October 24 – 31, 2015
One of the few film festivals founded by an arts college, Savannah College of Art and Design, the Savannah Film Festival showcases the very best in independent filmmaking, from feature-length films to two-minute shorts, running the gamut of cinematic creativity. Feature length films with compelling stories and shorts with an innovative approaches keep audiences engaged and hungry for more.
The Savannah Film Festival was founded and is hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design to bring film industry talent and expertise to the students of SCAD and the greater Savannah community, in a relaxed environment that promotes education and a spirit of collaboration.
The festival enters its 18th year with expanded shorts programming, additional slots for narrative and documentary features, and expanded international programming, in its continued pursuit of showcasing excellence in film making, while offering a diverse and enriching experience for the more than 40,000 attendees.
The Savannah Film Festival supports the spirit of independent film making by offering emerging talents a reprieve from the huge number of submission fees they face in their quest for exposure. The festival waives submission fees for student films until March 15th, yearly. Animated shorts are also afforded a window of waived submission fees until April 1st. Waivers for other categories are granted by invitation only.
The beautifully restored Trustees Theater, built in 1946 in the heart of historic downtown Savannah, and part of the SCAD campus since 1998, is the premier venue for the festival, with a seating capacity of more than 1,100. Around the corner is the Lucas Theatre for the Arts, built in 1926, and serving as the companion festival theater, also seating close to 1,200. Both theaters feature Sony 4K digital projection, Spectral 240 silver screens for pristine 2D/3D imagery, as well as 35mm projection, and RealD 3D capabilities at the Trustees Theater, projected by one of the top teams in film festival projection around the globe.
In addition to the competition films, the festival also screens award-winning studio releases ahead of their theatrical run. The festival honors leaders in the film industry, from directors and producers to actors, screenwriters, entertainment journalists and editors, before the evening gala screenings. Previous festival honorees include Alexander Payne, Jeremy Irons, Natalie Dormer, Matt Bomer, Gena Rowlands, Abigail Breslin, Asa Butterfield, John Goodman, Matt Dillon, Stan Lee, Diane Lane, Lily Tomlin, Oliver Stone, Ray Liotta, James Marsden, Aaron Eckhart, Geoffrey Fletcher, Ellen Barkin, Liam Neeson, Miles Teller, Sir Ian McKellen, Isabella Rossellini, Patricia Clarkson, Charlie Rose, the Redgraves, Jeremy Renner, Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster, Arthur Penn, Emmy Rossum, Michael Douglas, Milos Foreman, Brett Ratner, John Sayles, Roger Ebert, Kathleen Turner, Norm Jewison, Sidney Lumet, Peter O’Toole, Debbie Reynolds, and Malcolm McDowell, just to name a few.
Savannah becomes a film lover’s paradise during this week long event, with plenty of opportunities to take in the sights of one of the world’s most beautiful cities. The festival offers a series of morning workshops, informal coffee talks, with daytime and evening showings of narrative, animated and feature films. Master classes workshops are presented by industry insiders who give pointers on everything from special effects to selling a film. Filmmakers selected for competition are treated to unparalleled hospitality, from flights and accommodations, to panel discussion participation and engaging networking opportunities