Santa Barbara Film Festival Delayed Two Months to March 31 After Oscars Date Change

36th annual edition of the fest was meant to begin on January 27, 2021

The 36th edition of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) has been delayed two months in response to the coronavirus pandemic, with the delay arriving after Monday’s news that the Oscars would shift to late-April.

The 2021 SBIFF, presented by UGG, will now take place between March 31 and April 10, delayed from the previously announced dates starting on January 27 and running through February 6.

“Like so many other prestigious ceremonies and events, we’ve had to adjust our plans in this extremely unprecedented era,” SBIFF executive director Roger Durling said in a statement. “There has never been a more critical time to celebrate cinema and its ability to get us through extremely challenging circumstances, whether on a personal level or on a global scale, by keeping us entertained, informed and inspired.”

Like the Palm Springs International Film Festival that also takes place in early January, the Santa Barbara festival is another event not far from Hollywood that generally draws Oscar voters and hosts galas featuring talent generally vying on the awards circuit. Last year’s festival honored such artists as Brad Pitt, Renee Zellweger, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o, Laura Dern, Bong Joon-ho, Aldis Hodge, George MacKay, Cynthia Erivo, Beanie Feldstein, Taron Egerton, Awkwafina, Florence Pugh, Taylor Russell and more.

The festival still plans to host 200+ films featuring over 120 world and U.S. premieres, industry panels, celebrity tributes, and educational and free community programs to Santa Barbara, with screenings and events held throughout the city, including the Arlington and Lobero Theatres.

The Oscars will now take place on April 25, and other awards shows including the BAFTAs and the Film Independent Spirit Awards have already adjusted their schedules to April as well.

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