Santa Barbara International Film Fest Announces Lineup

"Disconnect," the first feature directed by Henry-Alex Rubin, will open the 28th edition; meanwhile, six breakout actors including "The Intouchables" star Omar Sy will receive the Virtuoso Award.
Thierry Valletoux Copyright: © 2011 Gaumont - Quad

Disconnect, the first feature film directed by Henry-Alex Rubin, will open the 28th edition of The Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

The drama starring Jason Bateman, Hope Davis and Alexander Skarsgård will mark its U.S. premiere at the fest, which runs Jan. 24 through Feb. 3 in Santa Barbara, Calif. Rubin received an Oscar nomination for his acclaimed 2005 documentary Murderball.

The closing night film will be the U.S. premiere of the heist-thriller Wasteland, which stars Matthew LewisTimothy Spall and Iwan Rheon, and marks the feature directorial debut of Rowan Athale.

The festival also announced this year's recipients of its Virtuoso Awards, which honors actors who distinguished themselves over the past year through breakout performances: Ann Dowd (Compliance), Elle Fanning (Ginger & Rosa), Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Eddie Redmayne (Les Miserables), Omar Sy (The Intouchables) and Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild).

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They will join previously announced recipients of the various tributes that serve as the backbone of the festival: Ben Affleck (Argo) will receive its Modern Master Award on Jan. 25; Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincolnwill receive its Montecito Award on Jan. 26; Amy Adams (The Master) will receive its Cinema Vanguard Award on Jan. 31; Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained) will receive its American Riviera Award on Feb. 1; and Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook and The Hunger Games) will receive its Outstanding Performer of the Year Award on Feb. 2. (THR's Scott Feinberg will moderate the Day-Lewis tribute.)

In announcing its lineup on Tuesday, the SBIFF unveiled a screening schedule that includes 156 films from 49 different countries, including 13 world premieres of 32 U.S. premieres.

In between opening and closing nights, there will be an international gala screening of Pablo Larrain's No, a Chilean film starring Gael Garcia Bernal that is among the nine films short-listed for the best foreign language film Oscar, as well as a wide assortment of indies, docs, shorts, animated, foreign language and restored films, plus a handful of films centered around nature and surfing, two favorite subjects of Santa Barbarans. Many of these will be eligible for the festival's various awards, which will be determined by a distinguished jury of industry professionals and announced and the end of the 11-day event.

SBIFF also offers several other special events each year, the 2013 dates of which it has now announced.

"Mike's Field Trip to the Movies," a free film screening and master class for 4,000 fifth and sixth grade students from Santa Barbara County -- a program that was the brainchild of Mike deGruy, a documentary filmmaker and longtime friend of SBIFF who was tragically killed in a helicopter accident in Australia while last year's fest was underway -- will be held on Jan. 25. It will feature Rise of the Guardians and its director Peter Ramsey.

Also, the directors and screenwriters panels, "Directors on Directing" and "It Starts with the Script," will be held on Jan. 26 and the producers and women in film panels, "Movers & Shakers" and "Creative Forces: Women in the Biz," will take place on Feb. 2. Panelists will be announced in the near future.