3rd Weekend

Giving back to the community and giving them the opportunity to be exposed to the art of cinema is paramount to the mission of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. On the Friday, Saturday and Sunday following the Festival, films are shown free of charge to all attendees at the scenic Riviera Theatre. Admission for 3rd Weekend is first come first served.

Friday February 14th, 2014
7:00 PM – Noble
Winner of The Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema
9:30 PM – BFFs – preceded by short film “Satellite Beach”
“Satellite Beach” winner of The Bruce Corwin Award for Best Live Action Short Film

Saturday February 15th, 2014
11:00 AM – Lutah
2:00 PM – Bauyr (Little Brother)
Winner of The Best Eastern European Film Award
4:30 PM – Queens & Cowboys: A Straight Year on The Gay Rodeo – preceded by short film “Tome of the Unknown”
Winner of Best Documentary Film Award and The Audience Choice Award
“Tome of the Unknown” winner of Bruce Corwin Award for Best Animation Short Film
7:00 PM – God’s Slave
Winner of The Nueva Vision Award
9:30 PM – 1982

Sunday February 16th, 2014
11:00 AM – The Broken Circle Breakdown
2:00 PM – Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People
Winner of The Fund for Santa Barbara Social Justice Award
4:30 PM – Eastern Boys
Winner of The Best International Film Award
7:00 PM – For A Woman


  • All screenings are free to the public and in fairness to the entire community, seating is on a first-come first-served basis
  • Saving seats will NOT be allowed inside the theatre

FILM SYNOPSES (in order by showtime)


Winner of The Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema
Vietnam. 1989. Fourteen years after the end of the war, a funny, feisty, and courageous Irish woman, Christina Noble, flies into Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), leaving behind an extraordinary life story. Christina lands in Vietnam with only a few dollars, a dream, and her own hard-won abilities. After a tough and deprived childhood and early adulthood, she decides to help more than 700,000 street children on the other side of the world.

Shifting between past and present, the film concentrates on Christina’s strength of character as she uses music and humor to pursue a seemingly impossible dream, always following her motto that “a little insane goes a long way.”

NOBLE is the inspirational true story of a woman who believes that it only takes one person to make a difference.

Winner of The Bruce Corwin Award for Best Live Action Short Film
SATELLITE BEACH follows the unique journey of the Endeavour space shuttle as it travels through the streets of Los Angeles to the California Science Center, and the final move of the Atlantis space shuttle to the Kennedy Space Center.

Warren Flowers, a devoted and unlikely shuttle manager, navigates the missions on his own accord while the citizens, reporters, and officials are perplexed by his involvement.

Kat and Samantha have been best friends for years, a friendship that withstands their sarcastic beatings and constant banters. When Kat is given a couples weekend workshop as a birthday gift from her mother – despite the fact she never plans to reignite relations with her ex– she declines the invitation with her usual sarcasm and pessimism.

Later that night, as Sam opens Kat’s gifts, the two drink tequila and argue over who gets what present. Then Sam has an idea: what if they went to the couples workshop together? What begins as a joke soon escalates into a plan to pose as a couple, relishing the free weekend retreat, all the while secretly mocking the other struggling relationships.

But as soon as they arrive, the weekend brings a different kind of amusement. The more Kat and Sam plunge into the activities, the more they find themselves working on a relationship that doesn’t even exist, raising emotions neither anticipated nor bargained for.

Held at the core by the strength of the leads (Tara Karsian and Andrea Grano), BFFs is propelled forward by the hilarious combinations of supporting couples, sharp dialogue, and weekend shenanigans.

Always remaining full of heart, BFFs never strays into cliché, successfully satisfying and surprising us by the time the credits roll.

This documentary explores the life of a little-known architect who left a big legacy. Initially eclipsed by her male contemporaries in the early 20th century, Lutah Maria Riggs navigated her way through the male-centric world of architecture and brought a freshness to the established architectural styles of Southern California.

Riggs blazed a trail for women, relying on the courage of her convictions and a hint of eccentricity. She pursed her passions and created a life of independence, an exceptional choice for a woman at that time.

