SCAD Releases a Fantastic Schedule for the 24th Annual SCAD Savannah Film Festival
The Savannah College of Art and Design hosts the 24th annual SCAD Savannah Film Festival on October 23–30, 2021, both in person and virtually. The largest university-run film festival in the United States, the eight-day festival honors both professional and student filmmakers and welcomes major industry luminaries such as award-winning directors, writers, and actors.
This year, SCAD will present Kenneth Branagh with the Lifetime Achievement in Acting and Directing Award for Belfast; Adrien Brody with the Vanguard Award for The French Dispatch; Clifton Collins, Jr. with the Distinguished Performance Award for Jockey; Aunjanue Ellis with the Outstanding Achievement in Cinema Award for King Richard; and Harry Gregson-Williams with the Lifetime Achievement in Composing Award for The French Dispatch. The Auteur Award went to Mike Mills for C’mon C’mon; the Spotlight Award went to Ruth Negga for Passing; the Rising Star Award went to Dylan Penn for Flag Day; Sandy Powell received the Variety Creative Impact in Costume Design Award; and Odessa Young received the Discovery Award for Mothering Sunday.
The festival begins on Saturday, October 23, with the opening-night Gala Screening of Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast. The festival concludes on Saturday, October 30, with a gala screening of King Richard starring Aunjanue Ellis. The centerpiece Gala Screening C’mon C’mon will take place on Wednesday, October 27th, and will be directed and written by Mike Mills. The SCAD Savannah Film Festival, a key stop on the Academy Awards festival circuit, will screen 157 films, including 45 narrative feature films, 15 documentary feature films, and 97 shorts, with 14 world premieres, 1 US premiere, and 3 North American premieres – with 63 of these films directed by women.
Gala and Signature Screenings, professional and student competition films, Docs to Watch, Shorts Spotlight, Global Shorts Forum, and the Wonder Women and Below the Line panel series are all part of the 2021 schedule. More than 120 Academy Award-nominated films have been screened at the SCAD Savannah Film Festival, and more than 100 legendary actors, directors, producers, writers, and filmmakers from around the world have been honored.
“Settle into your seats and marvel at the magic of stellar cinema at this year’s SCAD Savannah Film Festival,” said SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace. “With in-person events that prioritize safety, comfort, and community, SCAD’s signature festival dazzles with a display of more than 150 films and an assortment of stars — from living legends like Kenneth Branagh to luminaries such as Aunjanue Ellis. And more — always more! Premieres. Panels. Masterclasses. That’s SCAD. Home to the world’s largest and most lauded university film studio complex, home to tomorrow’s top talent.”
“We are so excited to be back in person to celebrate the best in cinema at the 2021 SCAD Savannah Film Festival, and to continue our diverse programming, championing wonder women and artisan talent trailblazers in the industry,” said SCAD Savannah Film Festival Executive Director Christina Routhier. “This year we have a stellar lineup of films, honorees, and panelists that will be at the event to engage with our audience and students. New to the festival will be an added outdoor screening venue, featuring some Halloween favorites that are sure to be very popular.”
The SCAD Savannah Film Festival is well-known for highlighting major award contenders and screening a wide range of studio films prior to their wider release. The following films have been chosen for the prestigious Gala Screenings:
- Belfast (Director Kenneth Branagh)
- Bergman Island (Director Mia Hansen-Løve)
- C’mon C’mon (Director Mike Mills)
- Compartment No. 6 (Director Juho Kuosmanen)
- Cyrano (Director Joe Wright)
- The French Dispatch (Director Wes Anderson)
- The Harder They Fall (Director Jeymes Samuel)
- A Hero (Director Asghar Farhadi)
- The Humans (Director Stephen Karam)
- Jockey (Director Clint Bentley)
- King Richard (Director Reinaldo Marcus Green)
- The Last Duel (Director Ridley Scott)
- The Lost Daughter (Director Maggie Gyllenhaal)
- Mothering Sunday (Director Eva Husson)
- To Olivia (Director John Hay)
- Parallel Mothers (Director Pedro Almodóvar)
- Passing (Director Rebecca Hall)
- Petite Maman (Director Céline Sciamma)
- The Power of the Dog (Director Jane Campion)
- Red Rocket (Director Sean Baker)
- Spencer (Director Pablo Larraín)
- The Worst Person in the World (Director Joachim Trier)
Premiere and special screenings are followed by Q&As with select directors, writers, actors, and producers in the Signature Screenings series. This year’s film selection includes:
- Dune (Director Denis Villeneuve)
- Flag Day (Director Sean Penn)
- The Novice (Director Lauren Hadaway)
- Paris, 13th District (Director Jacques Audiard)
- Respect (Director Liesl Tommy)
