GOINGS ON : Santa Barbara Film Festival Begins Friday : Forget the Oscars. Hollywood's coming to town coming to salute the likes of Michael Douglas, Jessica Lange and Shirley Jones.


Academy Awards? What Academy Awards?

For on-screen excitement, even the Oscar ceremonies will be hard pressed to beat the 10th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival, beginning Friday and running through March 12.

Foreign films, documentaries, premieres, award winners and short films will all take their turns at venues throughout the city. Several seminars also are planned, and there will be plenty of stars to watch as well.

Opening Festivities, at 8 p.m. Friday at the Arlington Theatre, will include a showing of "Muriel's Wedding," a humorous look at marriage. Director P.J. Hogan is expected to attend. Tickets are $10.

Michael Douglas will receive the festival's Modern Master Award for his contribution to the film industry. In a ceremony Saturday at the Arlington Theatre, Douglas will discuss his career and answer questions from the audience. Tickets are $50 for a 6:30 p.m. reception and the 8 p.m. ceremony, $15 for the ceremony only.

Chazz Palminteri will be the guest of honor at the Fiesta Five theater, March 9 at 7 p.m. His film "A Bronx Tale" will be shown. Tickets are $15. Palminteri also starred in Woody Allen's "Bullets Over Broadway."

"A Salute To Jessica Lange," March 11, will feature an interview with the star and a screening of her film "Blue Sky." The program will begin at 8 p.m. at the Lobero Theatre. Tickets are $20.

And the Closing Festivities and Awards program will include a showing of the 1955 movie "Oklahoma!" and a tribute to actress Shirley Jones. It will begin at 5 p.m. March 12 at the Paseo Nuevo multiplex. Tickets are $15.

For detailed film, venue and ticket information, call 689-INFO.


Finnish folk music with a rock/pop influence will be the order of the evening tonight, when the band Varttina visits UC Santa Barbara's Campbell Hall. With its all-female vocals and a skilled backup band, the group became a hit in Finland in 1991, reached No. 1 on the European world music charts in 1992, and played an eight-concert U.S. tour in 1993. Tonight's concert will begin at 8, with a reception to follow. General admission is $16 and $12. Call 893-3535.

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Galway Kinnel will give a reading of his work at 7:30 tonight at Victoria Hall in Santa Barbara. Kinnel has been a major force on the American poetry scene for 35 years, and published his 12th volume of poetry last year. Tickets are $5 (general), $3 (student), at the door. Victoria Hall is located at 33 W. Victoria St.


Larry Agenbroad, professor of geology at Northern Arizona University, will present a slide show-lecture on the "Mystery of the Pygmy Mammoth," tonight at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Agenbroad was involved with last summer's unearthing of a pygmy mammoth skeleton at Santa Rosa Island. The presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $2. Call 682-4711. The museum is at 2559 Puesta del Sol Road.


Children's entertainer Raffi will be in concert Sunday at Santa Barbara's Arlington Theatre, beginning at 7 p.m. All tickets are $16. Note: On the other end of the Arlington musical spectrum, tonight's Toad the Wet Sprocket concert is sold out. The theater is at 1317 State St.


The Los Angeles Music Center Opera will bring its traveling show "Journey to Cordoba," based on the Mexican folk tale "La Mulata de Cordoba," to Santa Barbara's Lobero Theatre on Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 (adults), $7 (children). Call 963-0761. The Lobero is at 33 E. Canon Perdido St.


UCSB will present the "Best of the Banff Festival of Mountain Films" on Monday at Campbell Hall. This collection of winning entries from the international film festival in Alberta, Canada, will feature mountain climbing, hang gliding, rafting, kayaking and sledding. The screenings will begin at 7 p.m. General admission is $8. Call 893-3535.


Three-time National Fiddle Champion Byron Berline, acclaimed for his bluegrass, country and jazz performances, will play Tuesday at Santa Barbara's Veterans' Memorial Hall. The versatile Berline has played with the likes of the Eagles, the Rolling Stones, Earl Scruggs, Henry Mancini and Bob Dylan. Show time is 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 (general), $8.50 (students). They will be available at the door or through the Santa Barbara Society for Traditional Music. Call 688-9894. The hall is located at 112 W. Cabrillo Blvd.

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