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31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival Releases 2016 Program

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), presented by UGG, announced today the highly-anticipated line-up for the 31st edition, which will run Feb. 3 to Feb. 13. 

The festival will offer a vast array of films representing 60-plus countries, 52 world premieres and 53 U.S. premieres, along with tributes with the year’s top talent, panel discussions, and free community education and outreach.

SBIFF 2016 will kick off on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at the historic Arlington Theatre with the U.S. Premiere of The Little Prince, directed by Mark Osborne and featuring the voices of Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Ricky Gervais, James Franco, Mackenzie Foy and Benicio Del Toro. 

The Little Prince is based on the classic tale of the same name by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

On Feb. 7, Terrance Malick’s experiential Knight of Cups will have its U.S. Premiere at the Arlington Theatre as the festival’s Centerpiece Film. The highly anticipated film stars Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Frieda Pinto, Isabel Lucas, Imogen Poots, Wes Bentley, Brian Dennehy and Teresa Palmer, among others.

Knight of Cups follows writer Rick (Bale) on an odyssey through the playgrounds of Los Angeles and Las Vegas as he undertakes a search for love and self. Even as he moves through a desire-laden landscape of mansions, resorts, beaches and clubs, Rick grapples over complicated relationships with his brother (Bentley) and father (Dennehy).

His quest to break the spell of his disenchantment takes him on a series of adventures with six alluring women:  rebellious Della (Poots); his physician ex-wife, Nancy (Blanchett); a serene model Helen (Pinto); a woman he wronged in the past Elizabeth (Portman); a spirited, playful stripper Karen (Palmer); and an innocent Isabel (Lucas), who helps him see a way forward. 

Xavier Giannoli’s funny and emotional drama Marguerite will close out the festival on Feb. 13.

1921, the beginning of the Golden Twenties. Not far from Paris. It is party day at Marguerite Dumont’s castle. Like every year, an array of music lovers gathers around a great cause at the owner’s place. Nobody knows much about this woman except that she is rich and that her whole life is devoted to her passion: music. Marguerite sings. She sings wholeheartedly, but she sings terribly out of tune.

In ways quite similar to the Castafiore, Marguerite has been living her passion in her own bubble, and the hypocrite audience, always coming in for a good laugh, acts as if she was the diva she believes she is. When a young, provocative journalist decides to write a rave article on her latest performance, Marguerite starts to believe even further in her talent. This gives her the courage she needs to follow her dream. Despite her husband’s reluctance, and with the help of a has-been divo, both funny and mean, she decides to train for her first recital in front of a crowd of complete strangers.

The Tributes

SBIFF has become an important showcase for Academy Award® frontrunners, many of whom have arrived as nominees and gone on to win the Oscar. The 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival proudly celebrates some of the year’s finest work in film. 

The complete list of 2016 Honorees (in date order) is as follows: 

Scott Cooper will present Johnny Depp with the esteemed Maltin Modern Master Award sponsored by UGG, moderated by longtime friend and film historian Leonard Maltin on Thursday, Feb. 4.

Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams will receive the American Riviera Award sponsored by Engel & Völkers on Friday, Feb. 5.

The 2016 Virtuosos Award sponsored by Travel + Leisure will be presented to Elizabeth Banks (Love & Mercy), Joel Edgerton (Black Mass), Paul Dano (Love & Mercy, Youth),Jacob Tremblay (Room), Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl, Ex Machina), O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight Outta Compton) and Géza Röhrig (Son of Soul) in recognition of the year’s emerging film artists. The evening will be moderated by Dave Karger, Chief Correspondent and host of "The Frontrunners" on Fandango on Saturday, Feb. 6.

Brie Larson and Saoirse Ronan will receive the Outstanding Performers of the Year Award, moderated by Pete Hammond, on Monday, Feb. 8.

The Montecito Award will be Tuesday, Feb. 9 and is sponsored by Hennessy. Honoree to be announced.

The Variety Artisans Awards will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 10 and will be moderated by Variety’s Sr. VP Awards Editor, Tim Gray. Honorees to be announced.

The Outstanding Director of the Year Award sponsored by The Hollywood reporter will be Thursday, Feb. 11 and will be moderated by THR’s Scott Feinberg. Honorees to be announced.

Rooney Mara will receive the Cinema Vanguard Award, presented to her by Cate Blanchett, on Saturday, Feb. 12.

All tributes take place at the historic Arlington Theatre except the Variety Artisans Award which will be at the Lobero Theatre.

Visit the festival website for a full schedule and list of events, including panels and free screenings for locals. 

 

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