- The Actress (Director Andrew Ondrejcak, SCAD B.F.A., performing arts, 2002)
- Surviving Clotilda (Director Olivia Grillo, SCAD B.F.A., film and television, 2021)
Docs to Watch
The eighth annual Docs to Watch series will include a roundtable discussion with the directors moderated by Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter. Among the films chosen are:
- Becoming Cousteau (Director Liz Garbus)
- The First Wave (Director Matthew Heineman)
- Flee (Director Jonas Poher Rasmussen)
- Found (Director Amanda Lipitz)
- Francesco (Director Evgeny Afineevsky)
- Julia (Directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West)
- Procession (Director Robert Greene)
- The Rescue (Directors E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin)
- Summer of Soul (Director Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson)
- The Velvet Underground (Director Todd Haynes)
Animation Corner: Art in Motion
Animation has experienced an artistic renaissance that informs and entertains audiences of all ages and from all over the world. Among the films are:
- Ciao Alberto (Director McKenna Harris)
- A Look Inside Disney’s Encanto (Directors Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Charise Castro Smith)
- Luca (Director Enrico Casarosa)
- The Mitchells vs. The Machines (Director Mic Rianda)
- The Summit of the Gods (Director Patrick Imbert)
The SCAD Savannah Film Festival’s Halloween tribute includes the following late-night feature films, chosen to thrill, scare, and shock:
- The Beta Test (Director Jim Cummings)
- Halloween (1978) (Director John Carpenter)
- Hocus Pocus (Director Kenny Ortega)
- A Savannah Haunting (Director William Mark McCullough)
- Psycho (Director Alfred Hitchcock)
- The Shining (Director Stanley Kubrick)
● The exclusive Entertainment Weekly’s Breaking Big Panel and Awards, hosted by festival media partner Entertainment Weekly. Participants will be announced at a later date.
● The Wonder Women series, focusing on the cinematic achievements and contributions of women directors, producers, and below-the-line talent in film and television.
● The Below the Line series, highlighting the contributions of below-the-line talent to the art of cinema, with a focus on costume design and production design.
● A panel with the filmmakers of Welcome to the Blumhouse, the thrilling film series that is back again this October with four new gripping tales that are sure to send a chill down your spine. Produced by Blumhouse Television and available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video worldwide.○ Black as Night (Director Maritte Lee Go)○ Bingo Hell (Writer/Director Gigi Saul Guerrero)○ Madres (Director Ryan Zaragoza)○ The Manor (Writer/Director Axelle Carolyn)● The SCAD Alumni Panel, highlighting graduates of the university’s top-ranked film and television degree program.Competition FilmsThe SCAD Savannah Film Festival celebrates the work of established and emerging filmmakers, from feature-length films to two-minute shorts. The juried competition showcases the best of professional, animated, and student films selected from more than 1,500 entries annually.Narrative FeaturesFrom 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:
- Americanish (Director Iman Zawahry)
- Dinner Party (Director Chris Naoki Lee)
- The Falconer (Directors Seanne Winslow and Adam Sjöberg)
- Porcupine (Director M. Cahill)
- The Winter House (Director Keith Boynton)
- The Book Keepers (Director Phil Wall)
- Medicine Man: The Stan Brock Story (Director Paul Michael Angell)
- Uprooted: The Journey of Jazz Dance (Director Khadifa Wong)
- WOMB: Women of My Billion (Director Ajitesh Sharma)
- Zero Gravity (Director Thomas Verrette, SCAD B.F.A., film and television, 2007)
- 1-800-D-DIRECT (Director Clare Macdonald)
- Bufflehead (Director Steve Brett)
- Chords (Director John Barnhardt)
- Colossus (Director James Roe)
- Feeling Through (Director Doug Roland)
- Frank & Emmet (Director Carlos F. Puertolas)
- I’m Listening (Director Mickey Sumner)
- A Mistake with the Chairs (Director Alistair Petrie)
- Night Music (Director Lukas Huffman)
- The One (Director Nina Dobrev)
- Voices (Director Jake Hart)
- Annah la Javanaise (Director Fatimah Tobing Rony)
- Blush (Director Joe Mateo)
- Her Song (Directors Éabha Bortolozzo and Jack Kirwan)
- The Mechanical Dancer (Director Jenna Jaillet)
- Mondo Domino (Director Suki)
- She Dreams at Sunrise (Director Camrus Johnson)
- Stars on the Sea (Director Seung-Wook Jang)
- Under the Skin, the Bark (Director Franck Dion)
- Bearly (Director Cherry Zhou)
- Empty Nesters (Director Devon Solwold)
- The Lumberjack and the Woodpecker (Director Connor Bushoven)
- Monkey Thief (Director Zachary Ates)
- The Ocean Duck (Director Huda Razzak)
- Out O’ the Inkwell (Directors Adam Toutoungi and Andy Ortiz)
- Pirate Lesson (Director Sofia Azpe)
- Ruby Days (Director Noah Wong)
- Son & Moon (Director Saiya Lin)
Global Shorts Forum
- Black Voices, offering a critical dialogue on the Black experience in the U.S. and around the world.
