Photo Courtesy: Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Excitement fills the air in February in anticipation of the 31st annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF)! Drawing in crowds of ninety thousand from both near and far, including the famous, those wishing that they one day will be, the film industry insiders, and movie buffs, this festival is uniquely local. Straying from the mainstream, SBIFF praises the unconventional and the exceptional and bestows the utmost compliments on foreign, documentary, and independent films that have caught the eye of film fanatics everywhere. An array of activities including public film screenings, panel discussions, and achievement awards with many well-known celebrities such as Johnny Depp, O’Shea Jackson Dr., Rachel McAdams, and Michael Keaton await. Some celeb-sightings from the 2015 festival include Rosamond Pike (Gone Girl), Logan Lerman (Fury), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), and Danny De Vito!
This year, take a peek at the deets on our picks for the most memorable, interesting, or downright untraditional films that deserve to be seen and, hopefully, will awe and impress you as well.
1. Goodnight Mommy (2014)
This Austrian psychological thriller plays with your head in more ways than one and promises to leave you on edge while you endure plot twist after plot twist. As you traverse into the world of two young, twin boys adjusting to their mother after she has severe facial cosmetic surgery, the tension rises as they suspect that the woman behind the bandages may not be the woman she says she is. Get ready for this film’s twisted rollercoaster ride of emotions.
2. Room (2015)
Brie Larson, a future winner of the SBIFF 2016 Outstanding Performer of the Year award, stars in Room, a heart-wrenching drama, which tells the story of a five-year-old boy and his mother as they are held captive in a small room for years on end. Escaping their imprisonment is one issue, but learning to live freely again is another. Make sure to grab some tissues, because as this film takes you through the hostage survivors trials and tribulations and the heartbreak that ensues, it is sure to leave tears on the ground by the time it ends.
3. Joy (2015)
Delve into Joy Mangano’s (Jennifer Lawrence) world as she struggles to make a name for herself in the business world and break down its barriers, while juggling her dysfunctional family, ex-husband, kids, and job. Through perseverance and sheer brilliance, she invents a self-wringing mop she believes will change the mopping world forever. However, after facing a series of issues, she’s compelled to give up on her dream, but instead pushes through the struggles towards the path of success.
4. The Lost City of Cecil B. Demille
After creating the film The Ten Commandments in 1923, Cecil B. DeMille buried its gigantic Egyptian city movie set in the Santa Barbara County Guadalupe sand dunes. Fascinated by this buried Hollywood treasure, Peter Bronson sets out to find the ruins and delve into their history. Follow his expedition as he takes a step back in time and uncovers a piece of the past that has remained untouched for the last 60 years right in our own backyard!
5. I Eat, Therefore I Am
This South Korean drama focuses on an aspiring writer’s journey of rediscovery as she searches for success in a difficult field and finds solace in a hot meal at the end of the day. This film is not a film about food, but it’s about the people that eat the food; so open your minds and your stomachs as you follow this culinary adventure!
Check out SBIFF's website for a complete schedule of events and film screenings.
Phil Argent, Untitled (Go Between), 2013, Acrylic on canvas, 28 x 40 inches, Courtesy the Artist
It’s one of life’s most undeniable truths — things change. Whether within ourselves or around us, no matter how subtle or obvious, things evolve, grow, and transform. The new Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) Satellite at Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara exhibition Shift, Stretch, Expand: Everyday Transformations, on display here from January 30, 2016 until January 22, 2017, explores this inherent truth and the inconspicuous processes of the everyday.
Shift, Stretch, Expand: Everyday Transformations showcases the work of a group of nine Santa Barbara County artists: Phil Argent, Weslie Ching, Petra Cortright, George Legrady, Kyra Lehman, Rebekah Miles, Maria Rendón, Stephanie Washburn, and Russell Young. Through their diverse and multifaceted pieces, which will be displayed throughout our boutique hotel property, the artists inspect changes in various forms by questioning limitations, pushing boundaries, and dashing expectations.
“Through MCASB’s distinct collaboration with Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara, contemporary art becomes more accessible to the general public and those who are unfamiliar with the museum,” explains Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara Associate Curator Brooke Kellaway. “This exhibition, in a hotel, a space of ongoing transitions, features artists who cleverly riff off of these broad themes of movement and transition, processes that, however imperceptible, shape who we are, how we think, and relate to each other.”
