Santa Barbara Film Festival Moves To April Following Oscar’s Lead


Predictably following the lead of the Oscar move into April announced this week, the Santa Barbara Film Festival, which will mark its 36th year for its next edition, will now take place March 31-April 10, 2021. This replaces the previously announced dates of January 27-February 6.

The festival traditionally has been a must-stop for newly minted Oscar nominees as it presents a series of tributes and panels tied to the Academy Award contenders. All these moves are necessary of course because of the unprecedented disruption to the entertainment industry, and especially the movie business, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Like so many other prestigious ceremonies and events, we’ve had to adjust our plans in this extremely unprecedented era,” SBIFF executive director Roger Durling said. “There has never been a more critical time to celebrate cinema and its ability to get us through extremely challenging circumstances, whether on a personal level or on a global scale, by keeping us entertained, informed and inspired.”


SBIFF will once again bring 200-plus films featuring over 120 world and U.S. premieres, industry panels, celebrity tributes, and educational and free community programs to Santa Barbara, with screenings and events held throughout the city including at the Arlington and Lobero theaters.

Last year’s festival included nightly tributes honoring artists including Brad Pitt, Renee Zellweger, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o, Laura Dern, Bong Joon-ho, Aldis Hodge, George MacKay, Cynthia Erivo, Beanie Feldstein, Taron Egerton, Awkwafina, Florence Pugh, Taylor Russell and more.

Many more Oscar-related events are expected to follow suit. Already, BAFTA and the Independent Spirit Awards have announced new dates in line with the Motion Picture Academy’s moves.

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