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Denzel Washington, Jeff Bridges, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone To Highlight Santa Barbara Filmfest

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The final countdown is on for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which begins its 11 day run February 1st.

This year’s lineup is a who’s-who of Hollywood. Casey Affleck, Jeff Bridges, Viola Davis, Dev Patel, Emma Stone, Denzel Washington, and Michele Williams are among those set to appear.

The festival has one of the most ambitious lineup in its history, with 51 World Premieres, 64 U.S. premieres, hundreds of movie screenings, and appearances by some of Hollywood’s hottest talent in front of and behind the cameras.

Perhaps one of the most talked about events will be February 3rd, when the film festival presents the Outstanding Performers of the Year Award to Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone for the acclaimed musical “La La Land.”

On February 5th, the Film Festival will present its Cinema Vanguard Award to Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams, for their roles in “Manchester By The Sea.” Affleck plays a man who lost his children in a tragedy, and then when his brother dies, is cast as his nephew’s guardian.

The festival will present its Modern Master Award to Denzel Washington on February 2nd. He directed and co-stars with Viola Davis in the acclaimed movie adaptation of the play “Fences.”

And, the Festival’s American Riviera Award will go to an actor who lives in Santa Barbara County. Jeff Bridges will be honored February 9th as he’s getting rave reviews for his role as a lawman in the modern-day western “Hell or High Water.”

Education again plays a big role in the 11 day long festival. Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies is a program which offers in-class materials, and then a field trip to see a movie, and meet it’s director. This year, the featured film is the Golden Globe Award winning animated film Zootopia.

Another one of the educational efforts will bring 30 students from around the country interested in film to the Santa Barbara filmfest, so they can experience some of the best in new cinema, and hear from actors and filmmakers.

The international film section of the festival includes movies which look at environmental activism, feminism in the Mideast, terrorism, and the global refugee crisis. The Festival runs February 1st through 11th.