Each January and February, Hollywood’s A-list stars and directors venture from Tinseltown to Santa Barbara for the annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. It’s one of our favorite events of the year, and as we look forward to 2019, we’re looking back at everything that happened in 2018. Here are the films we loved from the 2018 Santa Barbara Film Festival.
Icarus, a film by Bryan Fogel
Last year’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival screened what would become an Academy Award winner for Best Documentary Feature in Icarus. This one-of-a-kind film changed the course of history when a Russian scientist subject opens up a Pandora’s box of scandals relating to Russian doping.
Skid Row Marathon
The Audience Award at the 2018 Santa Barbara International Film Festival went to Skid Row Marathon. The documentary follows Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Craig Mitchell and the long-distance runner’s club he leads through LA’s infamous Skid Row neighborhood. The subject matter is striking and moving to say the least.
One Last Night
This comedy from writer and director Anthony Sabet won the Best Picture at the 2018 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The story follows a man and woman on their first date at a local movie theatre and end up accidentally getting locked inside. The story takes a turn when the female character comes to believe that the man might have kept them there on purpose.
Secret Ingredient was the winner of best International Film, and the Greek film follows a struggling train mechanic who feeds his father a marijuana-laced cake to help with cancer pains. In the process, he gets caught up in some drama with the drug dealers and some nosy neighbors who want a taste of his special dessert.
This Icelandic film earned special jury recognition at the 2018 Santa Barbara Film Festival, and it hits home with a story about a nine-year-old working with family in the country. It’s one of the more critically-acclaimed and recognized pieces from the successful Icelandic director Asa Helga Hjorleifsdottir.