The Savannah College of Art and Design announced the 2018 honorees to be recognized at the 21st annual SCAD Savannah Film Festival, taking place Oct. 27-Nov. 3. Now the largest university-run film festival in the country, the annual tribute to excellence in film has screened over 110 Oscar-nominated films and honored over 80 legendary actors, directors, producers, writers and filmmakers from around the world.
This year, SCAD will honor Hugh Jackman with the Legend of Cinema Award, Emily Blunt with the Icon Award, Maggie Gyllenhaal with the Outstanding Achievement in Cinema Award for Acting and Producing, Armie Hammer with the Outstanding Achievement in Cinema Award, Stephan James and KiKi Layne with the Discovery Award, John Krasinski with the Vanguard Award, Shailene Woodley with the Spotlight Award and Amandla Stenberg with the Rising Star Award. Additional honorees and programming will be announced at a later date.
The festival has become a distinguished stop on the road to the Oscars: hosting exclusive screenings, competition films, feature films, documentaries, shorts, animated films, panel discussions, and workshops at SCAD’s historic theaters and industry leading studios. SCAD has a top ranked film and TV program with more than 75 SCAD alumni working on 2018 Academy Award films.
This year, SCAD has partnered with Entertainment Weekly (EW) as a media partner for SCAD Savannah Film Festival. In this role, EW will program and moderate select talent panels, which will be announced prior to the festival. EW will also host their video studio on-site where talent will stop by to create exclusive video content that will run across EW’s digital and social platforms.
Hugh Jackman is an Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe Award- and Tony Award-winning performer who has made an impression on audiences of all ages, as successful on stage as he is on film. From his award-winning turn on Broadway as Peter Allen in The Boy from Oz, to the claw-wielding Wolverine in the blockbuster X-Men franchise, Jackman has proven to be one of the most versatile actors of our time. The Australian native made his first major U.S. film appearance as Wolverine in the first installment of the X-Men series, a role he reprised in the enormously successful X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Logan. Jackman garnered his first Academy Award nomination for his performance in Les Misérables, along with nominations from the Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical. He earned another Golden Globe nomination for his role as P.T. Barnum in The Greatest Showman. Additional film credits include Prisoners, Real Steel, Australia, The Prestige, The Fountain, Scoop, Deception, Swordfish, Van Helsing, and Kate & Leopold, for which he received a 2002 Golden Globe nomination. In addition, he lent his voice to the animated features Happy Feet and Flushed Away. Other stage credits include The River, Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway, A Steady Rain, Carousel, Oklahoma!, Sunset Boulevard and Beauty and the Beast. Jackman will next be starring in The Front Runner, directed by Jason Reitman, set to open in theaters this November.
Golden Globe-winning actress Emily Blunt’s transformative ability and versatile performances make her one of the most in-demand actresses today. Later this year, Blunt stars in Mary Poppins Returns, the sequel to the 1964 Disney classic. She most recently starred in the thriller A Quiet Place and is currently working on Disney’s Jungle Cruise. In 2016, Blunt received critical acclaim and SAG and BAFTA nominations for her portrayal of an alcoholic caught in the middle of a murder mystery in The Girl on the Train. In 2015, Blunt received rave reviews as FBI agent Kate Macer in Sicario. She earned Golden Globe nominations for her work in the film adaptation of the musical Into the Woods, as well as The Young Victoria, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and her breakout role in The Devil Wears Prada. She won the Golden Globe in 2007 for her role in the BBC miniseries Gideon’s Daughter. Other notable films include The Huntsman, Edge of Tomorrow, Looper, My Sister’s Sister, The Adjustment Bureau and Charlie Wilson’s War. She has voiced characters in animated films Gnomeo & Juliet, the sequel Sherlock Gnomes and My Little Pony: The Movie.
Golden Globe-winning and Academy Award- and Emmy-nominated actor and producer Maggie Gyllenhaal has starred in many films over her career, including Secretary, Mona Lisa Smile, Sherrybaby, and Crazy Heart. On television, she starred in the BBC/Sundance original series The Honourable Woman and recently wrapped filming and producing the second season of the HBO drama The Deuce. Her next film, The Kindergarten Teacher, which she is also producing, will be available on Oct. 12 when the film is available on Netflix.
