Cristal's Blog


January 25, 2024

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The countdown has begun for the 39th Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), set to bring the glamour of Hollywood to the coastal city of Santa Barbara from February 7 to 17, 2024. As one of the most anticipated events locally as well as in the entertainment industry, SBIFF promises a captivating experience for filmmakers, actors, and film enthusiasts alike. In this blog post, we delve into the 9 key facts that make SBIFF an exceptional celebration of the art of storytelling and cinema.

The Arlington Theater and the logo of Santa Barbara International Film Festival under a dark blue sky, with the theater marquee announcing the dates of the Festival.

1. A Premier Film Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is a premier annual event that draws filmmakers, industry professionals, and cinema enthusiasts from around the globe. It stands as a testament to the excellence and innovation in the world of cinema. This year’s festival is set to present a remarkable lineup, including 45 world premieres and 77 U.S. premieres originating from 48 countries. In addition to these cinematic highlights, the event will feature tributes honoring the year's top talent, engaging panel discussions, and a series of free community education and outreach programs.

To experience the Magic of SBIFF this year, check out the 2024 schedule to purchase your tickets. And don’t forget to download the official SBIFF app.

2. Rich History

With a history spanning over three decades, SBIFF has evolved into one of the most respected film festivals since its inception in 1986. Its legacy is marked by a commitment to showcasing outstanding films and honoring the best in the industry. Today, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States – attracting 100,000 attendees over 11 days dedicated to engaging enriching and inspiring people through the power of film.

A head and shoulders photo of actress Heather Graham wearing a faux fur coat.
Closing Night Film, World Premiere of “Chosen Family” Saturday, February 17th, 2024, 8:00 PM, Arlington Theatre.

3. Variety of Films

SBIFF takes pride in its diverse selection of films, including feature films, documentaries, short films, and international cinema. The festival provides a platform that celebrates the richness of global storytelling, promoting inclusivity within the cinematic landscape.

Headshot of actor Brandley Cooper against a blue backdrop with the Santa Barbara International Film Festival logo.

4. Star-Studded Gala Events

An undeniable highlight of the festival is the star-studded gala events. Renowned actors, directors, and industry professionals – among them, Academy Award nominated talent -- grace the red carpet in this glamorous affair that captures international media attention.

The 2024 honorees include Bradley Cooper, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, and Jeffrey Wright, along with Danielle Brooks - “The Color Purple”, America Ferrera - “Barbie,” Billie Eilish and Finneas – Songwriter – “Barbie,” Stephane Ceretti – VFX – “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” Ludwig Göransson – Composer – “Oppenheimer,” Kazu Hiro – Hairstyling/Makeup – “Maestro,” and more.

5. Honoring Excellence

SBIFF not only celebrates the best in film but also recognizes outstanding achievements in the industry. The festival presents various awards, including the prestigious Outstanding Performance of the Year Award, acknowledging actors who have left an indelible mark in their roles.

6. Educational Programs

Going beyond screenings, SBIFF offers educational programs and workshops for aspiring filmmakers throughout the year. These initiatives provide valuable insights and guidance from industry professionals, empowering the next generation of storytellers. Some popular educational programs include: The Film Studies Program, The Santa Barbaras Filmmaker Series, and Super Silent Sunday.

Panels of movie experts on stage doing Q&As at SPIFF

7. Cinematic Panels and Q&A Sessions

Attendees have the unique opportunity to participate in cinematic panels and interactive Q&A sessions with filmmakers and actors. These sessions offer an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the filmmaking process and foster engaging discussions.

8. Film Industry Networking Opportunities

SBIFF serves as a hub for networking, bringing together filmmakers, industry professionals, and cinema enthusiasts. It provides a fertile ground for connections, collaborations, and future projects, bridging gaps within the film industry.

Lights on a theater marquee announcing SBIFF with info about SBIFF GIVING GUIDE.

9. Community Engagement

More than just a film event, SBIFF actively engages with the local community through free screenings, outreach programs, and special events all year long. In June 2016, SBIFF acquired the historic Riviera Theatre. Following a successful capital campaign and extensive renovation, the theater now stands as SBIFF's modern venue, featuring a daily showcase of new international and independent films.

In May 2019, SBIFF inaugurated its Education Center on State Street, The Barakow Family Center for Film Studies, a dynamic hub for creativity and education. The center functions as a classroom, screening room, community meeting area, movie library, and editing suite connecting with over 14,000 individuals annually.

Whether you're a cinephile, an aspiring filmmaker, or someone who simply appreciates the magic of the silver screen, SBIFF invites you to immerse yourself in the world of cinema, witness groundbreaking films, and be part of the celebration of the art of filmmaking.

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2024 is just one of the extraordinary events that contribute to the magic of our world-famous area. If you're yearning to craft a bit of magic in the form of a new home within the upscale communities of Santa Barbara, please give me a call at (805) 886-9378 or email me at Meantime, let the allure of SBIFF be the backdrop to your pursuit of the perfect home – I look forward to assisting you on this magical journey!

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“Cristal is a pleasure to work with! Her knowledge of the local real estate market coupled with her amazing listening skills resulted in her showing us an array of homes that were all excellent choices. Her low-pressure patient attitude made us feel extremely comfortable with the whole process. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”

- M.F.

“Cristal Clarke is #1 in her field - and you don't become #1 by luck. Cristal works harder, and longer, and with more charm and patience than any real estate agent I have ever worked with in the past; her calendar has no weekend, her days have no clocks, her only concern is selling your property as soon as possible and for the best price on the market. Am I a fan? You bet!”

- P.B.