We invite you to stay with us at Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara and experience this exhibition first hand at one of America’s top Art Hotels. Staying with us offers a refreshing escape from the everyday, with a dedicated Art Library, photo murals in every room and a location that puts you in the heart of Santa Barbara’s culturally vibrant core. There’s no better hotel in Santa Barbara for immersing yourself in the art, culture and hospitality of this amazing city. We look forward to welcoming you.
The MCASB Satellite @ Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara exhibition Magic Mountain ran from March 8, 2015 to January 17, 2016
For centuries, travelers to remote mountain villages, seaside escapes, desert oases, and elsewhere, have sought out nature’s curative properties. Whether it’s to find the elixir of life, or to practice sungazing; to harvest mud for beauty masks or to dig for healing rocks, the searches are motivated by a belief in nature’s bewitching attributes that often transcends scientific explanation. This exhibition investigates the inspiration for some of these quests and obsessions, and the truths, mysteries, antidotes, and rabbit holes that arise along the way. The artists’ works bring to light the mythologies and marketplace of nature cures—spiritual, physical, and psychological—at a time when humankind’s relationship to the environment is rapidly changing.
Participating artists included Zachary Cahill, Alyse Emdur, Chris Johanson, Boris Mikhailov, Yunhee Min, Shana Moulton, John Newling, Johan Rosenmunthe, Truong Cong Tung, and Hannah Vainstein.
Yunhee Min, Mountains and Sea (for my father), 2015, Acrylic on brick wall, 27 x 81 ft., Courtesy the Artist. Photo: Rebecca Klapper
Zachary Cahill, USSADREAM, 2014, 9 x 12 in., Watercolor on paper, Courtesy the Artist
Truong Cong Tung, Magical Garden, 2012-14, Photograph, Dimensions variable, Courtesy the Artist
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is gearing up for the 2016 season (February 3–13, 2016) and we’ve got your tixs! 4-film Minipaks will be given away to 2 new followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram each. To win, follow us on the platform of your choice and like or favorite our #Follow4Flix post.
Entries will be accepted from January 18–31, 2016. Winners will be selected at random and notified via social media. Winners pick up SBIFF minipaks at the Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara, 121 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 no earlier than February 3. Hotel may mention your handle, and use your likeness on social media and on our website blog in relation to the #Follow4Flix giveaway. You will need to show your logged-in handle when you pick up your minipak at the hotel to verify your identity. If Minipak is not picked up by noon on February 5th, winner forfeits the Minipak. No purchase necessary to win.
Congratulations to our winners Ava Talehakimi, Vostok Bernal, @805BeachBoy, @mgmigt, @amandaalmada_, and @funky_fresh_felicia! Thank you for following us and we hope you enjoy SBIFF! We can't wait to hear which films you liked this year!
Known for its charm and artistic flare, the Funk Zone, a small neighborhood located near the waterfront, draws in crowds both young and old. Whether you are a twenty-one year old eager to cultivate your palate or a mature connoisseur of fine wine, everyone can find a spot to suit in this quirky little pocket of Santa Barbara. However, there is more to the Funk Zone than wineries. Amidst the many wine-tasting rooms, delicious restaurants, both casual and fancy; art galleries; museums; and some peculiar Street Art flourish amongst the area’s signature warehouses.
Although the Urban Wine Trail may be the Funk Zone’s most well known attraction, its underrated diverse and hip eating establishments stand out, vary in appeal from light to heavy wallets, and help put the “funk” in the Funk Zone.
1.) The Lark
Known for contemporary, upscale cuisine, the Lark’s delicately thought-out menu is the perfect choice for an extravagant night on the town. Ranging from the farm to the ocean, this restaurant’s Duck Liver Mousse and Pineapple, Habanero Glazed Spanish Octopus deliver unrivaled taste sensations. Remember to try the Honey Cremeux with a glass of their finest Sparkling Gamay!
