'Flying Lessons' to launch Santa Barbara fest

Derek Magyar's feature debut to open 25th edition

Derek Magyar's feature film debut "Flying Lessons" has been selected to serve as opening night film at the 25th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which kicks off Feb. 4 and runs through Feb. 14.

The movie tells of a young woman, played by Maggie Grace of "Lost," who abandons her life in Los Angeles, to return to her home town and estranged mother, played by Christine Lahti. The cast also includes Jonathan Tucker, Cary Elwes, Joanna Cassidy and Hal Holbrook. It's the first film shot in the Santa Barbara area to open the fest.

"I am truly honored and humbled to have my directorial debut premiere as the opening night gala for SBIFF," Magyar said. "Not only is 'Flying Lessons' a perfect fit for this festival, but the fact that we shot the entire movie in Santa Ynez Valley, makes it feel like we've come full circle."

Magyar directed from a screenplay by Thomas J. Kuehl, who served as co-producer. Chris Carter and Mark Johnson executive produced and Magyar produced along with Jenny Hinkey.