Armie Hammer received an Independent Spirit Award and Golden Globe nomination for his role in Call Me by Your Name. The film earned BAFTA, Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. Earlier this year he starred in Sorry to Bother You and made his Broadway debut in Straight White Men. Hammer will next be seen starring in the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic, On the Basis of Sex. He will also appear in Hotel Mumbai, based on the 2008 terrorist attack at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. In 2017, Hammer voiced the role of Jackson Storm for Pixar’s Cars 3. Other film credits include Free Fire, Nocturnal Animals, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and The Lone Ranger. Hammer earned a 2012 SAG Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Clyde Tolson in J. Edgar. His performance as the Winklevoss twins in the award-winning film The Social Network garnered him critical praise and positioned him as one of Hollywood’s breakouts of 2010. The film received a SAG nomination for Best Ensemble, as well as a Best Picture Golden Globe.
Stephan James, a native of Canada, holds the honor of portraying two significant figures in African-American history. He starred as Olympic champion Jesse Owens in Race, and as activist and future U.S. congressman John Lewis in Selma. His other credits include the inspirational, fact-based sports tale When the Game Stands Tall, Across the Line, Perfect Sisters, Home Again, for which he earned his first Canadian Screen Award nomination, and most recently the FOX miniseries, Shots Fired. James’ other accolades include the Canadian Screen Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for Race, the Rising Star Award at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, and with his fellow Selma actors, the Black Film Critics Circle Award for Best Ensemble. James will next be seen starring opposite Julia Roberts in the Amazon series Homecoming, launching November 2nd, and in the upcoming film If Beale Street Could Talk for director Barry Jenkins.
Engaging audiences in movies and on television, John Krasinski has established himself as an exciting talent through his acting, writing and directing. In April 2018, Krasinski was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People. This distinction followed the successful opening of A Quiet Place, which Krasinski co-wrote, directed and starred in, opposite Emily Blunt. Krasinski is currently in production on season two of Amazon’s Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, and last directed and starred in The Hollars. In 2016, he appeared as a Navy SEAL in the Benghazi thriller 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. Other film credits include Promised Land, Monsters University, The Wind Rises, Aloha, Big Miracle, Something Borrowed, It’s Complicated, Away We Go, Monsters vs. Aliens, Shrek the Third, Leatherheads and For Your Consideration. He also adapted and directed the film version of David Foster Wallace’s short story collection, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.
KiKi Layne, a native of Cincinnati, marks her first leading role in If Beale Street Could Talk from Moonlight director Barry Jenkins. She recently completed work on Native Son, directed by Rashid Johnson and adapted by Suzan-Lori Parks from Richard Wright’s classic novel, slated for release in early 2019. Layne will also star in next year’s Captive State, directed by Rupert Wyatt. The Chicago Tribune featured Layne as one of its “2016 Hot New Faces of Chicago Theater.” Her stage credits include the U.S. premiere of Octagon, garnering a Black Theater Alliance Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play; Genesis, at the Definition Theatre; Good People, at the Redtwist Theatre; Griffin Theatre’s touring production of Letters Home; and Definition Theatre and The New Colony’s co-production of Byhalia, Mississippi, which earned her additional BTAA nominations for Best Featured Actress in a Play and Most Promising Actress.
Amandla Stenberg will next be seen in 20th Century Fox’s highly anticipated film The Hate U Give which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2018. Additionally, she can currently be seen in Amma Asante’s WWII drama Where Hands Touch, which also premiered at TIFF. Amandla’s other recent film credits include The Darkest Minds, Everything Everything, As You Are which won the Special Jury Award at Sundance 2016, Colombiana, Rio 2 and The Hunger Games. She has been recognized globally for her crusade towards sparking thoughtful conversation using social media as a platform to spread awareness and knowledge on topics such as cultural appropriation, intersectional feminism, mindfulness, biracial identity, sexual identity, gender and beauty standards to name few. Amandla has been recognized with Teen Choice Awards, a BET Award and NAACP Image Award for her work.
Award-winning actress Shailene Woodley established herself as a formidable actress early into her career as a child actor. However, it was her award-winning performance in Alexander Payne’s 2012 family drama The Descendants that solidified Woodley’s place in Hollywood for years to come. Among the many accolades she received for her role were an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress, the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe nomination and a Critics Choice award nomination. This year, Woodley served as a producer and the star of the true-life story of a woman and her fiancée lost at sea in Baltasar Kormakur’s film Adrift for STX. Woodley was one of the five ensemble leads in HBO’s 2017 critically acclaimed limited series Big Little Lies which returns for Season 2 in 2019. She received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film. Other film credits include the 2016 Oliver Stone film, Snowden in which she co-starred. Woodley also starred in the Divergent trilogy, The Fault in Our Stars, The Spectacular Now and White Bird in a Blizzard. Woodley began her career at age five working in commercials and earned her first television role in the TV movie Replacing Dad followed by the memorable series The Secret Life of An American Teenager.