The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is here again, and everyone involved wants you to know, it’s not just for the “celeb” types. There are plenty of films and events geared toward a young, hip audience that happens to be on a tight budget. Here are just a handful of this week’s happenings, visit for more information and a full schedule.

The opening night film this year is director Woody Allen’s latest venture “Melinda and Melinda,” starring funnyman Will Ferrell and rising starlet Radha Mitchell. This film harkens back to older and more-successful Woody Allen films, but retains his signature wit and style. This is the world premiere of the film and is sure to draw a celebrity-filled crowd. Along with the film screening, there is an accompanying gala celebration. Tickets are $15 for the film and $48 for the gala, for students. The film starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Arlington Theatre. The gala will be held immediately after the screening.

Today’s schedule includes old and new films, blockbusters and smaller films. The 1995 Ethan Hawke, Julie Deply romantic hit “Before Sunrise” will be playing at 1 p.m. at the Metropolitan Metro 4 Theatre, followed by its recently-released follow-up, “Before Sunset,” at 4 p.m. Also playing tonight is Asian-cult horror flick “Dark Water,” starring Hitomi Kuroki, at the Metro 4 at 9 p.m. Each film is $10 for students.

“Sideways” star and new “it” man Paul Giamatti will be interviewed on stage at the Victoria Hall Theatre at 5 p.m. as part of the SBIFF “Conversations With…” series. There is sure to be lots of film clips and highlights of Giamatti’s career, along with a more intimate look into his life and work. Tickets are $10.
This evening, movie star extraordinaire Leonardo DiCaprio will be receiving the prestigious SBIFF Platinum Award. The Oscar-nominated actor will be talking about his acting experiences with esteemed entertainment journalist Elvis Mitchell. Student tickets are $48. The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Arlington Theatre.

Among the 17 films screened today, at 1:30 p.m. “Because of Winn-Dixie” will be shown at the Metro 4 Theatre, marking the acting debut of musician Dave Matthews. The film is a heartwarming tale of a young Southern girl adopted by a town after her mother abandons her.

As part of the “To the Maxx” side panel, Jay Schweitzer and his Mack Dog Productions crew’s newest extreme sports documentary, “On the Pipe,” will be screened tonight at 9:30 at the Victoria Hall Theatre. The film will be focused on motocross racing – both the victories and awful spills. Tickets are $10 for students.

Continuing with the “To the Maxx” panel is the world premiere of Erik Hatch and Jeremy Yap’s “SB Street Skate Videos,” screening today at 12:30 p.m. at the Victoria Hall Theatre. The handheld documentary of Santa Barbara skate culture includes legendary skater Frankie Hill and plenty of Santa Barbara landmarks.