The film reveals a side of Lutah Maria Riggs that has gone unnoticed, including photos and journal entries from her personal collection, along with candid interviews. With stunning tours of some of Santa Barbara’s most iconic structures and a rare glimpse of private homes, LUTAH sheds light on a true Santa Barbara treasure.

Winner of The Best Eastern European Film Award
In a small remote village lost in the mountains, nine-year-old Yerken is forced to live alone without any support. But the day finally arrives when his older brother returns home, and Yerken is full of joy and happiness.

His brother turns out to be the direct opposite of little Yerken, a cold and hollow-hearted person— personality traits which Yerken fails to notice due to his unrequited love and affection for his brother.

Through the unfolding events, Yerken never leaves the impression of a helpless little boy; he doesn’t fight the harsh reality around him—he is too young for that. Instead, he is consistantly self-contained and protected by his inner world. / Abridged and adapted from Venice International Film Festival

Winner of Bruce Corwin Award for Best Animation Short Film
Two brothers find themselves lost in a mysterious place called the Unknown, a place where long-forgotten stories take shape around them as they search for a way home.

Winner of Best Documentary Film Award and The Audience Choice Award
This documentary chronicles the 2011 season of the International Gay Rodeo Association through the lens of a straight, city-raised filmmaker. Roping and riding and bursting through stereotypes, the dauntless members of the IGRA travel across North America, careening through countless obstacles and 15 rodeos on their quest to qualify for the World Finals.

But it’s more than just cowboys and rodeos. The film introduces the unsung LGBT community of both the old and new West. Examining where our country currently stands on the issue of gay rights, this uniquely American subject will explore how far we’ve come—and what challenges we still have ahead.

Winner of The Nueva Vision Award
Inspired by true events, GOD’S SLAVE (Esclavo de dios) is an emotional and controversial political thriller following the lives of two men caught within separate sides of the same conflict.

Ahmed Al Hassama, an Islamic fundamentalist suicide bomber anticipating his mission, is forced by his mentor to settle into a false life, building a family as a cover. Ahmed is inevitably sent as a member of a suicide bomber cell to operate in Buenos Aires, Argentina— and if he wishes to fulfill what his people ask of him, he must leave the family and life he has grown to love.

And then there is David Goldberg, the brilliant, cold-blooded Israeli Mossad agent. David is sent to Argentina after the alert of imminent terrorist attacks, where he will encounter Ahmed in the years to follow.

In GOD’S SLAVE, these two extremist characters, one Islamic and the other Jewish, collide paths while on opposing sides of the 1994 AMIA bombings in Buenos Aires.

From the earliest days of the crack cocaine epidemic that plagued urban America comes this powerful dispatch, the first feature from writer-director Tommy Oliver. Realized with evocative detail that blurs the distinction between drama and lived experience, 1982 draws on Oliver’s upbringing in Philadelphia’s West Oak Lane neighbourhood to create a wrenching tale of paternal love and perseverance.

In a measured but blistering performance, Hill Harper plays Tim, a devoted husband to Shenae (Sharon Leal), and proud father of the precocious, ten-year- old Maya (Troi Zee). When Maya observes a widening rift in her parents’ relationship, she wonders aloud whether her mother is having an affair. But Shenae has succumbed to a temptation far more pernicious. She soon packs a bag and walks out on her family altogether, only to return periodically in fits of frenzied desperation, scrounging for means to fund her next fix. A devastated Tim, meanwhile, endeavours to shield Maya from the reality of her mother’s addiction, and eventually sets out to confront the dangerous local pusher (Wayne Brady) who’s been only too happy to prey on his wife’s weakness.

