For eight days each autumn, the Savannah Film Festival makes our very special city feel a little bit extra-special.
It's great for film students, techies and aspiring actors, because they get to interact with people who are really, truly making a living in the movie business. They come to Savannah to answer questions and impart hard-earned wisdom.
It's great for folks who just like to get a gander at celebrities - those who come to plug their latest indie film, and those lured by some sort of achievement award from SCAD and its now five-star festival.
Really, though, the Savannah Film Festival is all about exclusivity. For each of those eight days, we get to see movies that aren't out yet, anywhere in the world. Some are independent, some are big-budget, and some fall between the cracks of the high-profile and the obscure.
The 2012 Savannah Film Festival, Oct. 27-Nov. 3, is bringing, among others: Director Walter Salles' hotly-anticipated On the Road; Robert Zemeckis' Flight; the football drama Silver Linings Playbook; Violet and Daisy, the directorial debut from Osdcar-winning screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher; actor Dustin Hoffman's first movie as a director, Quartet; The Sapphires, I Do, 28 Hotel Rooms, Rise of the Guardians, Tomorrow You're Gone and numerous others.
The highlight, for many Savannahians, will be the "Director's Choice" screening on Oct. 31. This title is never revealed until the opening credits roll. In 2009, it was Up in the Air; the next year, the made-in-Savannah The Conspirator. The 2011 Director's choice was ... The Muppets.
What will it be this year? Lincoln? Hitchcock? The Hobbit? CBGB? Some Adam Sandler movie?