August 12, 2021 – Santa Barbara, CA. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival today announced the appointment of Claudia Puig as Programming Director. In her role, Puig will lead the filmmaker’s curation for the 2022 edition of the festival. The program includes a wide range of over 200 international and independent films with a commitment to diversity and inclusion, with most films being World or US Premieres. Puig conducts insightful Q & As in seminar discussions with hundreds of filmmakers, and she reports to Roger Durling, executive director of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Puig is currently president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and is a longtime critic at NPR Film Week.

“Claudia has tremendous film festival programming expertise, and we are thrilled to welcome her and the team. We have the utmost faith in her ability to bring a program of unsurpassed quality to share with our community; and with both Claudia and I’m Latino, this marks a first for all major film festival artistic leads, ”said Roger Durling, SBIFF Executive Director.

Prior to joining SBIFF, she covered programming for AFI Fest, the Mendocino Film Festival, and the Napa Valley Film Festival. She was a spokeswoman for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In addition, Claudia runs a film consulting business specializing in cultural consulting and teaches a college class on diversity in the media. Previously, she was the USA Today film critic for 15 years. During that time, she also hosted The Screening Room video series and wrote film reviews and analytical articles on the film industry. Previously, she was a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times for 11 years on city government, the courts, and the entertainment industry.

The 37th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG®, takes place LIVE from March 2nd to March 12th, 2022. Official events including performances, filmmakers Q & As, industry panels, and celebrity tributes are held throughout the city, including at the historic Arlington Theater. This year’s lineup will be announced in February 2022.

In the last 36 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the world, attracting 100,000+ participants throughout the week. Funds raised through the festival directly support the SBIFF year-round free programs that serve over 18,000 people. Passes for the 2022 Festival will go on sale for a 25% discount starting next Monday, August 16th. For additional information or to purchase passports, visit

About the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and presenting the best in independent and international cinema. In the last 35 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the USA – attracting 100,000+ participants and offering 11 days of 200+ films, tributes and symposia, fulfilling its mission to engage, enrich and inspire the Santa Barbara community by film.

In 2016, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and popular Riviera Theater. Following a capital campaign and renovation, the theater is now SBIFF’s new modern, year-round home, showing new international and independent films every day. In 2019, SBIFF opened its own Education Center in the city of Santa Barbara on State Street to serve as home to its many educational programs and a place for creativity and learning.

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