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Santa Barbara Film Fest Books Eddie Redmayne, Quvenzhane Wallis and Lots of Surf Movies

Late-January festival in Southern California announces 13 world premieres, plus tributes to Ann Dowd, Elle Fanning, Ezra Miller, Omar Sy and other awards hopefuls


A baker's dozen of world premieres, films from 49 countries and special tributes to Ann Dowd, Elle Fanning, Ezra Miller, Eddie Redmayne, Omar Sy and Quvenzhane Wallis will highlight the programming at the 2013 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, SBIFF announced on Tuesday.

The festival will open on Jan. 24 with the U.S. premiere of "Disconnect," the first narrative feature from Oscar-nominated "Murderball" director Henry-Alex Rubin, and close on Feb. 3 with the premiere of "Wasteland," a heist thriller that marks the feature directorial debut of Rowan Athale.

It will also include an International Gala screening of Pablo Larrain's "No," the Chilean Oscar entry and a film that made the nine-film shortlist in the Oscar foreign-language category.

And as befits a festival that takes place in a beachside town on the California coast north of Los Angeles, it will include a hefty sampling of movies about surfing.

"As we deliver the 10th edition of SBIFF under my helm, I feel this year's festival offerings are the most varied, mature and fun we've ever had," said the festival's executive director, Roger Durling, in the press release announcing the program.

In between its programs of films and industry panels, SBIFF also serves as a de-facto campaign stop on the awards trail, with tributes to a number of performers that may be in the Oscar race come late January.

Tributes have previously been announced to Ben Affleck, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams and Leonardo DiCaprio. But Tuesday's release announced the six honorees at the festival's annual Virtuosos Awards, an evening that typically honors a number of young or up-and-coming performers.

This year's Virtuosos, who will receive their awards on Jan. 29, are Ann Dowd from "Compliance," Elle Fanning from "Ginger & Rosa," Ezra Miller of "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," Eddie Redmayne from "Les Miserables," Omar Sy from "The Intouchables" and Quvenzhane Wallis from "Beasts of the Southern Wild."

The entire festival schedule can be found at the SBIFF website. Some highlights:

The festival's 13 world premieres world premieres include the ensemble comedy "Sex After Kids" and the L.A. set story of undocumented immigrants, "Crosstown," along with documentaries about winemaking ("A Year in Burgundy"), horseracing ("Stable Life"), the giant squid ("Monster Squid: The Giant Is Real"), the Occupy movement ("Occupy the Movie") and skateboarding ("The Signal Hill Speed Run"), plus three films about surfing ("Discovering Mavericks," "Driftwood" and "Isolated").

The 32 U.S. premieres include  the drama "Broken," with Tim Roth and Cillian Murphy; the Dutch spin on an American road movie, "Jackie," with Holly Hunter; director Sean Garrity's "My Awkward Sexual Adventure," about an accountant who offers to help a stripper with her debt in exchange for sex tips; documentaries on the Danube river ("Danube – Europe's Amazon") and Peruvian cuisine ("Peru Sabe: Cuisine as an Agent of Social Change"); and more surf movies, including "Alaska Sessions: Surfing the Last Frontier" and "Storm Surfers 3D."

The festival also has five competitive sections. The Independent Features Competition consists of 10 features, including five U.S. premieres and three world premieres. The International Features Competition includes nine films, seven of them U.S. premieres. The Documentary Features Competition is made up of 10 films, two of them U.S. premieres.  The Spanish/Latin American Cinema Competition has eight films, including two U.S. premieres. And the Fund for Santa Barbara Sociel Justice is made up of nine films, with four world premieres and two U.S. premieres.

Non-competition films include screenings of "Brave," "Frankenweenie," "ParaNorman" and "Wreck-It Ralph" in 3D, music documentaries about Greenwich Village, John Fahey and South African punk, eight nature films and special presentations of seven of the Oscar foreign-language entries, including four of the shortlisted films.

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