‘Invisible Valley,’ ‘Language of Dreams’ among movies
You can watch the stars of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on your home computer, laptop or smartphone.
Or if you crave a night under the stars, go to the two drive-in screens at Santa Barbara City College’s beachside parking area (140 Loma Alta Road), where the festival opens at 8 tonight with the world premiere of “Invisible Valley.” The documentary explores the plight of Coachella Valley farmworkers.
In addition to being shown on the drive-in screens, “Invisible Valley” will screen for 24 hours beginning at 8 tonight. For more information, go to sbiff.org.
Also getting its world premiere is “Language of Dreams,” a short documentary by award-winning director Peter Sasowsky.
The film is about the spirit of humanity that exists as those who have end-of-life dreams and those who seek to fulfill them come together. “Language of Dreams” will screen alongside eight other short films in the Santa Barbara Mixer Shorts Program, screening Thursday through April 10. Tickets for this virtual experience are available at sbiff.org.
“ ‘Death is just an instant; everything leading up to that, that’s life.’ That statement from one of our interviews really put into context for me what end-of-life experiences are. As a culture, we gloss over the end of life, and in so doing, miss out on some very profound moments, both for the person who is passing and ourselves,” said Mr. Sasowsky, who directed, edited and shot the film. “In ‘Language of Dreams,’ I hope to shed light on what these moments can offer. Such moments aren’t about death. Rather, they are about an appreciation for life from a perspective that eschews sympathy in favor of understanding.”
“Language of Dreams” features many voices, including those of Dream Foundation Ambassador Rob Lowe, a Montecito resident, and Broadway star Teal Wicks, along with personal accounts from the families of dream recipients and people who help make dreams come true.
Dream Foundation is the only national dream-granting organization for terminally ill adults. Since being founded in 1994, the foundation has fulfilled more than 32,000 dreams across the nation from its office in Santa Barbara. (See dreamfoundation.org.)
In addition to “Language of Dreams” and other special movies, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival will again honor actors and people behind the cameras. They include Oscar nominees.
But don’t let the fact you’re watching at home stop you from literally applauding stars such as Bill Murray, who will receive the Maltin Modern Master Award at 6 p.m. Friday in a virtual presentation.
Remember standing ovations are perfectly legal in your living room, and Mr. Murray has earned that level of recognition with his work on everything from “Saturday Night Live” to “Stripes” (1981) to “Groundhog Day” (1993) to “Lost in Translation” (2003).
Mr. Murray starred in the original “Ghostbusters” movies and will return as his character, Dr. Peter Venkman, in this year’s “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.”
The film festival will go on to honor Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan with the Cinema Vanguard Award during another virtual presentation at 2 p.m. Monday.
Ms. Mulligan is known for her acting in movies such as “The Dig” (2021), “The Great Gatsby” (2013) and “Wildlife” (2018). And “Doctor Who” fans will remember from the 2007 episode “Blink.”
She will be honored for her career and most recent performance in “Promising Young Woman,” written, produced and directed by Emerald Fennell (“The Crown,” “Killing Eve”).
Ms. Mulligan was recently nominated for the Oscar for best leading actress for her role as Cassandra in Mr. Fennell’s dark comedy.
And Sacha Baron Cohen will get the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award at 6 p.m. April 7. Mr. Cohen is known for playing Borat Sagiyev, a fictional character interacting with unsuspecting real people, and his most recent film is 2020’s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.”
Delroy Lindo will be honored with the American Riviera Award at 6 p.m. April 8. Mr. Lindo plays Adrian Boseman, a partner in the law firm of Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart in Paramount+’s “The Good Fight.” The series’ creators and executive producers are Santa Barbara residents Robert and Michelle King.
Amanda Seyfried, who plays Marion Davies in “Mank,” will receive the Montecito Award at 6 p.m. April 9. Ms. Seyfried’s screen credits vary from the ABBA-inspired “Mama Mia!” (2008) to “Les Misérables” (2012).
Eight actors will receive this year’s Virtuoso Award at 6 p.m. Saturday.
They are Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”), Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”), Kingsley Ben-Adir (“One Night in Miami”), Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”), Sidney Flanigan (“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”), Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”), Tahar Rahim (“The Mauritanian”) and Zendaya (“Malcolm & Marie”). Marvel Comics fans also know Zendaya for playing M.J. in the “Spider-Man” movies starring Tom Holland in the title role.