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Santa Barbara Film Festival announces 2011 program

January 6, 2011 | 12:12 pm

Ed Harris 
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which runs from Jan. 27 through Feb. 6, announced its lineup Thursday morning. The 26th edition of the festival will feature films representing 49 countries and numerous premieres.

The festival kicks off at the Arlington Theatre on Thursday, the 27th with the U.S. premiere of "Sarah's Key," directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner and starring Kristin Scott Thomas. Both the filmmaker and star will be in attendance.  The closing-night feature will be the premiere of Georges Bizet's famed opera, "Carmen in 3D."

Among other highlights of the festival are  the world premiere of "That's What I Am," starring Ed Harris and his wife, Amy Madigan, and  a field trip for 4,000 students to see a screening of "Toy Story 3" followed by a Q&A with director Lee Unkrich.

John Hawkes ("Winter's Bone") , Lesley Manville ("Another Year"), Hailee Steinfeld ("True Grit") and Jacki Weaver ("Animal Kingdom") also will be on hand to receive the festival's Virtuosos Award.

Films in the festival will compete in the following juried categories: independent features, international features, documentary features, Spanish/Latin American Cinema, Eastern Bloc, East X West, short films, animated short films.

The festival will also offer a "Focus on Quebec," a look at the culture of the Canadian province; "Reel Nature," a series of nature films programmed by cinematographer Mike DeGruy; "Real-Markable Stories," a series of documentaries; "World Cinema," a slate of international films; and "To the MAXXX, " a slate of sports films and documentaries programmed by Santa Barbara filmmaker Russ Spencer.

For the complete lineup go to


-- Susan King

Photo: Actor Ed Harris. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times