There is, of course, a little bit of Hollywood in all of us. The annual Savannah Film Festival taps into that tendency to admire and vicariously participate in the cinematic arts, on a grand scale, with eights days of screenings, competitions and celebrity appearances, all intended to give us that heady rush of red–carpet specialness.
And what do you know? Year after year, it works.
The 2010 edition of the SCAD–sponsored festival begins Saturday, Oct. 30, and this year the lineup is as good as ever. Several of the feature films are considered early contenders in the Academy Award race — and we’re getting, essentially, a first look at them, before much of the rest of the movie–obsessed world.
Chief among these are Rabbit Hole, with Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart as grieving parents; 127 Hours, from Oscar–winning director Danny Boyle, the true story of a Utah hiker forced to sever his own arm in order to free himself from a fallen boulder; Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky’s ballet–world thriller with Natalie Portman; the British films Another Year, The Kid and Made in Dagenham; the fly–fishing drama The River Why; Blue Valentine, Derek Cianfrance’s intense ode to romance, with Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams; Naomi Watts and Sean Penn in Fair Game.
The list goes on and on. In 2009, we saw Precious, The Messenger, An Education, Up in the Air and others. Jeremy Renner of The Hurt Locker — which was last year’s major winner at the Academy Awards — even made an appearance.
The Savannah Film Festival might not be in the same league, importance–wise, as Cannes, Sundance, Toronto or London, but it’s increasingly becoming noticed in the industry as a springboard to bigger things. Besides, film people just like to visit.
Liam Neeson’s in town this week, to receive an award prior to the screening of Fair Game on Tuesday evening. Likewise, Sir Ian McKellen and Isabella Rossellini will be lauded on Thursday, Nov. 4 and Friday, Nov. 5, respectively.
Other well–known guests for 2010 include writer/director/star Edward Burns, Friday Night Lights star Zach Gilford (he’s in The River Why), actor/director Vincent D'Onofrio and actress/producer Virginia Madsen. Miles Teller, young co–star of the emotionally wrenching Rabbit Hole, is to be honored prior to that film’s premiere showing.
And longtime friend and organizer of the Festival, publicist extraordinaire Bobby Zarem, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award Wednesday evening, Nov. 3
Of course, SCAD fills the week with panels and workshops designed with its young student filmmakers in mind.
And did we mention the parties?
Savannah Film Festival
Screenings at Trustees Theater, 216 E. Broughton St., and Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St.
Morning and afternoon screenings:
$5 general public
$3 students, seniors and military
Free for SCAD students, faculty and staff with valid SCAD ID
$10 general public
$5 for SCAD students, faculty and staff with a valid SCAD ID
Tickets and multi–event passes at tickets.scadboxoffice.com
Phone: (912) 525–5050