New Filmmakers, New Fest : Pop-Up Film Festival Takes over Arlington for one day

The Arlington Theatre rolled out the red carpet last Thursday night, not for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (that’s later this week), but for a day-long screening of social justice films called the “Pop Up Film Festival.” The creation of filmmaker Daniel Bollag, the Festival was a one-day, 12-hour affair, with a series of seven films screening from noon to midnight with stops along the way for audience discussion, promotional tables in the lobby, a bar on the patio for guests, live music outside, and the aforementioned red carpet, which the Arlington extended out to the street.

“I didn’t really worry about turnout so much,” Mr. Bollag said as he took a quick break from the proceedings. “This is all about giving these films a voice. A lot of these films will not be shown in the normal film festivals.”

Read More


Mekhi Phifer stars in "The Suspect."Sherry McCracken photo
Mekhi Phifer stars in “The Suspect.”

Sherry McCracken photo

In the run-up to the SBIFF, you might have spotted some posters around town announcing another film fest at the Arlington in January. Well, you aren’t seeing double. The Pop-Up Film Festival is a day-long, 12-hour selection of mostly local filmmakers and their work, set up by producer-director Daniel Bollag. A long-time fan of all SBIFF brings to town (he often attends their tribute evenings), Mr. Bollag says the timing is purely coincidental.

Yes, he does wonder if SBIFF has evolved into a “marketing opportunity for bigger studios” and noticed there were also a lot of local, social-justice documentaries that weren’t being shown at the Fest or anywhere else in town. So the Pop-Up Film Festival was born, a full 12 hours of film for which one can buy individual tickets ñ or a whole day-pass. And nearly all films save “No Burqas” have a Santa Barbara-based filmmaker, including Israeli Meni Philip, who recently moved to town.

Read More