2.) Mony's Taqueria
Whether you are on your thirty-minute lunch break or simply stopping by for some good company and grub, the next place on this list is a hidden gem that beckons locals and visitors alike with its mouthwatering (and affordable) tacos. There is no better way to celebrate Taco Tuesday than heading to Mony’s Taqueria where you have an abundance of Mexican favorites at your fingertips, as well as a self-serve salsa bar, in a low-key environment.
3.) Lucky Penny
Combining handcrafted technique with local, wood-fired ingredients, Lucky Penny satisfies even the strongest craving for a slice of pizza or three. This pizza palace acquired its name from the outside of the building, which is covered in thousands upon thousands of pennies, giving it an extremely RUST-ic feel. When you are pizza’d out, Lucky Penny serves breakfast dishes such as House-made Granola or Lucky Penny Wood-Fired Eggs
Pop into Metropulos, a Mediterranean-inspired sandwich and charcuterie shop, that creates delectable sandwiches and breakfasts from the best of the best ingredients. Their homemade aioli sauces elevate sandwiches to a whole new level. In addition, browse their ingredients selection for picnic options that bring this trendy shop to the top of a foodie’s checklist.
5.) Rebar Coffee
Rebar, a new coffee joint only steps away from our front door, provides the yummiest options if you are having one of those "breakfast in bed" kind of days. Whether you would like espresso chocolate brioche french toast delivered straight to your room or you want to go out for a coffee and a stroll, Rebar can accommodate either preference. It's simply the perfect spot for a little A.M. pick-me-up!
Photo courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara / Jay Sinclair
Santa Barbara is a haven for diverse cuisine, libations, and activities. What better way to enjoy all that the south coast has to offer than with a month-long celebration of culture? epicure.sb does just that and shares Santa Barbara's bounty through a wide variety of exclusive experiences and events. Now in its seventh edition, the program features over 55 local businesses participating in this year’s Perfect Pairing theme. Take a look at some of our picks for epicure.sb below!
Relais de Paris
Opened in 1972, this elegant little French bistro is modeled after a 19th century French brasserie. The award-winning restaurant uses fresh, local ingredients to create simple, traditional French dishes like soupe à l'oignon gratinée and entrecôte, which uses a prized steak sauce for which the recipe has remained a secret since it was created in 1959. For epicure.sb, guests can enjoy a special three-course menu that features some of Relais de Paris’ favorite plates. Admission is $40 per person, $49 with a glass of wine.
Little Door Santa Barbara
Along with live music every night, Little Door Santa Barbara offers an eclectic French Mediterranean menu and a serene ambiance — be sure to take a gander at their view of the Sunken Garden at the Sanata Barbara Country Courthouse. Discounted fixed lunch and dinner menus will be available from Tuesday to Saturday for epicure.sb. For $20, lunch will include Spanish paella and sangria; a sunset cocktail, appetizer, and entree will be offered at $40 for dinner. And don’t forget to take pictures of your meal and share them on social media! Use the hashtags #epicureSB, #littledoorSB, or #eyeseeSB. Lunch runs from 11:00am to 2:00pm; dinner from 5:00pm to 11:00pm.
Jaffurs Wine Cellars
Craig Jaffurs has been making wines since 1989 and has received critical praise for his products by esteemed publications from Decanter to the Wall Street Journal. For epicure.sb, Jaffurs Wine Cellars has joined forces with the Black Sheep Restaurant for daily pairings of surf, turf, and vegetables with three wines for $49. Take a look at the full menu here.
Tamales and Tequila Tasting
On October 25 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm, owner and chef of Santa Barbara Tamales-To-Go Richard Lambert will teach the techniques he uses to make his award-winning tamales and salsas in an hour-long class. Participants will get to enjoy an array of tamales, each of which will be paired with Tequila Alquimia, a gold medal-winning sipping tequila. Tickets are $30 per person and include food, drink, and printed recipes.
If you’re going to be in Santa Barbara for epicure.sb, be sure to book your stay with us here at Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara. We are offering a special day-to-night package for the program, which includes a Corks n Crowns two-for-one wine tasting, a night in a King guest room (valued at $350), and our handy drawstring, water-resistant backpack that’s filled with convenient and fun treats like Smart Water, a Santa Barbara Bar, baseball caps, and an Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara Frisbee and beach ball.