If the topic of substance abuse has often provided rich fodder for domestic drama, few films have addressed the suffering of an addict’s loved ones as lucidly as this. But Oliver also displays deep reserves of empathy and, in Tim, presents a protagonist possessed of extraordinary dignity and forbearance. 1982 marks the emergence of a compassionate and socially conscious new voice. / Adapted from Cameron Bailey, Toronto International Film Festival

When inked-up tattoo artist Elise (Veerle Baetens) meets gentle, banjo-playing bluegrass musician Didier (Johan Heldenbergh, author of the play on which the film is based), it’s love at first sight, despite some considerable differences: he talks, she listens; he is a dedicated atheist (while at the same time a naïve romantic), while the cross tattooed on the back of her neck speaks to her grounded yet quietly dedicated faith.

Their lives quickly become inextricably intertwined as Elise starts singing in Didier’s band, and the two soon have a beautiful little daughter, Maybelle; but when Maybelle falls critically ill after her sixth birthday, the seemingly inseparable bond between this perennial odd couple is put to the test.

A passionate and moving love story scored to a glorious soundtrack of traditional and original bluegrass compositions (the film’s soundtrack album was a bestseller in Belgium), THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN was a box office hit in its home country and a festival favourite worldwide, winning awards at the Berlin and Tribeca film festivals. / Adapted from Toronto International Film Festival

Academy Award Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film

Winner of The Fund for Santa Barbara Social Justice Award
This documentary explores the role that photography, since its rudimentary beginnings in the 1840s, has played in shaping the identity, aspirations, and social emergence of African Americans, from slavery to the present.

At every critical juncture, African American photographers have been there—documenting the transformation from slave to hip-hop artist, from sharecropper to corporate executive, and from the urban housing project to the White House. Their lenses have captured the stories and the ordinary lives of a people who have been an integral part of making America what it is and keeping America’s focus on the great promise of what it can become.

This unprecedented and bold new film breaks the mold, both in terms of its approach to the subject matter and its visual style. It challenges the peculiar, American construction of race, and in the process, it lifts the veil on the hidden history of a people and a nation.

Winner of The Best International Film Award
When a middle-aged Frenchman cruises the Gare du Nord one day and solicits a young foreigner, little does he know how his life is going to change. After making a date to meet at his apartment the next day, Daniel is goggle-eyed when a different — and clearly underaged — youth knocks at his door. Before the older man has time to catch his breath, the youngster recites to him the implications of being caught with a minor. Within minutes, a motley gang of toughs walk brazenly into his chic apartment and make it their own. So begins Robin Campillo’s daring look at modern day France and how some immigrants — in this case a mix of Russians, Ukrainians, and other Eastern Europeans — survive in their new country.

EASTERN BOYS is a formally fascinating film, unafraid of explicit sexuality. We are forced to look, often to the edge of discomfort, as Campillo traces Daniel’s strange and affecting voyage through the nightmare that becomes his life. There are also unexpected twists, as the director skillfully navigates the labyrinthine world in which his protagonist is lost.

A love story with a social conscience, EASTERN BOYS confronts an issue at the forefront of the European project. Never didactic, often audacious, always brave, and fiercely performed by veteran Olivier Rabourdin and a group of unknowns, Campillo’s film moves us along a trajectory that can only have one of two outcomes. / Abridged and adapted from Piers Handling, Toronto International Film Festival

Inspired by director Diane Kurys’s family history, FOR A WOMAN moves through time and memory, a historical melodrama lingering between the 1980s and postwar France.

The film opens with Anne, a woman attempting to manage the death of her mother, who finds that at age thirty-five, she hardly knows anything of her own family’s past. While gathering her deceased mother’s belongings, she discovers old photographs and letters that convince her to take a closer look at the life of her parents, Michel and Léna. Instantly the viewer is submerged in the love and life of the young couple, transported to France as the two prepare to begin their new life together.

But Anne’s research into her Jewish history and exploration of her parent’s involvment with Lyon’s communist party reveals the existence of her mysterious uncle Jean, whom everyone seems intent on forgetting. As Anne gradually closes in on a discovery she didn’t realize she was looking for, her father grows ever more ill, and he could take the secrets of his past and his brother to his grave.

In a journey that stretches through time and generations, Anne’s destiny intertwines with her father’s past to formulate a single, unforgettable story.