Santa Barbara International Film Festival Announces Stunning Winners, Showcasing Global Stories and Originality

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) closed its 39th edition with an awards ceremony held at El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel. The festival celebrated remarkable films from across the globe, recognizing their storytelling prowess and originality. Claudia Puig, SBIFF’s Programming Director, expressed gratitude towards the jurors for their fine selections and congratulated this year’s award winners.

Among the winners, “Transmexico” directed by Claudia Sanchez received the Audience Choice Award sponsored by The Santa Barbara Independent. Sophia Sabella and Pablo Feldman’s “Edge of Everything” won the Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema, earning them a $60,000 camera rental package from Panavision.

The Jeffrey C. Barbakow Award for Best International Feature Film went to Wregas Bhanuteja’s “Andragogy,” while Nays Baghai’s “Diving Into the Darkness” received the Best Documentary Award. Javier Macipe’s “The Blue Star” (La estrella azul) won the Nueva Vision Award for Spain/Latin America Cinema, and Anders Walter’s “Before It Ends” (Når befrielsen kommer) took home the Best Nordic Film Award.

Brenda Matthews and Nathaniel Schmidt’s “The Last Daughter” received two awards, the Social Justice Award for Documentary Film and the ADL Stand Up Award sponsored by ADL Santa Barbara/Tri-Counties. Lone Scherfig’s “The Movie Teller” earned the ASC Award for Cinematography sponsored by The American Society of Cinematographers.

In the short film category, Myles Desenberg’s “A Man’s Man” won the Best Documentary Short Film Award and Iggy London’s “Area Boy” claimed the Bruce Corwin Award for Best Live-Action Short Film. Agathe Sénéchal, Alicia Massez, Elise Debruyne, Flavie Carin, and Théo Duhautois received the Bruce Corwin Award for Best Animated Short Film with their entry “On The 8th Day” (Au 8ème Jour).

The 39th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which took place from February 7 to February 17, 2024, featured a diverse range of events including screenings, filmmaker Q&As, industry panels, and celebrity tributes. The festival venues, including the historic Arlington Theatre, provided a vibrant backdrop for this celebration of cinema.