The 32nd Santa Barbara International Film Festival opened last night with the cathartic and uplifting documentary CHARGED: THE EDUARDO GARCIA STORY. Eduardo was shocked with 2400 volts of electricity that cost him am arm, ribs, and nearly his life. The film is an inspiring story of resilience, passion, and the eternal flame of the human spirit.
Executive Director of the festival, the ever so dashing Roger Durling, introduced the film in a candid and heartfelt speech. He spoke about the power of film, how it can not only inspire us, but also save our lives. Durling then went on to speak about how he is not only an immigrant, but also an American.
He spoke passionately and proudly of how the festival is showcasing films from fifty different countries and how cinema and the arts are so powerful, they can deconstruct walls.
CHARGED is a fascinating film, and marks the second time in the festivals thirty-two years that it has opened with a documentary. Coming up, Denzel Washington will be receiving the Leonard Maltin Modern Masters Award, celebrating Washington’s career right as he comes off his Screen Actors Guild award for FENCES, poising himself as the front runner in the Best Actor race.
There is much, much more to be excited about at this years festival. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone will be awarded Friday. In total, sixteen actors who have been nominated this year for an Academy Award will be hosted. Stay tuned for our SBIFF podcast that will feature red carpet interviews!