Anne “softball” Thompson is moderating this year’s SBIFF “It Starts With The Script” panel — (l. to r.) King Richard writer Zach Baylin, Belfast director-writer Kenneth Branagh, The Lost Daughter director-writer Maggie Gyllenhaal, CODA directorwriter Sian Heder, Don’t Look Up director & co-writer Adam McKay, Dune director & cowriter Denis Villeneuve, The Worst Person in the World director & co-writer Joachim Trier.

It’s happening inside the cavernous Arlington theatre. The usual venue, Santa Barbara’s Lobero theatre, is allegedly being renovated.

The acoustics aren’t right again, or at least they aren’t from my front-row center seat — everyone sounds bassy and echo-y — I haven’t been able to make out a single thought or phrase. I’m sure that a properly mixed video of this panel will be much easier to understand.

McKay doesn’t like to sit up — he prefers to slump with his head resting against the seat. I’m told he suffers from a condition — essential tremors — that prohibits him from normal sitting. The large SBIFF panel chairs were used to accommodate him.

If I were moderating, I would ask Baylin how he, a white guy, managed to write such a frank, absorbing, real-deal script about a black family from Compton? How could he have possibly understood or dramatically translated the story of the Williams family, given his privileged white-guy sensibilities? It’s a facetious question, of course, but I’m sure it came up during King Richards’ hiring phase and/or development.

Oh, and by the way: Thompson is wearing plain black slacks or jeans (relaxed fit), but Gyllenhaal and Heder have both submitted to the fashionista fascists by wearing broadly flared slacks (Gyllenhaal’s outfit is earthy copper, Heder’s is light brown corduroy).