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By Tammy Reese

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) Board of Directors announced that beloved Board member Ernesto Paredes has been elected as the new President, a change from his previous role as an officer for Nominations and Governance, Audit. SBIFF is proud to now have two latino leaders in Festival Director Roger Durling and new President Ernesto Paredes who will bring a fresh perspective to the upcoming years.

Current President of the Board Lynda Weinman will remain on the board after overseeing tremendous organizational growth over her eight-year tenure as Board President. She was elected as Co-Chairman of the Board alongside current Chairman Jeffrey Barbakow.

“I am so very humbled and honored to be selected by this powerhouse of a Board in support of Roger and an absolute “white glove” of an executive staff. I know I have tremendous shoes to fill, so having Lynda’s support means the world to me.” commented Ernesto Paredes.

Lynda Weinman previously taught digital media and motion graphics at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Her passion for cinema and education helped launch the renovation of the historic Riviera Theatre and making it a new state-of-the-art, year-round home for SBIFF’s Cinema Society, showing new international and independent films daily. SBIFF is grateful to Lynda for her leadership.


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Ernesto has been serving on the SBIFF Board since 2021. Raised in Santa Barbara, and father of two adult children Payton and Reyna, Ernesto is an avid triathlete, having completed eight Ironman distances, including The Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona Hawaii. Having attended Santa Barbara City College before transferring to the University of Southern California, majoring in Gerontology. In 2001, he became Executive Director for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), then returning to Easy Lift Transportation in 2005 as Executive Director.

Ernesto is passionately devoted to the local non-profit sector. He has served on many local boards in leadership positions. Currently, he serves on the Cottage Health Board of Directors and as well as a Trustee for the Santa Barbara Foundation. Ernesto has also continued his professional development through nonprofit executive education programs at Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Education Programs.

Ernesto has been recognized for his community efforts. Recognitions include: Court TV “Every Day Hero” national award, Santa Barbara Independent “Local Hero,” Pacific Coast Times “40 under 40” award, Leadership of Santa Barbara County Distinguished Leaders award, San Marcos High School Foundation “Community Leader” award, and recently led Easy Lift Transportation to the prestigious Specialized Transit of the Year for California. In 2018, Ernesto was named Man of the Year by the Santa Barbara Foundation for his volunteer service to the community.

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 showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. Over the past 39 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States — attracting 100,000 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.

SBIFF continues its commitment to education and the community throughout many free educational programs and events. In 2016, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre. After a capital campaign and renovation, the theatre is now SBIFF’s new state-of-the-art, year-round home, showing new international and independent films every day. In 2019, SBIFF opened its own Education Center in downtown Santa Barbara on State Street to serve as a home for its many educational programs and a place for creativity and learning.


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Tammy Reese began her career as a theater actress performing in 60 live stage shows a year with The Media Unit TV and Stage Production Company. She also directed the weekly live TV show Rough Times Live.

Eventually, she went to Empire State College to obtain her degree in media studies. After graduation, she did more theater and wrote and produced her own videos to spread awareness on social issues through the arts.

Tammy is an award-winning journalist and is best known for her legendary interviews with Sharon Stone, Angela Bassett, Jasmine Guy, Ross Marquand, Sigourney Weaver, Phylicia Rashad, Billy Porter, Steven Yeun, Luke Evans, Geena Davis, Morris Chestnut, Nelly, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Leon, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Giancarlo Esposito, Jennifer Connelly, Laurence Fishburne, Vivica A. Fox, Omar Epps, Joseph Sikora, Ryan Coogler, Carmen Electra, Essie Davis, Donell Jones, Ryan Coogler and many more.

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