Enjoy a number of free or nearly free events in Santa Barbara this weekend, including those at the film festival.
Film fest freebies
The film festival continues through Saturday night, and is jam-packed with films from around the world, shown at the Fiesta 5 and Metro 4 theaters on State Street (buy passes at www.sbiff.org).
But there are also some free events. Saturday at 10 a.m. is a free showing of Pixar’s visually astonishing “Coco” at the Arlington Theatre. Filled with the imagery inspired by Mexico’s Day of the Dead, the plot is about a kid’s dream of becoming a singer. Free popcorn. too!
At 2 p.m., also at the Arlington, admission is free to see short films made by talented local student screenwriters and filmmakers who are paired as part of the festival’s 10-10-10 Mentorship and Competition. Winners will be announced, followed by the screenings.
Keeping it local, the festival’s closing night at the Arlington is not one, but six films, all made by Santa Barbara filmmakers. Tickets are just $10 for the 8 p.m. screening. The films cover local events and places, such as Fiesta, the Summer Solstice Parade, the East Beach Grill and Cold Springs Tavern; and profile local activism to combat climate change and a swimmer who braved the Santa Barbara Channel. (963-4408, www.sbiff.org)
La Cuneta Son Machin is the first Nicaraguan band to be nominated for a Grammy Award, for their 2015 release “Mondongo,” named after a hangover cure similar to menudo. Not unlike that tasty stew, their sound is a mix of popular Nicaraguan folklórico, rock, marimba, cumbia and ska. It is also imbued with their country’s slang and stories. A free concert presented by Viva del Arte, features this lively ensemble Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Marjorie Luke Theatre (in Santa Barbara Junior High, 721 E. Cota St.), followed by a post-show reception with the musicians. (884-4087, www.luketheatre.org)
Free Funk (Zone)
Local artist Ruth Ellen Hoag spent seven months creating murals tracing the history of Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, and the people who helped create it. “East of Yesterday” is a colorful landmark in this now-hip neighborhood, which until recently was filled with warehouses and industrial spaces.
Meet the artist and many of the people depicted in the murals from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at 10 Yananali St., as part of the monthly Funk Zone Art Walk. (www.funkzone.net)
Free fun for kids
A free sketch session for kids is held in the scenic Santa Barbara Bowl on Saturday at 1 p.m. as part of the “Kids Draw Architecture” program. Drawing materials are provided, and kids of all ages are invited to participate. (965-6307, www.afsb.org)
Saturday night’s movies at the West Wind Drive-In Theater are free this week, but arrive early as it is sure to be popular. Gates open at 5 p.m. and “Ferdinand” starts at 6:30 p.m., followed by “Thor: Ragnarok.” Nachos are only $1. (907 S. Kellogg Ave., www.westwinddi.com)