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Hotel Santa Barbara

Downtown hotel on State Street in Santa Barbara near beaches & walking distance to Stearns Wharf, shopping, restaurants and night life.
27 Feb

2018 Santa Barbara Film Festival Recap

And that’s a wrap! The Santa Barbara Film Festival has come to a close and we want to follow-up the 11 days of festival fun with a full recap. 2018 was another great year for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (and the Santa Barbara community) and there was much to see and do!

The 33rd SBIFF was the best festival yet, and came at a time when Santa Barbara needed much love and support. The 11-days were filled with world premieres, independent & international film screenings, Oscar-nominated films, industry tributes, seminars & panels, and youth education programs.


The Will Call office crew getting ready to handout hundreds of Film Festival passholder bags at Hotel Santa Barbara.

This year, non-profit organizations conducting disaster relief work were highlighted throughout each day of the Festival including: Red Cross, United Way of Santa Barbara, Salvation Army, Disaster Relief, and Foodbank of Santa Barbara County – to raise funds and awareness for their critical work.

700 volunteers, 200 filmmakers, dozens of sponsors and 90,000 film lovers attended this year’s festival celebrating film and the spirit of Santa Barbara.


Over 700 volunteers make the SB Film Festival run. Here two volunteers work the reception desk located in the lobby of Hotel Santa Barbara. Photo credit: Fritz Olenberger.

Hotel Santa Barbara has been a proud sponsor of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for the past 15 years and we have watched the festival grow to become the international, star studded event that it is today.


Actor Willem Dafoe snaps a selfie with a fan while walking in to receive his Cinema Vanguard Award for SBIFF 2018. Photo credit: Fritz Olenberger.

As the Festival Hub again this year, Hotel Santa Barbara housed the Will Call/Ticketing office, the Press Office and Festival Hospitality Desk. Our lobby is vibrant and bustling. Filmmakers, actors and festival goers came and went throughout the week, and shared a cup of coffee and conversation about film.

This year’s closing films were comprised of local filmmaker shorts and with a focus on Santa Barbara. It was a great way to celebrate our community and the close of another successful film festival. While we are always sad to see SBIFF come to an end, we know we have another exciting year to look forward to in 2019.


SBIFF staff greet attendees picking up tickets in the Will Call office at Hotel Santa Barbara. Photo credit: Fritz Olenberger.


Hotel Santa Barbara celebrated its 15th year as the Official Festival Hub. Photo credit: Fritz Olenberger.


Hotel Santa Barbara is a proud supporting sponsor of Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Every year, a large banner of the poster hangs from our building.


Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies. 4,000 4th, 5th and 6th graders attended SBIFF to watch Coco, and to participate in Q&A sessions with Executive Director, Roger Durling and filmmaker Adrian Molina. Photo credit: Fritz Olenberger.


Actor Gary Oldman stands in front of the Arlington Theater. Mr. Oldman was presented with the Maltin Modern Master Award in 2018. Photo credit: Fritz Olenberger.

A huge thank you to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, its staff and volunteers for bringing such an awe-inspiring festival to our little city. We look forward to welcoming everyone back in 2019!

Thank you to talented local photographer Fritz Olenberger for letting use his brilliant shots of the festival for our recap.


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