Emilio Estevez' THE PUBLIC to Open 2018 Santa Barbara Film Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG®, will open with the worldwide premiere of the public at the Arlington Theatre on Wednesday, January 31, 2018. THE PUBLIC, written and directed by Emilio Estevez, stars Estevez, Alec Baldwin, Jena Malone, Christian Slater, Taylor Schilling, Che "Rhymefest" Smith, Gabrielle Union, Jacob Vargas, Michael K. Williams, and Jeffrey Wright. Check out a first look below:

"I've long admired Emilio Estevez as an artist - actor - director. With the public - I feel he has done his most personal and fully realized work. the public speaks wonderfully about our current DIVIDED country - but it also does not PREACH - it keeps us cinematically immersed. I can honestly say this is the proudest choice for opening during my tenure at SBIFF. I cherish the friendship with Emilio and admire his accomplishment with the public," stated Roger Durling, Executive Director of SBIFF.

the public follows a group of homeless library patrons, who, after learning that emergency shelters are at capacity during a brutal Midwestern cold front, refuse to leave Cincinnati's downtown public library at closing time.

In what begins as a nonviolent Occupy sit in and ragtag act of civil disobedience, quickly escalates into a stand-off with local riot police, a no-nonsense crisis negotiator, and a savvy DA with lofty political ambitions.

Amidst dropping temperatures and flaring tempers on both sides of the lockdown, uncertainty looms around how the situation can be resolved without resorting to violence, while law enforcement officials and local media spin the facts to serve their own political agendas.

This David versus Goliath story puts the spotlight on some of our nation's most challenging issues: homelessness, mental illness, and drug addiction, and sets the drama inside one of our last bastions of democracy-in-action: your public library.

"I'm absolutely delighted, thrilled, and humbled to be chosen by Roger Durling for the great honor of kicking off SBIFF 2018 with the public. Roger's long standing commitment of supporting independent filmmakers makes the Santa Barbara International Film Festival a vital showcase for artists. Once again, the festival will screen a wide and wonderful variety of distinguished films and our picture has indeed, found itself in some lovely company," says Emilio Estevez.

The 33rd annual festival runs from Wednesday, January 31 through Saturday, February 10, 2018. For more information, and to purchase tickets, festival passes and packages, please visit www.sbiff.org.

About the Santa Barbara International Film Festival
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. Over the past 30 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States - attracting 90,000 attendees and offering 11 days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums, fulfilling their mission to engage, enrich, and inspire the Santa Barbara community through film.

SBIFF continues its commitment to education and the community through free programs like its 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting Competitions, Mike's Field Trip to the Movies, National Film Studies Program, AppleBox Family Films, 3rd Weekend and educational seminars. In June of 2016, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre. The theatre is SBIFF's new home and is the catalyst for program expansion and marks the first time that Santa Barbara has had a 24/7 community center to expand their mission of educational outreach.

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