The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) announced the highly anticipated winners for its 33rd year at a ceremony held in their honor, with the coveted Audience Choice Award, going to Mark Hayes’ SKID ROW MARATHON. On LA’s Skid Row, a criminal court judge organizes a running club comprised of homeless, recovering alcoholics, and paroled men and women who seek to rediscover their sense of self-worth and dignity.
The Best Documentary Film Award went to Grant Korgan and Geoff Callan’s THE PUSH. The jury remarked that “We chose THE PUSH as the best feature documentary because it was a riveting, well told story with excellent camera work, and superb editing that kept us engaged the entire time.”
Gjorce Stavreski’s SECRET INGREDIENT (Iscelitel) is the recipient of the Jeffrey C. Barbakow Award for Best International Film. The Jury remarked that “It’s outstanding direction and the terrific performances of all the cast make it hard to believe that it’s a directorial debut.”
Molly McGlynn’s MARY GOES ROUND took home the Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema. The Jury remarked that “Aya Cash’s performance beautifully depicts the intense, painful descent into alcohol addiction and its consequences. “
The Nueva Vision Award for Spain/Latin America Cinema went to Pablo Solarz’s THE LAST SUIT (El último traje) for it’s for its theme, mise-en-scene, and great performances. The Jury also had a special mention for Denny Brechner, Alfonso Guerrero and Marcos Hecht’s GET THE WEED (Misión no oficial) for it was a great surprise, full of humor and made with great effort, that every single person in the audience enjoyed.
The Valhalla Award for Best Nordic Film was awarded to Antti-Jussi Annila’s THE ETERNAL ROAD (Ikitie). The Jury remarked that the film “told a fascinating story about an unknown period in history, featuring excellent performances, a gripping narrative with wonderful cinematography and production design.”
The ADL Stand Up Award went to Talya Tibbon and Joshua Bennett’s SKY AND GROUND. Sponsors Santa Barbara and Tri-Counties ADL remarked that “in furtherance of our mission ‘to secure justice and fair treatment for all,’ ADL is pleased to stand up with SKY AND GROUND, a film that stands for respecting human dignity amidst fear and bigotry.”
The Social Justice Award for Documentary Film went to Ludovic Bonleux’s GUERRERO. They Jury remarked that this is “an essential story about the fallout from a mass kidnapping in a historic Mexican city that takes its time making the viewer feel a region’s collective pain and determination; the people of this city seek not just justice from a corrupt government, but also answers as to what happened to their children. It’s a film everyone should see—and one we won’t soon forget.”
Three awards were handed out for short films. The Bruce Corwin Award for Best Live Action Short Film went to Richard Van’s AUDITION. The Bruce Corwin Award for Best Animated Short Film went to Randall Christopher’s THE DRIVER IS RED. Best Documentary Short Film was awarded to Kyle Morrison’s MOTT HAVEN.
2018 Santa Barbara International Film Festival Award Winners
Audience Choice Award: Mark Hayes’ SKID ROW MARATHON
Best Documentary Short Film Award: Kyle Morrison’s MOTT HAVEN
Bruce Corwin Award – Best Live Action Short Film: Richard Van’s AUDITION
Bruce Corwin Award – Best Animated Short Film: Randall Christopher’s THE DRIVER IS RED
Best Documentary Award: Grant Korgan and Geoff Callan’s THE PUSH
Jeffrey C. Barbakow Award – Best International Feature Film: Gjorce Stavreski’s SECRET INGREDIENT (Iscelitel)
Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema: Molly McGlynn’s MARY GOES ROUND
Nueva Vision Award for Spain/Latin America Cinema: Pablo Solarz’s THE LAST SUIT (El último traje)
Special Mention: Denny Brechner, Alfonso Guerrero and Marcos Hecht’s GET THE WEED (Misión no oficial)
Valhalla Award for Best Nordic Film: Antti-Jussi Annila’s THE ETERNAL ROAD (Ikitie)
ADL Stand Up Award: Talya Tibbon and Joshua Bennett’s SKY AND GROUND
Social Justice Award for Documentary Film: Ludovic Bonleux’s GUERRERO