The Savannah College of Art and Design will celebrate the 21st SCAD Savannah Film Festival, an annual acclamation of cinematic excellence, Oct. 27 – Nov. 3. As the largest university-run film festival in the country, it honors both professional and emerging student filmmakers during an eight-day film celebration that welcomes more than 55,000 attendees from around the world each year, including major industry luminaries – directors, writers, filmmakers and actors from the big screen.
A key stop on the Oscar festival circuit, SCAD Savannah Film Festival will screen a total of 164 films, including 33 narrative films, 16 documentary films and 115 shorts, more than any year before. The festival will kick off on Saturday, Oct. 27, with the Opening Night Gala Screening of Roma, directed by Alfonso Cuarón. The actresses from the film Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira, along with producer Gabriela Rodriguez will be in attendance. The Centerpiece Gala will be If Beale Street Could Talk, written and directed by Barry Jenkins and starring festival honorees Stephan James and KiKi Layne. All three will be in attendance. The festival will close on Saturday, Nov. 3 with the Closing Gala Screening of Green Book, directed by Peter Farrelly and starring Viggo Mortensen and 2016 festival honoree Mahershala Ali.
The 2018 schedule includes Gala, Docs to Watch, Signature and Professional Competition screenings, along with Global Shorts Forum and “Wonder Women” forum highlighting female directors, producers, and below the line talent at SCAD’s historic theaters and industry-leading studios. New programming this year includes an Animation Corner, a TV Sidebar and a Shorts Spotlight. SCAD’s annual tribute to excellence in film has screened over 110 Oscar-nominated films; and has honored over 80 legendary actors, directors, producers, writers, and filmmakers.
“SCAD’s renowned master’s and bachelor’s degree programs are essential to the continued growth, sophistication, and evolution of entertainment professions around the world, and especially in Georgia,” said SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace. “SCAD is the preeminent source of knowledge in film, production design, costume, animation, motion media, performing arts, screenwriting, sound, and every other aspect of entertainment. It’s our pleasure to celebrate moving pictures with our better-than-ever 21st SCAD Savannah Film Festival.”
The SCAD Savannah Film Festival is known for shining a spotlight on upcoming award contenders, screening many studio films prior to their wider release. Last year, the festival screened seven films that went on to receive 35 Academy Award nominations and 12 Oscar wins, including 2017 Best Picture winner The Shape of Water. Twelve films have been selected for the distinguished Gala Screening spot:
- Anna and the Apocalypse (Director: John McPhail. Cast: Ella Hunt, Malcolm Cumming, Sarah Swire, Christopher Leveaux, Ben Wiggins, Marli Siu)
- Ben is Back (Director: Peter Hedges. Cast: Lucas Hedges, Julia Roberts, Courtney B. Vance, Kathryn Newton, Rachel Bay Jones, David Zaldivar)
- Boy Erased (Director: Joel Edgerton. Cast: Lucas Hedges, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Joel Edgerton)
- Destroyer (Director: Karyn Kusama. Cast: Nicole Kidman, Toby Kebbell, Tatiana Maslany, Sebastian Stan, Bradley Whitford, Jade Pettyjohn, Scoot McNairy)
- The Favourite (Director: Yorgos Lanthimos. Cast: Emma Stone, Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Mark Gatiss, Joe Alwyn, Nicholas Hoult)
- The Front Runner (Director: Jason Reitman. Cast: Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga, J.K. Simmons, Alfred Molina)
- Green Book (Director: Peter Farrelly. Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini, Sebastian Maniscalco, Dimiter D. Marinov, P.J. Byrne)
- If Beale Street Could Talk (Director: Barry Jenkins. Cast: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Colman Domingo, Teyonah Parris, Michael Beach, Aunjanue Ellis, Dave Franco, Diego Luna, Pedro Pascal, Emily Rios, Ed Skrein, Finn Wittrock, Bryan Tyree Henry)
