Filmakers and producers of opening night film MADU. Photo courtesy of SBIFF
Filmakers and producers of opening night film MADU. Photo courtesy of SBIFF
Getty Images for SBIFF

World renowned Santa Barbara International Film Festival kicks off for the 39th year

Opening night features the world premiere of Disney’s MADU

Last night kicked off the opening of the 39th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival with the world premiere of Disney’s “MADU”. DPMedia students were there reporting at the Arlington.

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is one of the leading film festivals in the United States, attracting 100,000 attendees. The 11 day festival pays tribute to over 200 films.

Present at opening night were the directors Matt Ogens and Kachi Benson, producers Jamie Patricof, Katie McNeill, and Rachel Halilej, editor Georgia Dodson, and composer Jackson Greenberg. Festival Executive Director Roger Durling and mayor of Santa Barbara Randy Rowse were also at the festival.

“Madu” is the story of 12 year old Anthony Madu, who went viral in 2020, touching the hearts of people around the world after his dance teacher posted a

44-second clip of him dancing ballet in the rainy streets of Lagos. Madu later earned a scholarship to study at the Elmhurst Ballet School in the UK, one of the most prestigious ballet schools in the world.

“Madu” comes from Disney Branded Television and is directed by Matt Ogens and ‘Kachi Benson and produced by Jamie Patricof, Katie McNeill, and Rachel Halilej of Hunting Lane Films.

The film will be available to watch on Disney+ on March 29th, 2024.

Film poster

Movie synopsis: “Madu” follows 12-year-old Anthony Madu as he leaves his family and community in Nigeria to study at one of the most prestigious ballet schools in the world in England. Having never left his home outside of Lagos, Anthony finds himself thrust into a new world where his wildest dreams are suddenly within reach. His courageous journey is a story of extraordinary obstacles as he searches for belonging and acceptance, a family far away, and unexpected challenges that could impact his future. Forming a rich and immersive tapestry told on multiple continents, MADU introduces the world to a boy chasing a dream of inspiration that will resonate with us all.

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