Your Guide to the

34th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival

In true new year’s fashion, Santa Barbara kicks off the 2019 award season with a glamorous, star-studded performance. Starting on January 30 and running through February 9, the 34th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) gathers film lovers from all over the world to enjoy special panels, award ceremonies and 200+ films at some of the city’s most historic theaters.

Founded in 1986, SBIFF has grown to become one of the leading film festivals in the U.S. Last year the event attracted an astonishing 92,000 attendees, with visitors ranging from A-list celebrities to film loving locals and tourists. As Hollywood’s elite flocks to Santa Barbara for 11 special days, Santa Barbara herself takes center stage, offering award winners and attendees a picture-perfect getaway. To help you celebrate this year’s standout film stars, while savoring all Santa Barbara has to offer, we’ve put together an event-by-event guide to help you make the most of your time in The American Riviera®.

Book Your Stay

Festival Passes

Consider yourself a cinephile? Treat yourself to the full festival experience with one of the full coverage Festival Passes. Covering your entrance for the entirety of the festival, Festival Passes range in access depending on the type of events you’re interested in. Choose from four different passes ranging from $350-$5,000: State Street Pass, Cinema Pass, Platinum Pass and Concierge Pass.

If you’re more of a film-fan and not looking for a full access pass or priority admission, you can buy an individually selected package of tickets to the type of event you are most interested in. Choose from three different passes ranging from $325-$670: Intro Package, Film Geek Package and Tribute Package.

Just interested in attending a specific event? Choose from Individual tickets, MiniPaks, (A 10-screening pack in the form of a punch card), or a Rush Ticket (wait in the rush ticket line to see if there are any remaining seats).

For budgets that are tight after the Holidays, don’t fret! As a ‘thank you’ to the community, SBIFF offers a handful of free community events: Free film screenings, Super Silent Sunday and AppleBox.

Not-to-be-Missed Events

From film geek to newbie, SBIFF is eleven full days dedicated to the best in cinema. No matter if you are a dedicated film lover who has already bought passes, or if you find yourself in town during these eventful days, here are some festival highlights that are not-to-be-missed.


Outstanding Directors of the Year

The Outstanding Directors of the Year is awarded to directors who push the boundaries of storytelling with a daring elegance and proficiency.  This year, SBIFF is proud to present this aware to all five of the filmmakers who are nominated for this year’s Academy Award for Best Director. Learn More

American Riviera Award

Santa Barbara has long been described as The American Riviera®. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival proudly places this name on their award for outstanding achievement in American film. This year’s award goes to Viggo Mortensen. Learn More

Maltin Modern Master Award

Given to an individual who has enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry, this year’s recipient of the Maltin Modern Master Award is Glenn Close. The Modern Master Award is the highest honor presented by Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Learn More

Virtuosos Award presented by UGG®

The Virtuosos Award presented by UGG ® is given to up-and-coming actors. This year, SBIFF will be honoring Yalitza Aparicio (Roma), Sam Elliott (A Star is Born), Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade), Claire Foy (First Man), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace), John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman), and Steven Yeun (Burning).

Names of award winners and panel attendees are updated as they’re announced. Please check back later for more information.