This Thursday (February 2), the Santa Barbara International Film Festival will host the world premiere of Ask the Dust as its 2006 Opening Night Film starring Salma Hayak, Colin Farrell, Donald Sutherland, and directed by Robert Towne (1975 Academy-award winner of "Best original screenplay" for the movie Chinatown). In this adaptation of John Fante's Depression Era novel, Hayak plays fiery Mexican beauty Camilla, who hopes to rise above her station by marrying a wealthy American, but runs into complications after meeting Arturo Bandini (Farrell), a first-generation Italian hoping to land a writing career and a blue-eyed blonde on his arm. The film will be distributed by Paramount Classics later this year.

This is a very-rare opportunity for the public to purchase tickets for a world premiere. Most always, movie premieres are closed to the public and only celebrities, filmmakers and studio big-wigs are invited to attend. Salma Hayak and director Robert Towne are scheduled to be there!

Tickets are $70 a person and will enable you to not only attend the red-carpet premiere screening, but to also attend the premiere after-party with a reception and an open bar. Tickets can be purchased by calling the film festival at 805.963.0023 or at the SBIFF website boxoffice. The premiere is scheduled to sell-out by Thursday!

The festival’s “Centerpiece Gala” on Tuesday, February 7, at 8:00 p.m. is the World Premiere of Mike Binder’s (Upside of Anger) Man About Town, starring Ben Affleck, Rebecca Romijn, Mike Binder, Gina Gershon, Adam Goldberg, Jerry O’Connell, Kal Penn, Bai Ling and John Cleese. Director Binder is scheduled to attend with the cast.

Closing the Fest is a special presentation of Santa Barbara filmmaker Jason Reitman’s Thank You for Smoking. The film follows the machinations of Big Tobacco's chief spokesman, Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart), who spins on behalf of cigarettes while trying to remain a role model for his twelve-year-old son. Maria Bello, Cameron Bright, Adam Brody, Sam Elliott, Katie Holmes, David Koechner, Rob Lowe, William H. Macy, JK Simmons and Robert Duvall also star in this satirical comedy. Director Reitman will attend, along with Maria Bello, Rob Lowe, Sam Elliott, and others tbd. Held at the Arlington Theatre on Sunday, February 12, the screening will be preceded by the Festival Awards presentation at 6:30 p.m.

CLICK HERE to see a press-release that describes the highlights about the entire film festival. This year's festival includes 32 World Premieres and 12 U.S. Premieres.

Dont't forget to also check out: Ask the Dust