So last year around this time I got an email from a very nice PR lady asking if I'd like to go to the Bermuda Film Festival. Whaaaaat!?!? I said. Yeah, she said they wanted to bring some press people to cover the event and my name came up. I didn't get into how/why/what and so on. Unfortunately, that festival was like, 4 days after I was to get back from South by Southwest and, as much as I would have loved to, missing that much work and my wife would simply not do. I referred my Film Threat buddy "Little" Mike Ferarro and he went...and had a blast. Bastard. However the nice lady said she'd keep me in mind for other fests and about a month ago, I got an email inviting me to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
Sweet! I jumped at the chance and once again was happy I didn't go to Sundance. I was soon hooked up and dialed in for the fest and have spent the last week trying to figure out what films I want to see. SBIFF is kind of an odd fest. There's alot of amazing docs and they do a superb job showcasing local talent. But what makes the fest odd (in my eyes) is that they always PACK the thing with celebrities. I think last year they honored Peter Jackson and there's always star studded galas going on.
I think it's great that they program *real* films and still attract so many heavy hitters. However I also discovered that they showcase the years best films and I realized this when I got an email saying there were 32!! Oscar nominees and/or films at the fest! Holy crap!! Read this list and as you do, note that whatever filmmaker is there with his or her film, their movie is also playing and a Q&A with them follows.
· Sacha Baron Cohen, and co-writers Ant Hines and Peter Baynham, who will participate in a “Conversation With…”
· Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children, who will participate in a “Conversation With…”
· Djimon Honsou, Blood Diamond, who will participate in a “Conversation With…”
· Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls (presenting to Bill Condon, who was sorely overlooked!)
· Peter Morgan, Screenwriter, The Queen
· Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Director, Babel
· Todd Field, Director, Little Children
· Michael Arndt, Writer, Little Miss Sunshine
· Guillermo Arriaga, Writer, Babel
· Ron Yerxa, Producer, Little Children/Little Miss Sunshine
· Albert Berger, Producer, Little Children/Little Miss Sunshine
· Steve Golin, Producer, Babel
· Graham King, Producer, The Departed
· Adriana Barazza, actress, Babel
· Gustavo Santaolalla, Composer, Babel
· The Danish Poet (Short Film, animated)
· Recycled Life (short doc)
· Rehearsing A Dream (short doc)
· Blood of Yingzhou (short doc)
· An Inconvenient Truth (doc)
· The Lives of Others (foreign film)
· Days of Glory (foreign film)
· Little Miss Sunshine (followed by a Conversation with the directors)
· The Queen
· Happy Feet
· Monster House
Plus their honoring Will Smith and Helen Miren!
So, needless to say, I'm incredibly flattered and honored and stoked to be asked to attend! Watch the blog for updates and OH!! PLEASE read my new blog at Petaluma 360. Yeah, I'm a total blog whore. But I want to use that blog to launch some cool local stuff so hit it up and add some comments!