SBIFF kicks off its 30th year tonight with opening film “Desert Dancer”

The 30th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival opens tonight for 12 days of celebrities; world premiere films; popular panels on writing, producing and directing; and much more. In a show of its expanding success, the festival now starts two days earlier and ends nearly a week later on a Saturday, a change after many years.

SBIFF as usual has a bevy of Oscar contenders ready to be honored and walk the red carpet, events that cause Santa Barbarans to flood the street outside the Arlington Theatre for a chance to see Hollywood’s best. Honored this year are Steve Carell, Jennifer Aniston, Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, the Cousteau family, Michael Keaton and a selection of breakthrough actors in the festival’s Virtuosos Award evening.

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