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Some film forecasters look to the Golden Globe nominations to gauge the year's Oscar contenders, but Santa Barbara's own Roger Durling, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, has an impressive knack for predicting Academy Award nominees and winners through his choices for the Festival's award honorees. Screening more than 200 films from around the world, SBIFF is considered an essential stop on "the road to the Oscars." The 26th edition of the Fest will take place January 27-February 6, and attract an eclectic mix of film lovers, entertainment industry pros and locals.
We've got our eye on Roger's picks to-date, which include several of the recently announced Globe nominees:
Tickets and passes for SBIFF are on sale now at www.sbiff.org and it's best to buy early for the celebrity tributes, which tend to sell out. The tribute experience is a bit like "Inside the Actors Studio" - the honorees engage in a dialogue with a moderator, who walks the audience through their career, showing clips along the way. You get a great feel for the various personalities through the candid discussions.
Film Fest goers will get to fulfill more than just their cravings for cinema and star sightings. Fabulous food is written into the script, too, with the new Film Feast prix fixe dining program. Throughout the 11 days of the festival, 30 participating restaurants will be offering special "Short" (2-course), "Feature" (3-course) and "Epic" (4-course) seasonal menus. Check out the restaurant line-up on www.sbfilmfeast.com, where there's also a listing of cinema-centric Film Sleeps hotel packages and deals offered in conjunction with SBIFF. Come for the film and stay for the food, or come for the food and stay for the film!
BTW, Film Feast is part of California Restaurant Month in January - loads of great restaurant deals are being offered throughout the state all month long, so there will be plentiful opportunities to get your foodie fix on.
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Cheers to July! Head to Santa Barbara's Funk Zone to savor locally made wine, beer and spirits.
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Still looking for something to do this holiday weekend? Here are the top 5 reasons to visit the Santa Barbara South Coast on 4th of July and beyond: