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STARS SHINE AT 25TH SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL     Story and Photos by Bonnie Carroll

From beginning to end the 25th Annual Santa Barbara Film Festival overflowed with great talents, outstanding films, and the cordial hospitality of the local residents and business owners in the seaside city of Santa Barbara. It was eleven days of great films and spectacular events.

Sandra Bullock, James Cameron, Julianne Moore, Colin Firth, Jeff Bridges, Kathryn Bigelow, Vera Farmiga, Peter Scarsgaard, Stanley Tucci, Christoph Waltz, Emily Blunt, Carey Mulligan, Saoirse Ronan, Gabourey Sidibe, and Micheal Stuhlbarg were all welcomed and honored at this year's event. February 14th was declared Jeff Bridges Day and his films, including the critically-acclaimed Crazy Heart, ran at the Lobero Theatre for attedees of the SBIFF to enjoy.

          

Bullock, looking positively beautiful, made the most of every minute on the red carpet by taking phone photos with people who were cheering as she got out of her limo, and she really enjoyed two middle-school kids doing interviews on the carpet. Her film trip down memory lane on stage was delightfully entertaining, and her genuine gratitude for being honored with the SBIFF American Riviera Award was touching. Actor Forest Whitaker presented Bullock with here award, and his presentation speech was eloquent, to say the least. Julianne Moore was equally lovely at her award interview and spoke of her great love of the craft of acting and how lucky she felt to have played so many interesting characters during her career.

Leonard Maltin and his daughter smiled down the red carpet for the James Cameron Modern Master Award presentation, and Kathryn Bigelow was honored as Director of the Year in a packed house following a showing of her spectacular film Hurt Locker at the LoberoTheatre.

  

It's a great feeling to see the Arlington Theatre alive with guests, stars and press. The film Gone with the Wind had its West Coast premiere at this historic site, and the film magic goes on like the energizer rabbit thanks to Roger Durling, Carol Marshall and the SBIFF staff, who continue to do a great job making everything work, and offering a superb line up of fantastic films and awards.


    SBIFF FILM MAKERS HOSTED BY HARBOR HOUSE

        

            

Harbor House Restaruant on Stearns Wharf (Owner Pictured above) has hosted the Film Makers Breakfast and Affter Parties for many years, and continues to be the best place to visit one-on-one with the talented film makers who participate in SBIFF each year.

        

Those attending this year included Terry Grace and brother Gary Eastern "Shadezenhues", Brandon Roots and executive producer Rosalind Preger "Respiracion-Breathing"; Amanda Pope and Tchavdar Georgiev "The Desert of Forbidden Art" and "When the Dragon Swallowed the Sun" Dirk Simon, along with countless others, including creators of the "Book of Kells", a favorite animated film of festival visitors.

            

JOE'S CAFE ON STATE

Joe's Cafe, on State Street across from SBIFF headquarters in the Hotel Santa Barbara, was the VIP meeting place for all the sponsors and Platinum Pass holders. Chopra martini's and great food was plentiful. VIP's Mr. & Mrs. Fred C. Creason of Goleta enjoyed the great sandwiches served by a smiling SBIFF volunteer.

               

Other food and beverage sponsors can be viewed at www.SBIFF.com.


Eva Longoria and the Golden Ticket

Eva LongoriaEva Longoria is taking on a role that's a mix of Easter Bunny and Girl Scout and it's all in the name of charity.  The "Desperate Housewives" star is teaming up with Elton John to sell chocolate to raise funds for his Elton John AIDS Foundation


The two will be offering a limited edition box of Godiva chocolate with an access code in side it, in a sort of modern day twist on Willy Wonka.  The box with that "Golden Ticket" will include airfare, accommodations and tickets for two to attend Elton Johns fund raising gala in New York and the chance to personally present Sir Elton John with a check for $20,000. 

You can find the specially marked boxes at Godiva Chocolatier stores, but the the purchase needs to be made by March 12th... Good luck.


PBS Explores Tibetans’ Sacred Cultural Roots in Mustang

With New Documentary Narrated By Richard Gere

 “[Mustang: Journey of Transformation] will leave you wanting to know even more about this land that time forgot.” – San Francisco Chronicle

PBS takes viewers on a journey across the world to the last Kingdom of Tibet – Mustang – one of the few remaining countries that still preserves and honors original Tibetan culture and practices.  Narrated by Richard Gere and set for release on January 5, Mustang: Journey of Transformation reveals the history, unique traditions and Buddhist religion that are at the heart of the Tibetan people who reside in this little-known region east of the Himalayas

 “Because our land is filled with untouched monasteries from the 15th century and our government is based on Buddhist teachings, some say we are the last remaining

Tibetan kingdom,” said Jigme Palbar Bista, King of Mustang.

 Mustang: Journey of Transformation

The Himalayan Kingdom of Mustang is one of the last sanctuaries of authentic Tibetan Buddhist culture. Long isolated by geography and politics, the people have struggled to survive, and the 15th century monasteries that are the center of their culture have come dangerously close to collapsing. MUSTANG tells the story of a Tibetan culture that has pulled back from the brink of extinction through the restoration of its sacred sites.

 The film features interviews with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the King of Mustang, and Luigi Fieni, the chief art conservator of Mustang's ancient Buddhist masterpieces.

