Emilio Estevez’s “the public” To Open the 2018 Santa Barbara Film Festival

Today, if you even remember Emilio Estevez, you probably only remember him from “The Breakfast Club” or “The Mighty Ducks,” and you probably didn’t even remember he had directed several movies. Not too surprising, since he’s only been in half a dozen movies in the past twenty years, most of which are the films he’s directed, most of which have been hampered by a lack of proper distribution and promotion. Hopefully, we can have an Estevez renaissance with the arrival of his latest film, “the public.”

In “the public,” an unusually bitter Arctic blast has made its way to downtown Cincinnati and the front doors of the public library where the action of the film takes place. The story revolves around the library patrons, many of whom are homeless, mentally ill and marginalized, as well as an exhausted and overwhelmed staff of librarians who often build emotional connections and a sense of obligation to care for those regular patrons. At odds with library officials over how to handle the extreme weather event, the Patrons turn the building into a homeless shelter for the night by staging an “Occupy” sit in. What begins as an act of civil disobedience becomes a stand off with police and a rush-to-judgment media constantly speculating about what’s really happening. This David versus Goliath story tackles some of our nation’s most challenging issues, homelessness and mental illness and sets the drama inside one of the last bastions of democracy-in-action: your public library.

Along with star/writer/director Estevez, the film also stars Alec Baldwin, Jena Malone, Christian Slater, Taylor Schilling, Richard T. Jones, Gabrielle Union, Jacob Vargas, Michael K. Williams, and Jeffrey Wright.

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. This year’s festival will run 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.

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