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Santa Barbara Film Festival Line-Up to Kick Off With 'Darling Companion,' Starring Diane Keaton

Diane Keaton Darling Companion - H 2011

The fest, which runs from Jan. 26-Feb. 5, will conclude with Nadine Labaki's anti-war comedy "Where Do We Go Now?".

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which runs from Jan. 26 through Feb. 5, will kick of with the world premiere of Lawrence Kasdan’s new feature Darling Companion, starring Diane KeatonKevin Kline and Dianne Wiest, which tells of the search for a missing dog. The opening night program also will include a showing of the new Pixar short film, La Luna, written and directed by Enrico Casarosa.

The festival, which released its full schedule Thurday, has chosen for its closing night film the West Coast premiere of Nadine Labaki’s Where Do We Go Now?, the anti-war comedy from Lebanon which won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

For its centerpiece gala, the festival has booked the U.S. premiere of the documentary Samsara, from director Ron Fricke and producer Mark Magidson.

This year’s festival also will inaugurate its first-ever Acquisitions Program, which, produced in association with film production and sales company Traction Media, will run during the first weekend of the festival.

The schedule also includes a selection of restored films from the Warner Archives, including A Clockwork Orange, Ben Hur and Dangerous Liaisons; a Kasdan retrospective that will feature Body Heat, Grand Canyon and The Big Chill and a Q&A with the director; Cinema Nouveau, a selection of films from emerging French directors; Cinesonic, feature films about iconic musicians; Kolnoa, a line-up of films about the Jewish and Israeli experience; Reel Nature, a program of nature films by cinematographer Mike deCruy; and To the Maxx, sports films and documentaries programmed by Santa Barbara filmmaker Russ Spencer.

At its 2012 Virtuosos Award program scheduled for Feb. 3, the festival will honor Demian Bichir of A Better Life; Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids; Patton Oswalt, Young Adult; Andy Serkis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes; and Shailene Woodley, The Descendants.

The line-up of awards hopefuls who will be visiting the festival for special tributes consists of Viola Davis, who will receive the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award; Christopher Plummer, the Modern Master Award; Martin Scorsese, the American Riviera Award; and Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo, the Cinema Vanguard Award.

The complete schedule can be found at www.sbiff.org.