SBMS Teen Press

Stories from
Team 49

Interviews and stories from the 49th group of Teen Press Reporters – Winter, 2023.

Reporters from Team 49 covered the 38th SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, running from February 8th - 18th, 2023, with interviews from the red carpet at awards events, film reviews, filmmaker interviews, and a few "Behind The Scenes" stories (on the "Our Team" page). We're still working on after-the-fact REVIEWS and INTERVIEWS, so keep checking back for our latest reporting!

The following links will take you to interviews from a specific event...(but open in a new tab. Thanks a lot, Google):



On February 8th, 2023, the Opening Night Film at this year's Santa Barbara International Film Festival was MIRANDA'S VICTIM, directed by MICHELLE DANNER. That night, Team 49 reporters JULIA & PHOEBE were on the red carpet, but only got a few moments with the director.

Happily, Ms. Danner agreed to a rematch, here on Zoom!


The CLOSING NIGHT FILM, “I Like Movies”, brought a red carpet full of filmmakers from the festival, as well as participants in the night’s feature film. It was Saturday, February 18th, 2023, and SBMS Teen Press reporters CHLOE & ROXY were on hand to interview…and BE interviewed! A local television news team from KEYT interviewed both students that evening, turning the tables on our reporters.

Meanwhile, on the actual red carpet, the team spoke with:

And from the closing night film "I Like Movies"


Over the course of this year's Santa Barbara International Film Festival, reporters from Team 49 got the chance to interact with several filmmakers separately from the red carpet, to more deeply explore their filmmaking process. Between a professional filmmaker father at SBMS, an artist/documentarian from Albuquerque, and an SBMS alum student filmmaker, as well as a score of encounters on the red carpet, Teen Press reporters have gotten a taste of the movie-maker’s life. In this sidebar, Team 49 features interviews with three filmmakers:


PAUL DEKTOR is the director of a full-length world-premiere narrative film, “American Dreamer”, with big-name stars (Peter Dinklage, Shirley MacLaine, Matt Dillon, Danny Glover, and Danny Pudi). He is also an SBMS dad. IRIS, PHOEBE, STELLA and JULIA interviewed him about his film and filmmaking on campus.


KAELA WALDSTEIN is the producer, director, cinematographer and editor of her latest short documentary, “Cara Romero: Following the Light,” which was screened at the festival, and has been picked up by SoCal PBS. After attending one of the SBIFF's free seminars, "The Long and Short of Short Filmmaking,” in which KAELA took part, CHLOE, ESTHER, SOPHIA and TEYA interviewed her downtown at the Tamsen Gallery.


MALCOLM TIRCUIT is an SBMS alum filmmaker attending Santa Barbara High School, who took part in the 10-10-10 Screenwriting and Filmmaking Mentorship and Competition. High school and college participants work for 5 months with mentors from the industry to create films for the competition, which are screened on the final day of the festival. ESTHER, RUBY and STEFAN interviewed him outside the Arlington Theater, just after his film “The Green Machine” was screened—and won—in the category of high school directing.


The OUTSTANDING DIRECTORS Award event was held on the penultimate night of the 38th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, on 2-17-23. On hand for the awards were Oscar-nominated directors TODD FIELD and MARTIN McDONAGH. 

Director & Awardee

SBMS Teen Press reporters RUBY & STEFAN, research in hand, were ready for action on what turned out to be an eerily quiet night on the red carpet. It might have been Friday the 13th, but it wasn’t. Two of the four directors (the DANIELS) were no-shows, and the reporters had the exquisitely painful experience of being within seconds of interviewing one of the directors when time ran out and he was whisked away into the theater.

Critic & Moderator

On the other hand, RUBY & STEFAN got some good conversations with Oscar-nominated director TODD FIELD and the event’s moderator, and got to attend a very warmly funny and informative evening learning about the Directors FIELD & McDONAGH and their work.


It was Thursday night, February 16, 2023, at the CINEMA VANGUARD Award, honoring COLIN FARRELL and BRENDAN GLEESON. The SBIFF award is a recognition of actors “who have forged their own path, taking artistic risks and making a significant and unique contribution to film.” The two awardees are both from Dublin, and their career intersections have led them to become good friends.