 To order a copy of Mustang: Journey of Transformation, please visit ShopPBS.org or call (800) PLAY-PBS.

A New Leading Man for
Albuquerque Studios

Pacifica Ventures has appointed Jason Hariton as the new Executive Vice President and General Manager of Albuquerque Studios.  Hariton is an industry veteran and has been in charge of day to day running of the studio.

Hal Katersky, Chairman of Pacifica Ventures said, “We are proud of the role Albuquerque Studios has played in growing the film industry in the Albuquerque metropolitan region, and we look forward to supporting the efforts to build this industry statewide. We are pleased to have Jason Hariton, our new Executive Vice President and General Manager, at the helm.”

About Albuquerque Studios:
Albuquerque Studios is New Mexico’s premier full-service studio complex. Situated on 38 acres, the 91.4 million-dollar facility boasts eight (8) hi-tech sound stages totaling nearly 170,000 square feet; 78,000 square feet of production office space; 70,000 square feet of Mill Space; and the southwest’s fullest compliment of industry support services: lighting & grip, camera, heavy equipment, telecom & data, and more. With several high-profile movies under its belt, Albuquerque Studios was recently ranked as the top independent studio in the U.S., while the impressive campus of soundstages and production offices currently house several feature film and television productions.
http://www.abqstudios.com


BROADWAY/L.A. ANNOUNCES 2010-2011 SEASON

Broadway/L.A. announces the lineup for its 2010-2011 Season, a 7-Show package that includes WEST SIDE STORY, HAIR, ROCK OF AGES, BURN THE FLOOR and SHREK THE MUSICAL - all of which are recent Broadway hits making Southern California premieres at the Pantages Theatre.  A sixth musical to be announced will play the Pantages in March.  Rounding out the season is the West Coast Premiere of TRACES, featuring the acclaimed company 7 Fingers (Les 7 doigts de la main), in a fusion of musical, drama and circus that will play just around the corner from the Pantages at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre.

While not part of the traditional 7-Show Package, Broadway/L.A. Season Ticket Holders will be given first opportunity to purchase the best available seats for three additional events at the Pantages Theatre in 2010-2011: the Farewell Engagement of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, SPRING AWAKENING and RAIN - A TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES will all revisit Southern California during the season.

Season Ticket Holders enjoy a host of benefits not available to the general public, primarily the ability to access the best seats in the house, often at savings of 10% off single ticket prices.  They also get a slew of other benefits like lost ticket insurance and any-time-any-reason exchange.  Season Ticket Holders have 24/7 account access through a custom website that provides the ability to check performance dates and seating locations, update account information, secure additional priority seats, and make payments online with a few simple clicks.

Season Tickets will go on sale to the general public at a later date.  First access will be given to those who are signed up to receive email "e-lerts" from Broadway/L.A.  To register, please visit www.BroadwayLA.org.  Following an exclusive online-only ordering time frame, Season Tickets will be available for order by phone toll-free at 866-755-BWAY (2929) or by mail order.  To encourage the public to take advantage of our faster and easier online ordering option, those ordering Season Tickets online will also enjoy savings of up to $14 for each person in their season package.

In addition to the full 7-Show Season Ticket Package, Broadway/L.A. offers a smaller package that covers the first five season events of the year (WEST SIDE STORY, HAIR, TRACES, ROCK OF AGES and the TBA show).  Season Packages start as low as $153 for a 5-Show Plan, or $237.50 for a 7-Show Plan. 

Once again this season, Broadway/L.A. is proud to offer the discriminating theatre patron the ultimate theatrical package, offering VIP service, prestige, privileges and convenience.  A limited number of positions are available in The President's Club®, which provides members four priority seats to our eight-show season -- priority seat access to all Nederlander theatres worldwide, the ability to purchase extra "house seats" to all Broadway/L.A. shows, free parking for all season productions, access to theatre VIP Suite for members, and invitations to any opening night parties during the season.  To find out more about becoming a member, please visit www.BroadwayLA.org/PrezClub, or call Jeff Loeb at 323-468-1732.

While tickets for individual productions will not go on sale to the public until later dates (to be announced), those who wish to purchase 10 or more tickets to any single performance are welcome to reserve priority seats now by calling Nederlander Group Sales West toll-free at 866-755-3075 or by visiting www.nedgroups.com.

Broadway/L.A. is the Los Angeles theatrical division of The Nederlander Organization, owner of the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.  The Nederlander Organization also owns or operates nine theatres on Broadway, three theatres on the West End in London, and operates Broadway Seasons in several other U.S. cities.


The Cinema Society & Screenvision screening of "The Ghost Writer," sponsored by Maestro DOBEL Diamond Tequila at the Crosby Street Hotel in NYC. Celebrity attendees included Pierce Brosnan, Ewan McGregor, U2’s “The Edge”, Brooke Shields, Piper Perabo, Carol Alt, Rachel Zoe, Julian Schnabel, Duncan Sheik, Carmen Marc Valvo, and others. At the after party, guests enjoyed Maestro DOBEL-infused “Ghost Writer” cocktails and hors d'œuvres.

"THE GHOST" Attendees Pierce Brosnan & Ewan McGregor

Photo Credit: David Prutting/Patrick McMullan Co.


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© 2008 Bonnie Carroll, All Rights Reserved