The Student News Site of Laguna Blanca School

The Fourth Estate

Current News
The Student News Site of Laguna Blanca School

The Fourth Estate

The Student News Site of Laguna Blanca School

The Fourth Estate

39th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Santa Barbara hosted its 39th annual film festival downtown. Attendees included several A-list actors and Oscar nominees.

Every year, Santa Barbara hosts one of the leading film festivals in the world, attracting filmmakers, celebrities, and 100,000 attendees. This February, SBIFF held its 39th annual event in downtown theaters. Events included individual awards, panels, film screenings and Q&As with the filmmakers

The Arlington Theater held the panel and awards events.

The Fourth Estate journalists had the opportunity to speak to filmmakers on the red carpet. Some were Academy-Award-nominated stars and showbusiness veterans such as America Ferrera, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Mark Ruffalo and Jane Lynch.

Others included writers, directors, producers, and actors whose films premiered here in town during the festival.

Many of the biggest Academy Award nominees this year came together to provide an inside look into their films and engage in a one-on-one conversation with the host in front of 2000 attendees.

On the opening night of the festival, Bradley Cooper was given the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award for his role as Leonard Bernstein in “Maestro” along with his co-star, Carey Mulligan.

“Maestro” directed and staring Bradley Cooper is a biopic that follows the life of the American conductor Leonard Bernstein: his career, family and romantic life. Cooper calls it a love story between Bernstein and his wife, Felicia.

Actor and director Bradley Cooper talks to students on the red carpet.

When accepting his award, Cooper spoke about his love for acting.

“People made movies, I watched them, they changed me, inspired me, kept me alive. Now that I get to do these things, the thing I benefit from is the doing. Seeing these projects that I’ve been a part of, these memories, magical made-up stories, it’s such a privilege.”

From Feb 8. to Feb. 17, the Arlington Theater hosted a free screening of every film nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Following the free screening of “Oppenheimer” on Feb. 9, Cillian Murphy, who plays J. Robert Oppenheimer in the film, engaged in a Q&A right after the screening with Roger Durling, the director of SBIFF.

When asked about how he managed to learn the mannerisms of Oppenheimer, Murphy said,

“There was a mad contradiction between somebody who is so physically frail but so powerful intellectually. So you kind of have to condition your body to find that silhouette.”

Murphy told Durling that Christopher Nolan once sent him pictures of David Bowie for inspiration, which ended up heavily influencing Murphy’s portrayal of Oppenheimer.    

Senior Lucy Wang interviews actress America Ferrera.

At the Virtuosos Award on Feb. 10, America Ferrera, Greta Lee, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Andrew Scott, Charles Melton and Lily Gladstone

were honored in the Arlington Theater, where they spoke about their acting careers and new films. Dave Karger, the host of the Virtuosos Award, called this group “the most impressive and accomplished group Roger [Durling] and I have ever put together.”

The group of eight recipients has, in total, received two Emmys, two Gotham Awards, one Grammy, two Critics Choice Awards, one BAFTA Award and two Olivier Awards.

America Ferrera, who plays Gloria in the blockbuster film “Barbie,” spoke on her experience working with Greta Gerwig during an interview with The Fourth Estate.

“It was amazing just simply existing inside such a unique vision. Greta is such a singular filmmaker, and she has built something so original,” Ferrera said. “Just to come to the set every day and look at all the levels of incredible craftsmanship, you realize there’s such thought placed into every single decision.”

Actress Da’Vine Joy Randolph poses for a red carpet photo.

In an interview with The Fourth Estate, Tony and Oscar-nominated actress Da’Vine Joy Randolph shared her experience about the differences between screen and stage acting.

“I actually don’t think there is that big of a difference. Do not feel over-encumbered or nervous; just remember that the camera is the other actor. So if you think [the camera is] a person, just talk however loud you need to reach them.”

Other recipients of the Virtuosos Award took turns speaking on stage with Karger about their films, including Andrew Scott, who plays Adam in “All of Us Strangers.”

Adam is a screenwriter living in London who develops a romantic relationship with his neighbor Harry, played by Paul Mascal.

