By Ray Pride

33rd Santa Barbara Film Festival Award Winners

Audience Choice Award: Mark Hayes’ SKID ROW MARATHON

Best Documentary Short Film Award: Kyle Morrison’s MOTT HAVEN

Bruce Corwin Award – Best Live Action Short Film: Richard Van’s AUDITION

Bruce Corwin Award – Best Animated Short Film: Randall Christopher’s THE DRIVER IS RED

Best Documentary Award: Grant Korgan and Geoff Callan’s THE PUSH

Jeffrey C. Barbakow Award – Best International Feature Film: Gjorce Stavreski’s SECRET INGREDIENT (Iscelitel)

Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema: Molly McGlynn’s MARY GOES ROUND

Nueva Vision Award for Spain/Latin America Cinema: Pablo Solarz’s THE LAST SUIT (El último traje)

Special Mention: Denny Brechner, Alfonso Guerrero and Marcos Hecht’s GET THE WEED (Misión no oficial)

Valhalla Award for Best Nordic Film: Antti-Jussi Annila’s THE ETERNAL ROAD (Ikitie)

ADL Stand Up Award: Talya Tibbon and Joshua Bennett’s SKY AND GROUND

Social Justice Award for Documentary Film: Ludovic Bonleux’s GUERRERO

Santa Barbara, Calif. (Feb. 10, 2018) – The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), presented by UGG®, announced today the highly anticipated winners for its 33rd year at a ceremony held in their honor. Awards in all categories were announced, culminating in the coveted Audience Choice Award, which went to Mark Hayes’ SKID ROW MARATHON. The films were chosen by jury members Jan Bijvoet, Geoffrey Cowper, Mimi deGruy, Martin Gooch, Perry Lang, Jesus Lloveras, Marc Meyers, José Novoa, Artie Schmidt, Leslie Zemeckis, Anthony Zerbe and Arnette Zerbe.

Three awards were handed out for short films. The Bruce Corwin Award for Best Live Action Short Film went to Richard Van’sAUDITION. The Bruce Corwin Award for Best Animated Short Film went to Randall Christopher’s THE DRIVER IS RED. Best Documentary Short Film was awarded to Kyle Morrison’s MOTT HAVEN.

The Best Documentary Film Award went to Grant Korgan and Geoff Callan’s THE PUSH. The jury remarked that “We chose THE PUSH as the best feature documentary because it was a riveting, well told story with excellent camera work, and superb editing that kept us engaged the entire time.”

Gjorce Stavreski’s SECRET INGREDIENT (Iscelitel) is the recipient of the Jeffrey C. Barbakow Award for Best International Film. The Jury remarked that “It’s outstanding direction and the terrific performances of all the cast make it hard to believe that it’s a directorial debut.”

Molly McGlynn’s MARY GOES ROUND took home the Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema. The Jury remarked that “Aya Cash’s performance beautifully depicts the intense, painful descent into alcohol addiction and its consequences. “

The Nueva Vision Award for Spain/Latin America Cinema went to Pablo Solarz’s THE LAST SUIT (El último traje) for it’s for its theme, mise-en-scene, and great performances. The Jury also had a special mention for Denny Brechner, Alfonso Guerrero and Marcos Hecht’sGET THE WEED (Misión no oficial) for it was a great surprise, full of humor and made with great effort, that every single person in the audience enjoyed.

The Valhalla Award for Best Nordic Film was awarded to Antti-Jussi Annila’s THE ETERNAL ROAD (Ikitie). The Jury remarked that the film “told a fascinating story about an unknown period in history, featuring excellent performances, a gripping narrative with wonderful cinematography and production design.”

Sponsored by Santa Barbara and Tri-Counties ADL, The ADL Stand Up Award went to Talya Tibbon and Joshua Bennett’s SKY AND GROUND. ADL remarked that “in furtherance of our mission ‘to secure justice and fair treatment for all,’ ADL is pleased to stand up with SKY AND GROUND, a film that stands for respecting human dignity amidst fear and bigotry.”

Sponsored by Pacific Standard, The Social Justice Award for Documentary Film went to Ludovic Bonleux’s GUERRERO. They Jury remarked that this is “an essential story about the fallout from a mass kidnapping in a historic Mexican city that takes its time making the viewer feel a region’s collective pain and determination; the people of this city seek not just justice from a corrupt government, but also answers as to what happened to their children. It’s a film everyone should see—and one we won’t soon forget.”

The Audience Choice Award sponsored by the Santa Barbara Independent went to Mark Hayes’ SKID ROW MARATHON. On LA’s Skid Row, a criminal court judge organizes a running club comprised of homeless, recovering alcoholics, and paroled men and women who seek to rediscover their sense of self-worth and dignity.


The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. Over the past 32 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States – attracting 100,000 attendees and offering 11 days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums, fulfilling their mission to engage, enrich, and inspire the Santa Barbara community through film.

Sponsors of the 33rd SBIFF include: UGG®, Belvedere Vodka, Toyota Mirai, City of Santa Barbara, Amazon Studios, Dom Pérignon, ADL, Montecito Bank & Trust, Visit the Santa Ynez Valley, IMDBpro, Santa Barbara Foundation, Union Bank, Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation, Patagonia, Winchester Mystery House, Pacific Standard, Riordan Foundation, Lynda Weinman & Bruce Heavin, Volentine Family Foundation, and many more supporting through trade.

 SBIFF continues its commitment to education and the community through free programs like its 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting Competitions, Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies, National Film Studies Program, AppleBox Family Films, 3rd Weekend and educational seminars. In June of 2016, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre.  The theatre is SBIFF’s new home and is the catalyst for program expansion and marks the first time that Santa Barbara has had a 24/7 community center to expand their mission of educational outreach.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

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~ David Simon