Foundation Hosts Santa Barbara International Film Festival

SBIFF's Roger Durling and SBCC's Nico Maestu address the festival's Film Studies Program students at the Santa Barbara Foundation.

As part of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's Film Studies Program, the Santa Barbara Foundation—an SBIFF sponsor—hosted dozens of students from local colleges and colleges across the U.S. this week to screen clips of a documentary and talk with the director about the filmmaking process.

Founded by Santa Barbara City College professor Nico Maestu and SBIFF executive director Roger Durling, the program allows qualifying film students from SBCC, Antioch University, and universities like USC and Columbia nationwide to attend the festival for three days. The program is free to the students, thanks to a donation from's Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin, and many of the students receive course credit.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for students from SBCC and across the country to have personal and direct conversations with filmmakers from around the world working in a variety of formats," said Mr. Maestu. "A more diverse group of students can benefit from this wonderful film exposure. We are very grateful for the support we've received."

At the foundation, the students screened clips of the documentary "City of Gold," about the iconic food critic Jonathan Gold and the rich, multicultural tapestry that is Los Angeles. The film's director, Laura Gabbert, was also on hand to engage the students in a discussion after the screening.

To follow student reviews of films at SBIFF, go to

The foundation's sponsorship of the festival also includes support of SBIFF's program "Mike's Field Trip to the Movies," which educates 4,000 fifth and sixth grade Santa Barbara County students in a one-day program during the Festival. For more on how this program encourages kids' creativity and confidence, go to

Posted: February 8, 2016
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