The SBMS Teen Press reporters whose careers were intersecting  that night were LUCCA & SOPHIA, who spent hours preparing questions for the two awardees, as well as some other notables whose plans to appear on the red carpet were just announced that afternoon. So in addition to pressure and eagerness being high for our reporters, they had to endure the sight of CHRIS PRATT (who produced the wrestling film “Helen | Believe” about Olympian Helen Maroulis) posing for the still cameras and then departing. And the sounds of cheering from the street as the awardees made the rounds with fans, before then being whisked up the red carpet without a stop for interviews.


Happily, SOPHIA & LUCCA got many other filmmaker interviews, one of which will go down in Teen Press history...


The VIRTUOSOS Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival is one of, if not the most exciting event in the 10 nights of the festival. A panoply of breakout actors are honored, whose “noteworthy performances in film have elevated them into the national cinematic dialogue.” This year’s eight awardees have in some cases been performing for many years, some just a short time. In the words of Dave Karger, long-time moderator of the event, “It’s an impressive bunch that proves you can have a breakout moment at any point in your career.”

For this evening, February 15, 2023, two of our 9th grade reporters were on the red carpet, DANNA & RUBY, who, despite having to view many of the talent just skimming by without a word, held onto their fortitude, and got several interviews:


It was the AMERICAN RIVIERA Award night at the 38th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the Teen Press team of EVITA & TEYA were on the red carpet to engage with whoever they could! The American Riviera Award was “established to recognize actors who have made a significant contribution to American Cinema,” and the night’s honoree was BRENDAN FRASER, who was the highest on our team’s list of priority interviews. Happily, they managed conversations with many filmmakers and actors, in addition to the guest of honor!

The Valentine’s night (February 14th, 2023) red carpet interviews were with:


On Monday, February 13th, the sixth night of the 38th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the people being honored were from behind the camera…some waaay behind. The evening was to celebrate the achievements of the folks who make the films possible, from costume design, to music composition, hair styling & make-up, editing, special effects, and cinematography. Taken together, the event was titled the VARIETY ARTISANS AWARDS, and of the 11 people being honored, the night’s Teen Press team of CHLOE and STEFAN managed to speak with about half of them!

This evening’s red carpet interviews were with:


The 4th night of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival #38 featured the MALTIN MODERN MASTER AWARD, named after esteemed film critic and long-time SBIFF moderator Leonard Maltin, and created to honor an “individual who has enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry.” It is the festival’s highest award, and was presented tonight to JAMIE LEE CURTIS. On tonight’s red carpet, Feb 11, 2023, EVITA & STELLA got a chance to interact with the awardee herself, as well as moderator Leonard Maltin, and many filmmakers:

Outstanding Performer of the Year Award
Honoring Cate Blanchett

Night Three of the 38th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and the red carpet was to honor this year's recipient of the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award--CATE BLANCHETT, returning for the third time to receive the award! SBMS Teen Press reporters DANNA & IRIS were honored to get to share a question with CATE, who made a special stop to speak with student journalists at the end of the press line. Iris & Danna also had the opportunity to speak with other filmmakers and actors, who shared some of their experiences in film & life:


The first award of the 38th edition of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival was tonight’s MONTECITO AWARD, created to honor those whose contributions to film are both stylish and substantive. On tonight’s red carpet, Feb 9, 2023, ESTHER and ROXY got a chance to interact with the awardee herself, ANGELA BASSETT, and her award presenter RYAN COOGLER, as well as other filmmakers:

OPENING NIGHT of the 38th Edition of the
Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The 38th edition of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival launched last night, February 8, 2023, with a red carpet and the world premiere of the film MIRANDA’S VICTIM. Many of the star-studded cast were present, as well as the producer and director. SBMS Teen Press reporters JULIA and PHOEBE were well-attired for the occasion, and even better, well-researched! They were prepared for the onslaught of actors and filmmakers…but were surprised that one of their interviewees had been the mayor of Santa Barbara! All-in-all, they managed interactions with a whole list of red carpet goers:

SBIFF #38 Press Conference

January 18th, 2023,
Sullivan Goss Gallery

Poster by Patricia Chidlaw


Each year, just before the Santa Barbara International Film Festival opens, ROGER DURLING, the festival's Executive Director, gives an overview of what's in store, and reveals that year's poster. Here LUCCA & STEFAN talk with Roger about the festival, his history with it, and other topics. Join in!

SEAN PRATT, SBIFF Managing Director

CLAUDIA PUIG, SBIFF Programming Director



SUSAN BUSH, Contemporary Curator, Sullivan Goss Gallery