- The Kindergarten Teacher (Director: Sara Colangelo. Cast: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rosa Salazar, Gael García Bernal, Parker Sevak, Michael Chernus)
- Roma (Director: Alfonso Cuarón. Cast: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Nancy Garcia, Diego Cortina Autrey, Carlos Peralta, Daniela Demesa, Marco Graf, Nancy Garcia, Jorge Antonio Guerrero Martinez)
- A Private War (Director: Matthew Heineman. Cast: Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan, Stanley Tucci, Tom Hollander)
- Widows (Director: Steve McQueen. Cast: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Garret Dillahunt, Carrie Coon, Jacki Weaver, Jon Bernthal, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo with Robert Duvall, Liam Neeson)
The Signature Series features premiere and special screenings, from narrative to documentary films, followed by a Q&A session with the film’s actors, directors, producers, or writers. This year’s selection includes:
- Adrift (Director: Baltasar Kormákur. Cast: Sam Claflin, Jeffrey Thomas, Shailene Woodley)
- At Eternity’s Gate (Director: Julian Schnabel. Cast: Willem Dafoe, Rupert Friend, Oscar Isaac, Mads Mikkelsen, Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Anne Consigny, Amira Casar, Niels Arestrup)
- BlackKKlansman (Director Spike Lee. Cast: John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace)
- Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Director: Marielle Heller. Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, Dolly Wells, Ben Falcone)
- Capernaum (Director: Nadine Labaki. Cast: Zain al-Rafeea, Yordanos Shiferaw, Boluwatife Treasure Bankole, Kawthar Al Haddad)
- Cold War (Director: Pawel Pawlikowski. Cast: Agata Kulesza, Tomasz Kot, Joanna Kulig)
- Everybody Knows (Director: Asghar Farhadi. Cast: Penélope Cruz Javier Bardem, Jamie Lorente, Ricardo Darín)
- The Gospel According to André (Director: Kate Novack)
- Nancy (Director: Christina Choe. Cast: Andrea Riseborough, Steve Buscemi, Ann Dowd, J. Smith- Cameron, John Leguizamo)
- A Parting Glass (Director: Stephen Moyer. Cast: Edward Asner, Rhys Ifans, Melissa Leo, Cynthia Nixon, Denis O’Hare, Anna Paquin)
- A Quiet Place (Director: John Krasinski. Cast: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe)
- Stella’s Last Weekend (Director: Polly Draper. Cast: Polly Draper, Nat Wolff, Alex Wolff, Paulina Singer)
- Vox Lux (Director: Brady Corbet. Cast: Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Raffey Cassidy, Stacy Martin)
This year, SCAD partnered with Entertainment Weekly (EW) as a media partner for the 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.
Docs to Watch
Join us for the fifth annual Docs to Watch Roundtable hosted by Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter. Directors include Stephen Maing (Crime + Punishment), Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (Free Solo), Gabe Polsky (In Search of Greatness), Nathaniel Kahn (The Price of Everything), Alan Hicks and Rashida Jones (Quincy), Julie Cohen and Betsy West (RBG), Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster (Science Fair), Matt Tyranuer (Studio 54), Tim Wardle (Three Identical Strangers) and Morgan Neville (Won’t You Be My Neighbor?).
Animation Corner: Art in Motion
The Animation Corner: Art in Motion is a new category debuting for the 2018 SCAD Savannah Film Festival. This year, SCAD proudly presents a broad array of topics and styles of animated films that include:
- Best of Annecy 2018 showcases a selection of shorts from the latest festival with tailor-made opening sequences by the students of GOBELINS, l’école de l’image.
- Best of Annecy Kids 2018 is a mix of funny, emotional and poetic short films for kids. This program consists of films from Annecy 2018’s official selection of trailers and is aimed at children age 5 years and older.
- DreamWorks Animation will showcase two of their films from the DreamWorks Shorts initiative: Bilby and Bird Karma
- Isle of Dogs (Director: Wes Anderson) will include a week-long exhibition of puppets and miniature sets designed and built for the film.
