SBIFF: Cinema Vanguard Award

By Olivia Battles and Addie Sweeney

The Santa Barbara Film Festival honors one actor or actress each year with the Cinema Vanguard Award. This year, Laura Dern was the honoree.


Laura Dern – Cinema Vanguard Award

CP: this is your first time being honored at the SBIFF, has it encouraged you to look back and reflect on your career?

LD: Well it might tonight because I hear they’re showing some clips and things, and I started being an actress at 11, so inevitably I will remember all kinds of things and memories from my childhood, so I look forward to that.

CP: Do you feel a sense of accomplishment joining your father as one of those honored at the SBIFF?

LD: I feel moved, I feel so touched by that. I didn’t realize that until I just stepped on the carpet and they told me, so I’m very, very excited.


Ksenia Ratushnaya – Director of Outlaw 

CP: Could you tell us a little bit about your film?

KR: Outlaw, is a story of a gay teen, Nikita, who falls in love with the most popular boy in school, and a rebellious girl who is very mysterious also falls in love with the same boy as well, so they’re fighting for his love. At the same time, there is a story about a transgender dancer in the 80’s and her love story with a soviet general, so there’s three stories in one film.

CP: Is it challenging to make an LGBTQ themed film in Russia?

KR: Yeah, kind of, because everyone was afraid to work with us, and everyone would think that we will be banned or get into prison, or something like that. Nothing Happened, and I think if you walk on these themes in Russia with professionals they will know exactly what to do, and what to tell people to make it all go down. 

CP: Did you feel a sense of responsibility to correctly portray this theme?

KR: Yes, of course, because this theme is not talked about as well as it should be talked about. Outlaw is only the fourth or the fifth film on that theme in Russia, and the first-ever transgender Russian film. So, yeah, I feel the pressure and I really hope that the community will love it.


Tom Turner and James Wedlock – Director and Composer of A Glimpse

CP: Could you tell us a little bit about your film?

TT: Yes, so, it’s called, A Glimpse, it’s a ten minute short, and the basic idea is that its two strangers making small talk in a cafe, and as they begin speaking we see a two year forming between them play out in front of us while still listening to their original conversation. And this conversation they’re having turns into a first date so it’s quite introspe

ctive and quiet contemplative on relationships in general on where you are at the start of them vs where they take you, I guess that’s it in a nutshell.

CP: This is a really popular genre, so how do you make your film unique?

TT: Um I suppose film it low budget so that you can’t rely on anything that takes away from the narrative, everything has to be story focused. 

JW: The actual premise, I think, sets itself apart from other films, the way it’s short.

TT:  I suppose the idea is quite been there done that, but the execution is hopefully very different.

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