Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2021 Announces Virtual and Drive-In Experience

Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF)

Despite moving the dates to later in the year, Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) announced two formats to experience the events this year occurring from March 31-April 10.

Due to the pandemic, the festival concluded to proceed in “the safest way possible” with two screening experiences with drive-in theaters and virtual online screenings.

SBIFF revealed it is planning an elaborate build-out of two beachside drive-in theaters. They will include more than 80 plus film screenings for free, but RSVP prior to arrival is required.

Also, SBIFF offers full-scale ticketed virtual components for online film screenings, filmmaker Q&As, industry panels, and celebrity tributes.

The celebrity tribute honorees include Bill Murray, Sacha Baron Cohen, Amanda Seyfried, Riz Ahmed, Maria Bakalova, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Andra Day, Sidney Flanigan, Vanessa Kirby, Tahar Rahim, Zandaya, and Delroy Lindo.

The tributes and industry panels plan to be aired live via the festival’s virtual platform.

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“It’s imperative we bring a sense of hopefulness to 2021, but in the safest way possible. A virtual component was a given but experiencing movies in socially distanced cars and being by the ocean felt oh so perfectly in Santa Barbara, California,” stated Roger Durling, SBIFF’s executive director. “We have poured all of our creativity into this plan and are proud of the shape it is taking.”

The full film lineup scheduled for announcement in early March. Despite the pandemic, the programmers indicated the festival received a record number of film submissions this year.

Passes for the Santa Barbara Film Festival (SBIFF) are now on sale on its website. The celebrity tribute tickets are also on sale. For additional information or to buy passes, visit

Check out the poster for the film festival below.

Source: Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF)

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Gig Patta is a journalist and interviewer for LRM and Latino-Review since 2009. He was a writer for other entertainment sites in the past with Collider and He originally came from the world of print journalism with several years as a reporter with the San Diego Business Journal and California Review. He earned his MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management and BA in Economics from UC San Diego. Follow him on Instagram @gigpatta or Facebook @officialgigpatta.

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