- Mirai (Director: Mamoru Hosoda)
- Presentation: Ralph Breaks the Internet (Directors: Phil Johnston and Rich Moore) Disney will show exclusive clips of the upcoming full-length sequel to Wreck-It Ralph.
- Ruben Brandt, Collector (Director: Milorad Krstic)
As Hollywood A-listers migrate to episodic storytelling on the small screen, SCAD Savannah Film Festival debuts a TV Sidebar, a series of panels and special screenings that highlight the best in television.
- Outlander, season 4 premiere will include an exhibit showcasing nearly 20 costumes at the SCAD Museum of Art, which marks the first-ever costume exhibit at the Museum and Film Festival.
- TV Guide Magazine to host “Fan Favorites” panel that brings stars from TV’s hottest shows for a lively discussion filled with behind-the-scenes scoop, fan-encounter tales, and more.
From feature-length films to two-minute shorts, the annual festival celebrates cinematic excellence from award-winning and emerging filmmakers. The juried competition features the best of professional, animated, and student films selected from more than 2,300 entries annually.
- Narrative Features: From side-splitting comedies to heart-wrenching dramas, the narrative feature films selected represent diversity in storytelling, excellence in acting and directing, and exemplary cinematography and editing.
- Documentary Features: Beyond simple subject matters, documentaries present compelling stories that illuminate and educate audiences in a thought-provoking and timely manner.
- Professional Shorts: Running the gamut of subject matter and style, these short films are selected based on their individual merits in storytelling and execution.
- Animated Shorts: These animated films represent the diversity of the craft from simple, hand-drawn figures to stop-motion and digital rendering, showcasing unique storytelling at its finest.
- Student Shorts: With solid storytelling and emerging vision, these films represent a broad range of categories including live action, narrative, documentary and animation.
Global Shorts Forum
The Global Shorts Forum is a curated collection of international shorts from multiple genres that focus on world issues. This year’s themes include:
- LGBTQ & You: Love is Love is Love, no matter who, where, or why.
- Woman Walks Ahead: A wide range of topics from the feminine perspective.
- A Sporting Chance: The triumphs and tribulations of competitors around the globe.
- Don’t Dis My Ability: Dedicated to raising awareness of the disabled community and their ongoing struggles and triumphs.
The Shorts Spotlight is a new category debuting for the 2018 SCAD Savannah Film Festival. This collection of shorts will highlight the following themes:
- Animated Delights: A kid-friendly collection of intriguing animated shorts from around the world
- Bump in the Night: Everyone loves a good scare. These shorts put a new spin on the beloved horror genre.
- LOLz: To err is human, to laugh at one’s error, divine. These shorts remind us just how hilarious life can be.
- Three-Piece Oddity: A delightful and surreal collection of three distinct shorts that defy categorical description but together celebrate the joy of discovery.
From software and special effects demonstrations to discussions and panels with industry stars and insiders, knowledge sharing occurs every day of the festival. This year’s panels include:
- The Wonder Women Panel Series will focus on the cinematic achievements and contributions of female directors, producers, and below the line talent in film and television.
- The Below the Line Panel Series is a curated series of panels highlighting contributions of below-the-line talent to the art of cinema with a focus on casting, costume design and production design.
- The State of the Art Series, hosted by SCADFILM, is a collection of panels with a focus on filmmaking, augmented and virtual reality, and gaming.
- Through the Writers on Writing Series, Writers Guild Foundation sit down with screenwriters to illuminate the craft behind their screenplays and their journeys navigating the industry as writers.
SCAD’s pre-eminent School of Entertainment Arts is creating world-class, industry-ready talent that not only fills needs in Georgia, but the industry nationwide. More than 10,000 SCAD alumni have graduated from the schools of digital media and entertainment arts, and nearly 5,000 students are currently enrolled in majors that cover fields of animation, entertainment, motion pictures, media production, writing, editing, broadcast media and performing arts.