“We have used Cristal now several times and cannot express how grateful we are for her expertise, dedication, and unwavering support throughout the entire home-buying process. Cristal is knowledgeable, patient and attentive. Her attention to detail is remarkable, and she consistently went above and beyond to provide us with all the information and resources we needed to make informed decisions. Cristal is a skillful negotiator and advocate. She can navigate complex negotiations with professionalism and grace and felt like a true partner to us in the home-buying process. Cristal has a genuine passion for real estate and a deep commitment to her clients' satisfaction. I cannot speak highly enough of Cristal and her exceptional service. She is a true expert in her field and her dedication to excellence, combined with unwavering support is the reason we choose to work with her for all our real estate buying needs.”

- T.C.

“Cristal is a top-notch realtor who sold my home before it ever went on the market. I had two competing offers that enabled me to get top dollar for my home. Not only is Cristal superb but her team is extraordinary. I cannot say enough about Cristal and her team. They are simply phenomenal, the consummate professionals, who took care of every possible detail, making the sale and transition period, smooth from our end. They are also lovely, caring people, who knew all the right professionals, to get the job done. Thank you, everyone!”

- D.R.

“I could list lots of cool adjectives to describe Cristal. All good by the way. But, that is not why I or anyone should hire Cristal. My reason for hiring her, which proved to be correct, is very simple. She got the job done. And, she does it time and time again and with zero issues. And, that is why she is one of the top agents in the country. End of subject. ”

- M.A.

“Working with Cristal was a complete pleasure. Cristal was extremely patient with us as we evaluated nearly 2 dozen homes over a span of 2 years. Her knowledge of the market is unmatched. Cristal provided us with exceptional counsel as we evaluated opportunities and negotiated pricing. The closing process was handled thoroughly and efficiently. We could not be happier with our purchase and even more happy to now call Cristal our friend.”

- D.K.

“Cristal Clarke has conducted numerous real estate transactions for me beginning 13 years ago with the purchase of a Lemon Ranch. She has handled both large and small purchases and sales with equal dedication. As a negotiator, you can’t find anyone better. Her transactions are always conducted in the most appropriate and professional manner. Cristal has considerable knowledge of the Santa Barbara market.”

- S.N. Decker Ph.D.

“Living in Europe, we were to say the least, unaccustomed to the nuances of Real Estate acquisition in California and Cristal steered us through the process with absolute professionalism and personal attention to detail at every turn. Her in-depth knowledge of the market place combined with enthusiasm and drive was the only reason we secured the property of our dreams and will be forever grateful. If you are looking for personal discrete and private representation of the highest quality we suggest you look no further than Cristal Clarke.”

- Johan and Paula van den Berg

“Cristal is very straightforward, cheerful, helpful, professional and trustworthy….we felt very lucky to work with her.”

- John and Lacey Williams

“After considering our many choices, we are grateful it was Cristal Clarke of Sotheby’s International who represented the sale of our Montecito cottage. We are familiar with Cristal’s reputation of hard work and dedication to clients, but it was her attention to detail that made our experience so positive. She offered suggestions for staging the property, worked in harmony with potential buyers and was even able to secure back up offers. The sale of our cottage was completed much sooner than we expected, due in great part to Cristal’s professional skills and support. We highly recommend Cristal as a first choice for anyone needing representation with real estate.”

- Michael & Nancy Lee

“Our experience in working with Cristal Clarke resulted in the successful and discrete acquisition of a property which was not yet on the open market. Her knowledge of the Montecito/Santa Barbara area and vast expertise blended with her passion for real estate and architecture, provided us with the very highest level of professionalism and personalized services. Cristal exhibited a rare combination of excellent communications, attention to detail, creativity and patience.”

- Richard and Catherine Frinier

“Cristal really breaks the mold. She knows every nook and cranny of this real estate market, understands value, and follows up on everything, all the time. She was incredibly patient with our two year quest to find the perfect house. Every house hunting trip from across the country was well planned, and our time was never wasted. On top of her professionalism and expertise, she is delightful to spend time with. We are thrilled with the home we purchased, and grateful to Cristal for so wisely advising us through this process, right through to the close and beyond.”

- Laurie Siegel

“We met Cristal first in the course of renting a winter home (for three years), then buying a house using her as our agent. She was amazingly good at listening to our wants and showing us homes that fit our needs. Her mastery of the paperwork was perfect. Most importantly, there was never a situation where we doubted her straightforwardness or integrity. If we do another real estate transaction in Montecito (which I doubt, we’re happy with what we purchased), without question we’d use Cristal again.”

- Ken Saffir

“Susan and I just want to thank you for your efforts in the sale of our home. You are really quite amazing. Your competence, persistence, optimism and humor made the entire process effortless. Every problem that arose, you somehow fixed; any obstacle, you overcame. We have bought and sold many homes. It has never been such a painless and enjoyable process!”

- Michael & Susan Marquart

“A little something about “our” realtor, Cristal Clarke. My wife and I came to Santa Barbara about fifteen years ago looking for a seasonal home from which to enjoy the weather and amenities of the central coast. Being in the real estate business myself I was familiar with agents and brokers so entered the market with open eyes. We “flipped” a few houses in the early years, dealing with various agents and finally ended up in Montecito. That’s when good fortune put us together with Cristal. To say we were impressed is to put it mildly. Cristal really knows the market. She is familiar with the area, its history and trends. When we have questions about a particular property she either has the answers immediately or gets back to us by phone or email. There is no waiting or wondering with Cristal. She is an agent who is “on top of it.” Her recommendations as to price points, contractors, inspectors and title agents have proven to be exceptional, showing great insight and the highest professional standards. We consider ourselves exceedingly fortunate to say that Cristal Clarke is our realtor and would recommend her services to any serious buyer or seller.”

- Rob & Judi Kelch