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by Matt Mazza

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Mazza’s Missive – Editor-in-Chief Matt Mazza shamelessly self-promotes his objectively bad screenplay concept and then goes on to fluff the Film Festival folks relentlessly. Can he glad-hand his way into the movie biz? T he Sentinel’s Take – Setting aside the self-serving soliloquy in Mazza’s Missive, the Sentinel asks whether the SBIFF actually does benefit local businesses of all shapes and sizes. Weigh in, citizens of Santa Barbara, have your voice heard. Is the Film Fest all it’s cracked up to be? Here’s your chance…

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I t’s Crime Time with SBPD – Santa Barbara-based crimes lend themselves well to a wide variety of film concepts for screenwriters and filmmakers. Check out a few Sentinel suggestions. (Dr. Bender highly recommends reading.) L etters to the Editor – Contributors tackle everything from “anonymous” letters to Mara’s Take on the Roosevelt lawsuit. Much-deserved Props to Presidio Sports. And Sheldon gets a fancy new car. The Dish – Wendy Jenson likes The Shop, a new hipster-food joint on Milpas that was started by a few long-time restaurant industry folks. We’re interested and coming in for some of that homemade goodness. T he Beer Guy – Beer gut? Zach Rosen thinks it should be called an Overindulgence Gut. Learn something about shedding a few pounds while still pounding beers. (Nice column, Zach.)

S anta Barbara View – Sharon Byrne counts the homeless and has coffee with community cops; Loretta Redd is back and tackles Lance Armstrong (figuratively); Ray Estrada talks SB Chamber and Spirit of Entrepreneurship Nominations (literally). I n the Garden with Mr. Greenjeans – More incredible edibles from the beloved Randy Arnowitz, this time in the context of Container Farming. (And, again, for the last time… we aren’t talking about that kind of incredible edibles.)  The Mindful Word – Celebrated local prolific writer Diana Raab joins the Sentinel this week (and going forward!), discussing Jared Diamond’s recent talk on Aging in America. (Thanks Rebecca… er, ah, Diana, great start… looking forward to more from you.)

 Plan B – Briana Westmacott teaches her kids a lesson at a Zumba fitnessdance class. (At least she thinks she does.) And she really improves her dance moves, to boot.

A Film Fest Fast Pitch


o I have this idea for a screenplay. Wait! Don’t go… it’s not what you think. This one’s different, way different, seriously, just hear me out… please. Come on, let me buy you another glass of that Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir you’re drinking. I mean, if you leave now, I don’t know what I’d do. I might actually have to keep practicing law for a living. And that’s just unacceptable. Anyway, here it is: A well-educated, reasonably successful business litigation attorney – let’s call him the anti-Ally McBeal – is fed up. Fed up with bullshit lawsuits and boardrooms and lots of other legal crap. So one day, he walks out. Closes up shop. Leaves it all behind. And he travels around the world with his wife and young daughters. There’s comedy – a near-death experience and related rescue mission on a horrifyingly long zip-line in Lyon, a lost three-year-old in Venice, a few hours driving the wrong direction through central South Africa. There’s romance – time spent cruising the canals of central France on a rented boat, working on organic farms in Tuscany, a fourth birthday on a Croatian island, a night with friends in Istanbul near the Blue Mosque, a fish farm in northern Thailand, Christmas in Laos. There’s magical weeks in India and Nepal where other worlds open their doors wide. There’s beauty and cinematic opportunity everywhere. There’s a family, together, developing a deeper understanding of each other and the world. There’s an unbreakable bond formed among them that is forged in experience, not material. There’s compassion and tension. There’s fear and wonder.

Goleta Girl – Jana Mackin likes hippies, and she found one named hiTekHOBO in Goleta. Can this modern-day Don Quixote finish his manuscript in his van? Read to find out.  Presidio Sports – Arlington Tavern teams up with Central Coast Dining and PossAbilities to support Andre Barbieri’s bid for Olympic Gold. Get out and see a few terrific sports flicks at the SBIFF… or go see live sports this weekend. Presidio’s got schedules for both.  You Have Your Hands Full – Mara Peters reminisces about a particular Film Fest involving her movie star sister and a fantastic family weekend a few years back, and she’s suddenly inspired to spend big bucks on a Festival Package. (Have a good time, Mara, nice piece.) LOVEmikana – Ca’ Dario Pizzeria delivers quite a bite; Puremedy delivers the fountain of youth. LOVEmikana’s Weekend Guide gets you where you need to be this week.  Residential Real Estate – Michael Calcagno reminds us of the (American) Riviera just in time for the SBIFF. Not a bad spot for a home in town, frankly, and Justin Kellenberger’s magic numbers make the dream seem possible.

Mitchell Sjerven is ready for another busy year at bouchon.

There’s peace. There’s love. The anti-lawyer blogs the experience, honestly, and the blog becomes reasonably widely read around his hometown. It unexpectedly turns into a column with a local newspaper. He finds a passion for writing. And ultimately, the whole damned experience turns into a newspaper. You’re reading it now. The screenplay is my life. And I love it.

The Cannes of the Western Unites States But enough about me. Enough shameless self-promotion. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has come to town and it’s quite a spectacle. Quite a spectacle indeed. I suppose it’s cliché at this point, but tremendous kudos to Executive Director Roger Durling for putting together yet another highly anticipated and undoubtedly fantastic event. There are nearly fifty nations represented, and some of the finest screenwriting and filmmaking talent in the business is right here in Santa Barbara. “The Festival has seen a remarkably rapid ascent since Roger took over,” Film Fest Managing Director Stephen Blain told me, “it has really been an amazing ride.” Yes it has. There will be approximately 70,000 extra people around town for the eleven-day event this year, with around 600 rooms filled with Festival-goers each night. Many ...continued p.12

Profile for Montecito Journal

The Money Machine  

Santa Barbara Film Festival 2013

The Money Machine  

Santa Barbara Film Festival 2013