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Santa Barbara Film Fest to Launch Acquisitions Program

Awards-season festival takes steps to attract buyers in 2012

AWARDS BEAT

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is venturing into an area in which it has never had much presence, adding a weekend acquisitions program to its 2012 schedule.

The new program will take place the first weekend of next year's SBIFF, Jan. 27-29, and will present films seeking distribution, with buyers afforded priority access to screenings.

With a late-January/early-February slot that puts it in the thick of awards season, SBIFF has long been used as a prime showcase for Oscar contenders. But unlike larger festivals like Sundance, Toronto and Cannes, it has never been known as a strong festival for acquisitions.

SBIFF's acquisitions program will be conducted in association with Traction Media, a film production and sales company that will help festival programmers select the films to be included.

“Over the years, SBIFF has continuously showcased an incredibly high caliber film program, one that has left a lasting impression with the audience," said Doug Stone, president of the SBIFF board and a principal in Traction Media, in a statement. "We are eager to now be able to shine a spotlight on these films for the acquisitions community.” 

The 2012 Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place from Jan. 26 through Feb. 5 in the coastal city 90 miles north of Los Angeles