SBIFF still has lots to offer

Filmmakers Stacey Peralta, left, and Jack McCoy on the red carpet before the Premiere of "A Deeper Shade of Blue"

With a week under its belt, the Santa Barbara International Film festival has already played host to so many surfing and action sports films that it’s hard to believe there’s still plenty left to see and do.

The Arlington Theater has been a particularly busy venue this week. Jack McCoy’s 25th film, “A Deeper Shade of Blue” premiered on Tuesday to a raucous and energetic sell-out crowd. A wave of surfing icons were present to show their support, including Bruce Brown, Peter Townend, Kelly Slater and Shaun Tomson. Big-wave surfer Marty Paradisis was on hand from Australia and Terry Chung made it from Kauai to see themselves featured in the film.

Other attendees included Chris Shiflett of the Foo Fighters, Boogie Board inventor Tom Morey, the orginal Gidget Kathy Kohner, and filmmakers Stacey Peralta and Dana Brown.

McCoy was thrilled by the turnout, and said of the film, “we just want to share the aloha spirit with everyone.”

Boogie Board inventor Tom Morey attended Tuesday's premiere with his wife.

Local surfers Conner Coffin, left, and Parker Coffin, right, were on hand at the Arlington on Tuesday.

On Sunday night at the Arlington, James Franco was given the Outstanding Performance of the Year award for his intense role as rockclimber Aron Ralston in “127 Hours”. While Franco showed up late, he still treated fans to autographs and photos before proceeding inside where Seth Rogen presented his award.

At the Santa Barbara Museum of Art this week, “Way of the Ocean”, “On the Pipe Six” and “Downhill: the Bill Johnson Story” all premiered.

Director Zeke Piestrup received a standing ovation for “Downhill: the Bill Johnson Story”, and when asked about what he hopes for the film, he replied that he’s just excited to be telling Bill’s story. He is currently working on his next film, “How’d That Song Get on the FM Radio?”

The Festival is constantly updating their screening schedule, so keep an eye out for additional screen times and announcements over at the SBIFF facebook or twitter pages. Here is a schedule of “To the Maxxx” films

Other premieres have included “The Still Point” by French director Taki Bibelas. A film nearly 5 years in the making, it is a poetic look at the spirituality of surfing. Less a surf film and more of a quiet ode to the ocean, Bibelas described the film as “a surf film with no surfing”.

“Destination 3 Degrees” by director Chris Aguilar brought up environmental issues not discussed in any of the “To the Maxxx” films so far this year by casting an eye on the important issue of plastic contamination in our oceans through the adventure of two dynamic female paddle boarders.

Another interesting festival highlight included the presence of screenwriter Scott Silver at Saturday’s “It Starts With the Script” panel. Silver, who wrote “The Fighter,” shed light on what it’s like to make a movie based on real people who are still very much alive. He said the reactions to his film varied between individuals. Dicky found it hard to rewatch his drug use again on screen, whereas Micky was only bothered by a slight inaccuracy in one of his boxing matches—Silver chose on screen for Micky to get knocked down in a fight in which the real Micky insists he never did.

“The Fighter” director David O. Russell will be speaking more on the film at the “Directors on Directing” panel, along with several other Hollywood directors, on Saturday at the Lobero.

“The Westsiders” by Josh Pomer will be screening at the Arlington on at 7:30. Also still to premiere are skate film “Destination Orcas” and surf film “Stoked & Broke”.

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