The festival’s opening night gala party was the place to be and be seen. Held at Paseo Nuevo, the event included a VIP tent with not only actors, producers and directors from the featured films but, just as importantly, the many underwriters and corporate sponsors who helped make the entire festival possible. Here, from Hotel Santa Barbara, a sponsor, are, from left, Amy Lashmet, Emmalia Sutherland, Gabby Escamilla, Jennie Jacobs and Kyle Phillips.
FRITZ OLENBERGER PHOTOGRAPHY
Students from Dos Pueblos High School line up on the press side of the red carpet as they prepare to do an interview with “Bohemian Rhaposdy” Oscar-nominated actor Rami Malek. At left, senior Atakan Uysal, student director who was accepted into the SBIFF 10-10-10 Screenwriting and Filmmaking Mentorship and Competition, with junior Nicholas Scheurenbrand, reporter. The 10-10-10 program offers aspiring screenwriters and filmmakers the expertise of respected and successful industry professionals.
Opening night at the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival was especially heartwarming to the local crowd. The featured film, “Diving Deep: The Life and Times of Mike deGruy,” was about the well-known Santa Barbara diver, filmmaker (Emmy-winning!) and biologist. His wife and filmmaking partner Mimi deGruy directed the documentary, which highlighted Mr. deGruy’s enthusiasm and exuberance for the underwater world before his fatal helicopter crash in Australia. Pictured here is renowned marine biologist and oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, left, and Mrs. deGruy.
Shelby Sim and his wife, Amy, came down from Santa Ynez for the film festival and took part in the reception at the Lobero Theatre courtyard. Celebrating its 34th year, the festival has become one of the leading ones in the United States. Interestingly, it was launched with seed money from the city of Santa Barbara to provide a special event during our “off-season” and now attracts 90,000 attendees from around the world for 11 days during the sometimes rainy season of January and February.