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Santa Barbara Film Festival Announces 2018 Slate, Will Open with Emilio Estevez’s ‘the public’

Despite the devastating mudslides that overwhelmed the Santa Barbara, California community of Montecito last week — resulting in at least 20 deaths and the destruction of 100-plus homes — the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (Sbiff) will go on as usual. A reason to celebrate is “needed now more than ever,” wrote Sbiff director Roger Durling in a letter soon to be shared with festival-goers. He continued, “It is an opportunity for people to gather – reflect – experience – feel – and process,” noting that cinema attendance was strong during the Great Depression.

Launched in 1986, this year’s Sbiff will include films from 58 countries. Numbered among its 45 world premieres is opening night film “the public,” the first feature written and directed by Emilio Estevez since 2010’s “The Way.” Set at a Cincinnati public library, the film follows its homeless and marginalized patrons during a dangerous cold spell. The cast includes Alec Baldwin, Jena Malone (“Neon Demon

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