Santa Barbara Film Fest to Open With Documentary About Biologist Mike deGruy

Diving Deep:The Life and Times of Mike deGruy - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The festival, which is set to run Jan. 30-Feb. 9, will close with 'Spoons: A Santa Barbara Story.'

Mimi deGruy’s Diving Deep: The Life and Times of Mike deGruy, a documentary about the biologist and filmmaker who filmed rare sea creatures around the world, will open the 34th edition of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which is set to run Jan. 30-Feb. 9. 

The fest, which will feature 63 world premieres and 59 U.S. premieres from 48 countries, will close with Wyatt Daily’s Spoons: A Santa Barbara Story, a look at the community’s surfers and innovators. 

In announcing the lineup, SBIFF executive director Roger Durling said, “After the tragedy last year in Santa Barbara, we questioned whether to go ahead with last year’s festival, but we came to realize the importance of film as a way for people to gather in an equalitarian way to reflect, feel and simply experience art together. SBIFF is an event that brings together a plethora of visitors — international, national and local filmmakers, Oscar contenders, vital educational programs. We have entered this year with a renewed sense of purpose and continuity with the festival and understand more than ever the important role we play in the community. As such, we have chosen to bookend our festival with two films about iconic people and places in Santa Barbara to highlight the resilience, vitality and the talent within the Santa Barbara community.”

The event also will include tributes to Viggo Mortensen, Glenn Close, Melissa McCarthy and Michael B. Jordan, as well as Yalitza Aparicio, Sam Elliott, Elsie Fisher, Claire Foy, Richard E. Grant, Thomasin McKenzie, John David Washington and Steven Yeun.

For a complete list of films, synopses and other special events, please

The fest’s 20 world premieres will include:

Babysplitters, USA
Directed by Sam Friedlander

Better Together, USA
Directed by Isaac Hernández

The Bird Catcher, Norway, U.K.
Directed by Ross Clarke

Cemetery Park, USA
Directed by Brandon Alvis

Diving Deep: The Life and Times of Mike deGruy, USA
Directed by Mimi deGruy

Enormous: The Gorge Story, USA
Directed by Nic Davis

Find Your Groove, USA
Directed by Michael Kirk

Guest Artist, USA
Directed by Timothy Busfield

Ham on Rye, USA
Directed by Tyler Taormina

Here and Now (Aquí y ahora), Costa Rica
Directed by Paz León

Loopers: The Caddie's Long Walk, USA – World Premiere
Directed by Jason Baffa

Making Apes: The Artists Who Changed Film, USA – World Premiere
Directed by William Conlin

The Map to Paradise, Australia – World Premiere
Directed by Danielle Ryan and James Sherwood

Ordinary Gods, USA – World Premiere
Directed by Pascui Rivas

Peel, USA – World Premiere
Directed by Rafael Monserrate

Quiet Storm, USA – World Premiere
Directed by Johnny Sweet

Silent Forests, USA – World Premiere
Directed by Mariah Wilson

Spoons: A Santa Barbara Story, USA
Directed by Wyatt Daily

Working Man, USA
Directed by Robert Jury

Zulu Summer, South Africa, USA
Directed by Joseph Litzinger and Eric Michael Schrader