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36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The online edition of the 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival includes Celebrity Tributes, Panel Discussions, Filmmaker Q&As and over 100 films!

Tahar Rahim (The Mauritanian) is among this year's recipients of the Virtuosos Award, an honor created to recognize a select group of talent whose noteworthy performances in film have elevated them into the national cinematic dialogue.

The SBIFF brings the best of independent and international cinema to Santa Barbara and continues to expand its year-round operation to include a wide range of educational programming, fulfilling its mission to engage, enrich and inspire the community through film.


 This year's French titles and coproductions include:


By Your Side (À la folie)
Directed and written by Audrey Estrougo

Emmanuelle returns to her childhood home to celebrate her mother's birthday. Her visit brings back memories of her past, but there is also a difficult present with her psychologically unstable older sister. No one suspects that this family celebration will quickly take an unexpected turn.


Daughters of the Waves
Directed and written by Lisa Monin and Sébastien Daguerressar

Although only 20, Vahine Fierro is undaunted by the Teahupoo wave, considered the most dangerous in the world. Vahine surfs as no other Polynesian girl has ever surfed. In Tahitian culture, riding the waves is an ancestral activity from which women had been gradually eliminated, but now surfing is open to women, just in time for the Olympics. Coming from an entire family of surfers, Vahine and her two sisters hope to make a living with their passion and travel the world.


Teach Me if You Can
Directed and written by Émilie Thérond

From a nomads’ camp buried under snow in Siberia to the stifling scrublands of Burkina Faso, from the flooded fields and roads of Bangladesh to a remote village in South Lebanon, teachers are inspired by a belief that an educated child can change the world. To achieve this, they overcome challenges, barriers, and hardship as they transform teaching into a genuine adventure. This is the story of the transformation of the lives of children and their teachers alike


Fortitude (La fortaleza)
Directed by Jorge Thielen Armand and written by Rodrigo Michelangeli

To escape the crisis in Venezuela--and his alcoholism--Roque retreats to the Amazon jungle to renovate a cabin he built during happier times. There he struggles with feverish withdrawal visions. When he goes to work in an illegal gold mine controlled by Colombian guerrillas, he is plunged into a cycle of self-destruction. Roque will need the fortitude to get out and start anew. FORTITUDE is based on the true story of the filmmaker’s father, who stars in the film as himself.