2015 Santa Barbara International Film Festival Winning Films

2015 Santa Barbara International Film Festival Winning Films image

For the complete list with links to all the winning films - scroll down to the bottom!

Santa Barbara, CA -- Winners Announced at the 30th Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The 30th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG Australia, culminated in a press conference and brunch on Saturday morning at the Fess Parker – A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, where the winners of the 2015 festival competition were announced. This year's festival not only showcased a diverse array of exceptional films but also surpassed previous years in both filmmaker participation and attendee numbers, drawing cinephiles from around the world.

Executive Director Roger Durling commented on the festival's success, saying, "This year, audiences experienced the most innovative and daring collection of films in our 30-year history. The response to our diverse lineup, enhanced by new sidebars like 'Cinematic Overtures' which focused on performance and dance, was phenomenal."

The 2015 SBIFF jury comprised notable figures including director and cinematographer Will Eubank, director Peter Chelsom, producer Chaz Ebert, actors Anthony and Arnette Zerbe, composer/lyricist Adam Guettel, actor James Read, SBIFF founder Phyllis de Picciotto, director/actor Perry Lang, and producer Mimi deGruy.

Award Winners:

  • The Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema: Awarded to "Bang Bang Baby," directed by Jeffrey St. Jules. This US Premiere film stars Jane Levy, Justin Chatwin, Peter Stormare, and David Reale in a story about a teenager's dream turning into a nightmare due to a chemical leak. The prize includes a Panavision camera package worth $60,000.

  • The Audience Choice Award: Presented to the New Zealand documentary "Hip Hop-eration," directed by Bryn Evans. This film follows a group of senior citizens on their quest to perform at the World Hip Hop Championships in Las Vegas.

  • Best International Film Award: Won by Belgium's "All Cats Are Grey," directed by Savina Dellicour. This film explores a daughter's quest to find her biological father with the help of a private detective.

  • Best Documentary Film Award: Given to "Children of the Arctic," a Swiss film directed by Nick Brandestini, portraying the lives of five Native Alaskan teenagers in America's northernmost community.

  • The Nueva Vision Award: Awarded to "Happy Times," a Mexican romantic comedy directed by Luis Javier M. Henaine.

  • Best Eastern European Film Award: Won by "Monument to Michael Jackson," a Serbian film directed by Darko Lungulov.

  • The Santa Barbara Features Award: Presented to "Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey," a documentary about actor Hal Holbrook's portrayal of Mark Twain.

  • The Bruce Corwin Awards: Given to "The Answers" for Best Live Action Short Film and "Load" for Best Animation Short Film.

  • Best Documentary Short Film: Awarded to "Life After Pi," directed by Scott Leberecht.

  • The Fund for Santa Barbara Social Justice Award: Won by "A Snake Gives Birth To A Snake," directed by Michael Lessac.

The festival concluded with the US Premiere of Niki Caro’s "McFarland, USA," starring Kevin Costner and Maria Bello, accompanied by a performance of the Oscar-nominated song “Lost Stars.”

Details for the "Best of the Fest" screenings during the Third Weekend will be announced shortly.

Posted by Ben Hyatt

Santa Barbara based Ben Hyatt is founder of SantaBarbarians and gets to write about whatever interests him as a result. Interests include business, technology, film and anything community related.