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.