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1st Santa Barbara Filmfest Scheduled : First Santa Barbara Film Festival To Begin Feb. 27

February 13, 1986

Sprinkled with premieres, panel discussions, gala dinners, an investigation of contemporary New Zealand cinema and a tribute to Robert Mitchum, the first Santa Barbara Film Festival will begin Feb. 27 at four local cinemas and the Santa Barbara Art Museum.

Workshops and seminars dealing with film and its craft also will dot the festival's program, with topics ranging from scoring films (Neal Hefti, Elmer Bernstein and Barry DeVorzon scheduled to appear) to costuming actors to appear in them, with Jean Louis and Waldo Angelo included among the participants.

Among the films presented will be a newly restored, full-length print of Charles Laughton's 1955 "Night of the Hunter" (as part of the Mitchum tribute). Another newly restored film--the Frank Capra version of "Lost Horizon" (1937)--will screen, with Bob Gitt, who oversaw its restoration, on hand to discuss the project.

The New Zealand film presentation will include 17 of that country's recent full-length and shorter features, with New Zealand film makers Michael Firth, Geoff Murphy and David Blyth appearing in person to present and discuss their contributions.

The tribute to Mitchum, set for March 1 in the city's Granada Theater, will include the screening of "Night of the Hunter" and clips from other films associated with the actor. In addition to Mitchum himself, other Hollywood figures will be on hand to share personal anecdotes about the actor.

The tentative schedule:

Feb. 27: The world premiere of Orion Pictures' "Just Between Friends," starring Mary Tyler Moore, Christine Lahti, Ted Danson and Sam Waterston, will be screened during the opening-night gala.

Feb. 28: New Zealand films, Venezuelan film, "Lost Horizon," costume and film scoring workshops.

March 1: Mitchum tribute, more New Zealand films and others, plus a reception for all the attending New Zealanders.

March 2: Closing-night gala, with film to be announced.

Tickets for the full festival, including opening and closing galas, workshops and tribute, are $185 per person. The entire film package, including all the above events except the galas and tributes, is $120 per person. Tickets for the opening gala are $35, those for the Mitchum tribute $15.

Information: (805) 963-3686.

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