Excellence in Service

Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Award Sponsor: Montecito Bank & Trust

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is a nonprofit arts and education organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. Its annual 11-day celebration in Santa Barbara has been gaining momentum for over 30 years, and proudly presents more than 200 diverse films to over 90,000 film enthusiasts, students, industry professionals, and leading journalists. In addition, SBIFF offers an expansive schedule of exclusive screenings and talks by filmmakers and actors throughout the year in collaboration with the Cinema Society.

Last year, SBIFF acquired Santa Barbara’s historic and beloved Riviera Theatre. For the first time it will have a full-time community center focused on the art of film, and, as a result, a new opportunity to expand its educational outreach in our community.

SBIFF’s AppleBox Family Films annually serves 8,000 children and their families. Open to anyone on a first come first served basis, this program provides a fun, supportive environment to families whose income level may not otherwise allow them access to the movies.  SBIFF’s move to the Riviera Theatre will allow SBIFF to double the program’s capacity.

Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies educates 4,000 local fifth and sixth grade students through a one-day program during the Film Festival. Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies explores how to use the art of filmmaking to stimulate creative, confident, and culturally aware thinking and empower students and teachers with a creative approach to education. Free transportation is provided to and from under-resourced schools.

Other educational programs include the 5-day Film Camp, a summer experience for underserved youth; the 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting Competition, providing expertise to high school and college students from a panel of respected industry professionals; and Film Studies, a 3-day symposium open to all undergraduate students in the U.S.

SBIFF is committed to opening the doorway to film education for everyone. Its dedication to engaging, enriching, and inspiring people through film has changed lives and bettered the Santa Barbara community.