Planning a visit in October? October offers a perfect introduction to Santa Barbara's rich Asian American history and culture.
Asakura Hotel, Ca 1915. Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, Presidio Research Center, gift of Julie Asakura Slagle.
Nihonmachi Revisited: Santa Barbara's Japanese American Community in Transition, 1900-1940 is now on view at el Presidio de Sánta Barbara. The Presidio is located at a distinctive place in Santa Barbara, being both the site of a Spanish fort and a once thriving Nihonmachi (Japan Town). This insightful exhibition highlights our historic Nihonmachi with a collection of obscure photographs and accounts of daily life from local residents and families as well as fragments of elegant, Japanese ceramics excavated on site. Open Daily from 10:30am–4:30pm at 123 E. Canon Perdido Street in downtown Santa Barbara. For more info please call 805-965-0093 or visit their website here.
Hosted by Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, the Asian American Neighborhood Festival kicks off on October 11 at 11am (goes until 4pm) also at the Presidio. Unfortunately, many of the early structures, which housed Chinese and Japanese residents during the late 19th and early 20th century in the Presidio neighborhood, were destroyed in an earthquake in 1925, but the influence of the communities live on. Celebrate with performances by local shooting star Jason Paris; Filipino American, guitar virtuoso Florante Aguilar; dancers from Sino West and the Camarillo Lion Dance Troupe; and demonstrations including taiko drumming, Japanese flute, calligraphy, origami, hula dancing, and more. Admission is free! Info and calendar...
Asian American Neighborhood Festival 2014 by Dr. Paul Mori, Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation
Grab a drink or a bite while admiring the history of the area at The Pickle Room, located across the street from the Presidio on East Canon Perdido Street. Formerly Jimmy's Chinese Restaurant, this is one of the few remaining structures from Santa Barbara's Chinatown and a trendy, fusion bar. Read up on its history and reincarnation as one of Santa Barbara's favorite bars here.
Supplement these explorations with an informative glimpse of Asian art and culture from abroad at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art's Asian Art Collection. Filled with ancient robes, wood and stone religious sculptures, ceramic works, textiles, ceramics, jade, and Tibetan art, the collection was started at the museum's inception in 1941. Currently on view, Visions of Modernity: 20th-Century Japanese Woodblock Prints shows the influence of Western artistic practices on Japanese printmakers. The museum is open Tuesday–Sunday from 11am–5pm, and Thursdays until 8pm and is located at 1130 State Street. For more information, please visit their website here.
Arigato Sushi Restaurant
Hungry for some Asian cuisine to compliment your day about town? China Pavilion offers dim sum on the weekends, 11 am to 3pm, and a Chinese menu with authentic specialties. Arigato is the place to see and be seen and star watch over sushi. For a unique Japanese dining experience, check out the traditional seasonally inspired, multi-course meals (kaiseki) at Yoichi’s.
László Moholy-Nagy, CH for R1 Space Modulator, 1942. Oil on red Formica. Collection Hattula Moholy-Nagy
László Moholy-Nagy (1895 – 1946) was a photographer and an early advocate for incorporating art with technology. Moholy believed that art had to become scientific, egalitarian, and technologically advanced in order to condition the viewer to respond to the challenges of modern life. He became notorious for advising artists to exchange brush and canvas with camera and television. In pursuit of this goal, Moholy abandoned painting in 1928 to focus on his most ambitious project yet, his Light Prop for an Electric Stage (1930), a kinetic device meant to produce lively light displays for a modern stage. He chose to return to painting in the 1930s and 1940s, at a time of crisis marked by the Great Depression and the Second World War.
Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s exhibition, The Paintings of Moholy-Nagy: The Shape of Things to Come, is the first to examine why Moholy would revise his previously determined abandonment of brush and canvas and re-take up painting in his late career. The exhibit features a variety of paintings executed on traditional mediums, as well as on industrial materials like plastics and aluminum. Organized chronologically and thematically, it displays the evolution of Moholy’s thought and practice over his career, paying particular attention to the political and technological impact World War II had on him.
