'Flying Lessons' to open Santa Barbara fest

February event set to close with 'Middle Men'

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which kicks off Feb. 4, will open with the world premiere of Derek Magyar's "Flying Lessons," starring Christine Lahti, Maggie Grace, Jonathan Tucker, Cary Elwes, Joanna Cassidy and Hal Holbrook.

The fest runs through Feb. 14, when it closes with the world premiere of George Gallo's "Middle Men," starring Giovanni Ribisi, Luke Wilson, James Caan, Kelsey Grammer and Kevin Pollak.

The 25th edition of the event, overseen by director Roger Durling, will feature 200 films, including 18 world premieres and 28 U.S. premieres.

Events include Jeff Bridges Day on Feb. 14, which features screenings of "The Last Picture Show," "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot," "Starman" and "The Contender" and an appearance by the actor, followed by a screening of "Crazy Heart."

Performers and filmmakers to be honored during the festival include Sandra Bullock, Colin Firth, James Cameron, Kathryn Bigelow, Julianne Moore, Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Christoph Waltz, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, Carey Mulligan, Saoirse Ronan, Gabourey Sidibe and Michael Stuhlbarg.

SBIFF's David Attenborough Award for Excellence in Nature Filmmaking will be presented to the filmmakers behind "The Cove."

Among the sidebars, Focus on Quebec will screen movies from the Canadian province.
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