Santa Barbara tells 'Truth'

Thriller tapped as opener as fest sets lineup

The 24th edition of the Santa Barbara Film Festival will kick off Jan. 22 at the Arlington Theatre with Rod Lurie's political thriller "Nothing but the Truth," starring Kate Beckinsale.

The Feb. 1 closing-night film is the world premiere of Jeff Balsmeyer's "Lightbulb," starring Dallas Roberts and Jeremy Renner.

The fest's lineup, announced Wednesday, encompasses more than 200 films from 41 countries, including 21 world premieres and 29 U.S. premieres.

David Fincher has been named guest director. On Jan. 30, the festival will present "A Celebration of David Fincher," at which the director of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" will be joined by a number of his friends.

Santa Barbara also will feature an array of tributes to many of this season's awards hopefuls, including Kate Winslet, Penelope Cruz, Kristin Scott Thomas, Clint Eastwood and Mickey Rourke. Its Virtuosos 2009 Award will shine a spotlight on Viola Davis, Rosemarie DeWitt, Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Melissa Leo and Michael Shannon.

Films screening in the independent features competition are Sima Urale's "Apron Strings," Anna Chi's "Dim Sum Funeral," Drew Ann Rosenberg's "Follow the Prophet," Chris Kelly and Jessica Duffy's "Ink," Benjamin Ross' "Poppy Shakespeare," Anthony Fabian's "Skin" and Joe Lia's "Sweet Thing."

The international features competition consists of Max Faberbock's "A Woman in Berlin," Barmak Akram's "Kabuli Kid," Vinko Moderndorfer's "Landscape No. 2," Reshef Levy's "Lost Islands," Oliver Paulus' "Tandoori Love," Uros Stojanovic's "Tears for Sale," Bohdan Slama's "The Country Teacher," Karen Oganesyan's "The Ghost," Stian Kristiansen's "The Man Who Loved Yngve," Akhan Satayev's "The Racketeer," Paula Van Der Oest's "Tiramisu," So Yong Kim's "Treeless Mountain" and Javor Gardev's "Zift."