If you’re planning on visiting Santa Barbara, be sure to book your guest room at Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara. Each of our beautiful accommodations include plush bathrobes and premium linens, inviting you to relax. In keeping with our commitment to staying green, the rooms are outfitted with energy-efficient features designed to make the most of the space. We also have fabulous on-site dining situated right in our lobby: Nuance offers a seasonally inspired menu of a fusion of Californian, Asian, French, and Italian cuisines, as well as dishes sourcing local produce from the Santa Barbara Farmers Market.
Santa Barbara is the perfect Southern California beach town and summer playground–there is something here for everybody!
Beaches? Yep, we've got some of the best beaches around for taking a dip, napping, and walking. We are located just a block and a half from West Beach and Stearns Wharf. Nearby you can rent stand-up paddle boards or kayaks, play a pick-up volleyball game, go on a harbor cruise, or just soak in the sun and the sand. Enjoying the freedom of the great outdoors with your pet is a snap when visiting Arroyo Burro Beach where you can take your dog off leash to frolic.
Two-wheeled cruising more your speed? Grab our complimentary bikes and cruise along the Cabrillo Blvd path next to the beach. Stop and relax under the palms at Chase Palm Park and head down to the Santa Barbara Zoo and Andree Clark Bird Refuge. For additional bike paths, check out the Southern Santa Barbara County Bike Map.
Looking for some outdoor adventure? Our mountains and beaches offer spectacular hiking opportunities. Seek out the back country waterholes or head to the top for wide-open views of Santa Barbara, the ocean, and the Channel Islands. You can find guides to the many of the area hikes here.
Come join us for some Santa Barbara summer fun! Check availability today!
From classical works and international compositions to local favorites, there is no shortage of wonderful, and diverse, live music performances to enjoy this month. Take a look at what’s coming up!
The program celebrates the work of J.S. Bach and G.F. Handel. Under the direction of Chris A. Bowman, the concert will open with the orchestra's presentation of Bach's "Sinfoinia" followed by the blending of choral voices and orchestra in Bach cantatas including, "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" and "Dona Nobis Pacem" and Handel's oratorio "Messiah" with its "Hallelujah" chorus. Tickets are available by calling 805-350-4241, online, from Chorale members, and at the door.
Me & Dinosaur - May 6
Local favorites Me & Dinosaur formed in late 2011 as a small acoustic guitar ensemble focused on bluesy riffs, elaborate harmonies, and clever songwriting. All members being fellow UCSB alums, the group then consisting of Sean McClure (lead vocals, guitar), Cole Baviera (guitar, vocals) and Erich Tomkinson (guitar, vocals), eventually evolved into a four piece with the addition of Sean Renken (bass, vocals) and Tomkinson moving to drums. In 2013, Me & Dinosaur solidified their lineup with the addition of Jon Bumgarner (drums, vocals), and Tomkinson again shifting gears, this time to keyboards. The band performs at SOhO Restaurant and Music Club. Tickets are available online.
The California Honeydrops - May 7, 8
Like his influences (ranging from Louis Armgstrong to Sam Cooke), the Honeydrops frontman Lech Wierzynski has the unique ability to carry a tune casually, conversationally, and powerfully. In just few years, the group of street performers would be selling out venues across California. The band draws heavily on Southern soul and Bay Area R&B, with a twist of New Orleans second-line street music. Growing bigger and gathering steam, the Honeydrops have now expanded from an acoustic street trio to a full band: piano and keyboards, electric bass, and additional percussion to round out their sound. They perform back-to-back nights at SOhO Restaurant and Music Club. Tickets are available online.
An Evening of Vietnamese Music - May 8
Emmy Award-winning artist Vân Ánh Vo dedicates her life to creating music on the dan Tranh (16-string zither). She fuses her traditional Vietnamese foundation with freshness in new structures and compositions. Vân Ánh will take the audience on a journey to Vietnam through this performance of traditional sounds of North, Central, and South Vietnam will blend with modern Western soundscapes as Vân Ánh presents solo works and collaborative performances with her ensemble The VA’V. Contact the A.S. Ticket Office at 805-893-2064 or buy online. Seating is limited.
If you’re visiting Santa Barbara, be sure to book your suite at Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara for the most comfortable, convenient, and affordable accommodation in town. Not only do we have a wide-variety of suites, but we’re also pet friendly, and a proud Green hotel, committed to eco-friendly facilities and policies. Book today!