- HERstory, bringing the feminine perspective into focus. The film Listen to Us is directed by SCAD alum Juliana Henao Mesa (M.F.A., sound design, 2020).
- Tales from the Pandemic, featuring stories from the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic — and of how it has reshaped our everyday lives.
- This American Life, showcasing the people, places, struggles, and joys that define the American experience. The film The Few Between is directed by SCAD student Walker Cody (B.F.A. film and television).
The Pride Parade is an exploration of identity and the LGBTQIA experience. Francesca Poliseno, a SCAD alum, directed the film On View (B.F.A., film and television, 2020).
Trigger Warnings investigates the things that irritate us, the fears that arise in us, and the inner struggle for emotional and mental resilience. SCAD students Aja Weary (B.F.A. film and television) and Amanda Richardson directed the film BRAKE (B.F.A., animation, 2021).
This year, SCAD will present Kenneth Branagh with the Lifetime Achievement in Acting and Directing Award for Belfast; Adrien Brody with the Vanguard Award for The French Dispatch; Clifton Collins, Jr. with the Distinguished Performance Award for Jockey; Aunjanue Ellis with the Outstanding Achievement in Cinema Award for King Richard; and Harry Gregson-Williams with the Lifetime Achievement in Composing Award for The Last Duel. The Auteur Award went to Mike Mills for C’mon C’mon; the Spotlight Award went to Ruth Negga for Passing; the Rising Star Award went to Dylan Penn for Flag Day; Sandy Powell received the Variety Creative Impact in Costume Design Award; and Odessa Young received the Discovery Award for Mothering Sunday.
About the SCAD Savannah Film Festival
The SCAD Savannah Film Festival and competitions, now in their 24th year, provide SCAD students with opportunities as unique as the films chosen. The festival received over 1500 submissions for the competition series this year. Throughout the festival, students from all academic disciplines interact with entertainment industry leaders through master classes, coffee talks, lectures, workshops, and panel discussions. Savannah, a premier Southeast film hub, promotes quality films produced by independent and studio filmmakers.
Follow the festival on Facebook and Instagram, and remember to use the hashtags #SCAD and #SAVFF.
About SCAD: The University for Creative CareersThe Savannah College of Art and Design is a private, nonprofit, accredited university with campuses in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia, Lacoste, France, and online via SCAD eLearning and SCADnow.
SCAD has approximately 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from over 100 countries enrolled. SCADpro, the university’s renowned research lab and prototype generator, provides students with opportunities for internships, professional certifications, and real-world assignments with corporate partners through the innovative SCAD curriculum, which incorporates professional-level technology and other advanced learning resources. For the fourth year in a row, SCAD was ranked first in the United States and second in the Americas and Europe by the prestigious Red Dot Design Rankings. Career preparation is woven into the fabric of the university, resulting in a high rate of alumni employment. According to a recent study, 99 percent of SCAD graduates were either employed, furthering their education, or both within 10 months of graduation. Personal coaching, alumni programs, a professional presentation studio, and other services are available to SCAD students and alumni on an ongoing basis. Go to scad.edu.
About the SCAD School of Entertainment Arts
The SCAD School of Entertainment Arts offers a wide range of degree programs to help students master the art forms and industries that amuse, entertain, and inspire. Cutting-edge resources and equipment in every department, combined with an experienced, acclaimed faculty, aid in student development and the development of tomorrow’s entertainment industry leaders. Film and television, performing arts, and sound design are among the programs offered, with curricula that support students’ creative visions while providing a solid foundation in both theory and practice.
SCAD is investing heavily in the futures of the SCAD School of Entertainment Arts and the SCAD School of Digital Media, including the construction of a Hollywood-style film backlot and two cutting-edge mixed reality (XR) stages in Savannah and Atlanta for virtual productions. Savannah Film Studios will be the largest and most comprehensive university film studio complex in the United States once its phased expansion is completed. These facilities will expand SCAD’s already significant impact on the film and television industries in Georgia and beyond, producing the next generation of creative leaders in film, television, digital media, and other fields.