Outstanding Directors Award

by Finso Gyaltsen, viewed at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (Feb. 2017)

Ava Duvernay, Barry Jenkins, Damien Chazelle, Denis Villeneuve, and Kenneth Lonergan received the 2017 Outstanding Directors of the Year Award. They were celebrated individually for their films: 13th, Moonlight, La La Land, Arrival, and Manchester by the Sea respectively. All of the mentioned films are oscar nominated this year, as much as that counts for. The individual honors was followed by a joint conversation between the directors on their craft and the landscape of modern day filmmaking which was a treat to behold. The ceremony took place on Tuesday, February 7th at the historic Arlington Theatre. The tribute was moderated by Pete Hammond. The evening was filled with wonderful insight into the minds of these acclaimed directors. From what inspired them to getting their movies made to how they wanted it done, keeping their movies personal in a corporate environment. Damien Chazelle talked about the struggle of getting La La Land to the big screen, Barry Jenkins talked about how much he shared and related with the source material for Moonlight, Denis Villeneuve talked about directing the blade runner sequel set to be released in 2018,  Kenneth Lonergan talked about taking over as the director of Manchester by the sea after Matt Damon was initially supposed to direct, and Ava duvernay talked about how she would drive up to Santa Barbara to watch movies as a student during her UCLA days. Another topic of conversation was the change of landscape in how audiences view content nowadays with the internet and other mediums that have become available out there. DuVernay credited companies such as Netflix, which released her film the 13th, for “collapsing traditional boundaries and barriers.” All onstage had similar sentiments, though, confessed their love for the big screen over computer screens, with Veillenueve saying, “I hope the big screen will survive the revolution.” The SBIFF youtube channel doesn’t have the whole discussion but it does have a solid chunk, a link for those interested below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsKq3FNdXdk

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