster for the 36th edition, designed by Barbara Boros and featuring Santa Barbara’s Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens.
Along with the drive-ins, the festival will offer a full-scale, ticketed virtual component, which will offer online film screenings, filmmaker Q&As, industry panels and celebrity tributes.
Tribute honorees include Bill Murray, Sacha Baron Cohen, Amanda Seyfried, Riz Ahmed, Maria Bakalova, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Andra Day, Sidney Flanigan, Vanessa Kirby, Tahar Rahim, Zendaya and Delroy Lindo. The tributes and industry panels will be aired live, over the festival’s virtual platform.
Festival programmers, who received a record number of film submissions this year, have assembled a lineup including more than 100 films, many of them world and U.S. premieres. The film lineup and schedule will be announced in early March.
“It’s imperative we bring a sense of hopefulness to 2021, but in the safest way possible,” SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling said in a news release. “A virtual component was a given but experiencing movies in socially distanced cars and being by the ocean felt oh so perfectly Santa Barbara, Calif.”
Passes for the 2021 festival are now on sale, along with the tickets for the celebrity tributes, at sbiff.org/tickets.