'Samara,' 'Where Do We Go Now' on sked
The Santa Barbara Film Fest, running Jan. 16-Feb. 5, has announced the program for its 27th edition. Nearly 200 films from 44 countries will screen, along with retrospectives for Lawrence Kasdan and a focus on Warner Bros. archives.Fest will close with Nadine Labaki’s Lebanese pic “Where Do We Go Now,” which won the Toronto audience award. The previously-announced opening night film is Kasdan’s “Darling Companion,” while the centerpiece gala is impressionistic docu “Samsara,” from “Baraka” helmer Ron Fricke. “Our program this year reflects invigorating change,” remarks SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “When I joined SBIFF ten years ago, I set out to bring the festival’s program and its sidebars to reflect the city of Santa Barbara as a city, and its community. This year we’ve taken that concept even further. We have a fantastic, quirky, all encompassing program.” On Jan. 28, the fest will offer panels on screenwriting, creative women, producers and directing, with Variety’s Peter Bart moderating the helmer’s panel. Digitally restored classics from the Warner Archives include “A Clockwork Orange,” “Ben Hur” and “Dangerous Liaisons.” The Kasdan retrospective includes screenings of “Body Heat,” “Grand Canyon” and The Big Chill.” Among the subject groupings are Cinema Nouveau for French films, Cinesonic for films about musicians, Kolnoa for films on Jewish and Israeli themes, Screen Cuisine and Spanish/Latin American cinema. Among the prizes to be awarded are audience award, independent film, international feature and docu.