2023 Guide to SBIFF

2023 Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Experience Santa Barbara’s cinematic side during the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), which returns Feb. 8-18, 2023. Oscar contenders and the industry’s best will gather in The American Riviera® for 11 action-packed days of film screenings, celebrity tribute events, panel discussions, parties and more. A world-renowned festival now in its 38th year, SBIFF attracts award-winning filmmakers, actors, writers, students, devoted moviegoers and locals who simply love the buzz the events bring to town.

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In addition to the opening and closing night film screenings and galas, the celebrity tribute events are among the most popular SBIFF programs. Fans gather on the street outside the theatre hours before the events to see their favorite stars arrive on the red carpet. For ticket holders, these events offer a rare opportunity to sit in a theater as Hollywood’s top talents and rising stars are interviewed by skilled moderators. Past honorees have included the likes of Denzel Washington, Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Redford, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Murray—to name drop a few. As the candid conversations unfold over the course of a couple hours, the talented performers reflect upon their careers and filmmaking experiences completely unscripted.

The major award events that have been announced so far include:

Visit the official SBIFF website for tickets and additional movie times. 


Whether you are a film buff who wants to binge on films from around the world, you’re mainly interested in the glitz and glamour, or you want to soak it all in, the SBIFF ticketing system allows you to choose events a la carte, buy packaged bundles or invest in an all-inclusive pass. A four-film MiniPak starts at $72, whereas individual tribute events range from $30-$97 for floor seats. If you plan to buy individual tickets to one of the celebrity tributes, we recommend purchasing as soon as they are on sale to ensure you secure your spot given they often sell out.

Cinephiles will enjoy the Intro Package ($225), which includes two general admission tickets to both opening and closing night films and two four-film MiniPaks, which equates to eight film screening entrances. The Film Geek Package ($400) builds upon the Intro offerings with the addition of two general admission tickets to all five panel events, whereas the Tribute Package ($600) includes two GA tickets for each of the celebrity tribute events.

Other passes like the State Street ($500) and Cinema Pass ($750) include priority admission to film screenings. The Platinum Pass ($2,250) is the gateway to premium, priority access to all events, from celebrity tributes to film screenings. And the highest level of access comes with the Concierge Pass ($6,000) which grants reserved seating and other VIP benefits like concierge services and sponsored gift bags.