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Sunken Garden Film Series

Now in its ninth season, the Free Summer Cinema series at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden has solidified itself as a wildly popular tradition. 

Screenings are on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 p.m. in UCSB's Campbell Hall and Friday evenings in the Sunken Garden at 8:30 p.m. The series is made possible by a collaboration between Arts & Lectures, the Office of Arts & Culture & Santa Barbara County Parks

People are encouraged to brings picnics and jackets as it gets chilly at night in Santa Barbara. Guests may set out  blankets and chairs anytime after 12:00 p.m on movie nights. Low-back chairs are welcome, as are non-synthetic blankets (to help keep the lawn lovely!). Please keep in mind that the County is not responsible for any items left unattended on the lawn. We hope to see you there!

This year's Premier Sponsor is Montecito Bank & Trust and the Sponsor is COMPASS. Big thanks to Big Green Cleaning for their help.

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2018 Summer sunken garden Film Lineup: Animated Nights

*Wednesday screenings will be at UCSB Campbell Hall starting at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, July 6 only     19th Annual Animation Show of Shows       

(16 animated shorts, 93 minutes. May include adult content.)

For nearly 20 years, the Animation Show of Shows has selected the best in animated short films from the world’s most renowned animation festivals and presented these new and innovative short films to audiences around the world. This year’s lineup offers a wealth of humor, insight and profundity with 16 exceptional and inspiring animated shorts. The selections represents the work of artists from eight countries, including nine women. Highlights include a newly-restored 50-year-old short “Hangman,” and “Dear Basketball,” the Academy Award-winning short by Disney veteran Glen Keane, based on a poem by former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant. Funny, moving, engaging and thought-provoking, the Animation Show of Shows not only has something for everyone, but also is a remarkable and insightful microcosm of our world. Introduced by producer and curator Ron Diamond, in person.

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Wednesday, July 11*       The Triplets of Belleville

& Friday, July 13             (2003, 78 minutes)

Dubbed “a tour de force of ink-washed, crosshatched mischief and unlikely sublimity” by The New York TimesThe Triplets of Belleville is a wildly inventive and highly original animated feature crowded with colorful characters and fantastic imagery. Kidnapped by mysterious, square-shouldered henchmen, a Tour de France cyclist named Champion is spirited across the ocean to the teeming metropolis of Belleville. His near-sighted grandmother and faithful dog Bruno follow his trail and are taken in by the Belleville Sisters, an eccentric trio of cabaret singers from the days of Fred Astaire. The motley sleuths follow the clues to an underground speakeasy, where the jazz-era divas entertain the crowd… And now the chase is on! Nominated for two Academy Awards, this richly-imagined animated film transports viewers to the exciting streets of 1920s Paris and Le Jazz Hot.

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Wednesday, July 18*         The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

& Friday, July 20               (2005, 85 minutes)

There is trouble brewing in the back yard of the daffy, cheese-loving inventor Wallace and his loyal companion, the pragmatic, worry-ridden dog Gromit. The much-loved duo’s latest business venture – a pest-control outfit called Anti-Pesto – is booming. Wallace and Gromit soon land a job from the alluring Lady Tottington to stop a giant rabbit from destroying the town’s crops. In this Academy Award-winning clay-animated adventure, Wallace and Gromit set out to discover the mystery behind the garden sabotage that plagues their village and threatens the annual Giant Vegetable Competition, but with only days to go, the enterprising pair finds it hard to manage all the captive rabbits taking over West Wallaby Street. Can Wallace and Gromit save the day?

Wednesday, July 25*         Fantastic Mr. Fox

& Friday, July 27               (2009, 87 minutes)

In this hilarious and heartwarming animated adventure from visionary director Wes Anderson, the urbane Mr. Fox cannot resist returning to his sneaky, farm-raiding old ways and plots the greatest chicken heist the animal world has ever seen. Then, he must help his community survive the farmers’ retaliation. Featuring vibrant performances by George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe and Bill Murray, the delightful adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s novel was nominated for an Academy Award for best animated feature. This meticulous work of stop-motion animation is unforgettable.

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Wednesday, August 1 only*     Ratatouille

                                                  (2007, 111 minutes)

(Note: No Courthouse screening due to Fiesta celebrations)

In this breakthrough computer-animated comedy, Remy (Patton Oswalt) dreams of becoming a renowned French chef who can create and enjoy culinary masterpieces to his heart’s delight. The only problem is, Remy is a rat. When fate places Remy beneath a restaurant made famous by his culinary hero, Auguste Gusteau, Remy must face his family’s misgivings – and the obvious problem of being a rat in a decidedly rodent-phobic profession. Remy forms an unlikely partnership with Linguini, the garbage boy, who inadvertently discovers Remy’s amazing talents. Despite the apparent dangers of being unwanted visitors in the kitchen at one of Paris’ most exclusive restaurants, they strike a deal, setting into motion a hilarious and exciting chain of extraordinary events that turns the culinary world of Paris upside down. Winner of an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film, Ratatouille is a delicious treat.

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Wednesday, August 8*        The Iron Giant

& Friday, August 10            (1999, 86 minutes)

In this beloved and critically-acclaimed animated feature, an inquisitive young boy named Hogarth Hughes forms a powerful friendship with a gentle robot visitor from outer space. An adaptation of Ted Hughes’ Cold War fable, the film follows the adventures of Hogarth and the Iron Giant as they try to save the misunderstood giant machine from destruction by a paranoid government agent. The Iron Giant is considered one of the classic animated gems of its era, featuring the voices of Vin Diesel, Jennifer Aniston and Harry Connick Jr. and a beautiful mix of hand-drawn and Computer Generated Imagery. This captivating film is part metal, part magic and all heart.

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Wednesday, August 15*        Persepolis

& Friday, August 17              (2007, 96 minutes / Dubbed: English)

Based on Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel about her life in pre and post-revolutionary Iran and then in Europe, the French-Iranian animated film Persepolis traces Satrapi’s growth from a precocious and outspoken 9-year-old to a rebellious, punk-loving teenager in Iran. In the background are the growing tensions of the political climate in Iran in the '70s and '80s and the disastrous Iran/Iraq war. A unique window into a crucial chapter of 20th century history, Persepolis is presented in the black-and-white style of the original graphic novels and stars Catherine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroianni and Danielle Darrieux. The film was co-winner of the Jury Prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

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Wednesday, August 22*        Loving Vincent

& Friday, August 24              (2017, 94 minutes)

The world’s first fully oil-painted feature film, this one-of-a-kind biopic examines the life and controversial death of Vincent Van Gogh, told by his paintings and by the characters that inhabit them. The story is depicted in animated oil paintings that echo the artist’s vibrant impasto style. On July 27, 1890, a gaunt figure stumbled down a drowsy high street at twilight in the small French country town of Auvers. His hands clasped to a fresh bullet wound leaking blood from his belly. This was Vincent van Gogh, then a little known artist; now the most famous artist in the world. His tragic death has long been known, but how and why he came to be shot has remained a mystery. In this Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated film starring Saoirse Ronan and Douglas Booth, the intrigue unfolds through interviews with the characters closest to Vincent and dramatic reconstructions investigating his last days.