Adam struggles through a reconciliation with his sexuality, childhood and parents while trying to navigate a profoundly intimate relationship with Harry. 

Actor Andrew Scott discusses “All of Us Strangers” at the Virtuosos Award.

“Vulnerability is our greatest power,” Scott said.

“All of Us Strangers” is one of the most personal stories of the year, and Scott calls the tender relationship between Adam and Harry “radical” for its authenticity.

At the Outstanding Directors Award on Feb. 12, French filmmaker Justine Triet spoke about the production of her Oscar-nominated film “Anatomy of a Fall.”

The story takes place in the French Alps with the mysterious death of the aspiring writer Samuel; the first suspect is his wife, Sandra, a woman with a more successful career than her husband. She is unduly calm, stoic and cool when facing accusations of murder, and the film is essentially an anatomy of their complex marriage.

Triet switches the gender dynamics in the story to create friction, where the female is the dominant figure in the family, and when asked about the inspiration for the story, Triet said that she wrote it deliberately for Sandra Hüller, the lead actress (yes, the character and the actress have the same name).

“How can we dive into this complex woman? She gave me the inspiration, of course. She’s a mystery in a way,” Triet said.

“Anatomy of a Fall” is gaining momentum from all of the awards shows leading up to the Oscars. It has already won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Best Original Screenplay at the Golden Globes and British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA); Triet is the only female nominated for Best Director for the Oscars.

The other director honored at the Outstanding Directors Award is Martin Scorsese. His newest film, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” which stars Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Lily Gladstone, is a three-hour long epic based on the real story of the series of murders of the Osage people.

“When I heard the Osage speak and hung around them at dinner, somehow this tragedy had a face. And [the script] changed,” said director Martin Scorsese when asked the story behind “Killers of the Flower Moon” and how the story developed to where it is today.

Senior Lucy Wang interviews filmmaker Tina Cordova.

The plot evolved from a murder mystery to a more profound and complex story, where love and betrayal co-exist. “Killers of the Flower Moon” received ten Oscar nominations this year.

While the festival is known for attracting big names, it is also a commemoration of over 200 films — the vast majority of which had their U.S. or world premiere at SBIFF — that capture stories that have yet to be widely told and highlight creators whose names are less known behind the camera.

The creators of these lesser-known films had the opportunity to shed light on stories and cultures that captivated them.

Tina Cordova, a sixth-generation native New Mexican, spoke on the radiation poisoning that impacted Los Alamos and the untold aftermath of the Manhattan Project.

“Our film “First We Bombed New Mexico” picks up where “Oppenheimer” left off. The film is about the horrible consequences of being exposed to radiation from an atomic bomb.” Cordova said. “We are the people who live within 12 miles of the test site and have been dying ever since.

Everybody who attended the buzzing events — from the internationally renowned directors and actors to the budding filmmakers with new, inspiring stories

to the thousands of fans who lined up around the block, eager to experience the films and events — one thing drew them to this celebration is an undeniable love for film.

“[My favorite part of the SBIFF] is that it’s home. And that it’s so exciting. And that it’s done so well!” Emmy-award-winning actress and Santa Barbara local Jane Lynch said in an interview with The Fourth Estate. “The people who come to this film festival love movies so much. It’s not just movie people from LA; it’s everybody.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Fourth Estate
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Laguna Blanca School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Lucy Wang
Lucy Wang, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Lucy is a senior and she is one of the co-editors-in-chief for the Fourth Estate. Lucy oversees all aspect of the magazine and contributes graphics & writing to every issue. She enjoys writing about sports, current events, and entertainment. Outside of the class, Lucy also does graphic designs for other school organizations such as Yearbook, TEDx, and the Laguna Blanca magazine.
Ada Green
Ada Green, Managing Editor
Ada is a junior and the managing editor for The Fourth Estate. As a third-year staff member, she enjoys writing about music, film, and war. She is very involved in theater within and outside Laguna. In her free time, Ada plays viola and guitar and loves writing music, poetry, and fiction.
Donate to The Fourth Estate
Our Goal

Comments (0)

Please be polite and kind. Comments are subject to moderation.
All The Fourth Estate Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *