The SCAD Savannah Film Festival, which has grown into an Oscar season stop of considerable importance, is set to mark its 25th anniversary with a contender-packed lineup of films and list of honorees.
Opening with The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight) and closing with Living (Sony Classics), the nation’s largest university-run film festival, which this year will run Oct. 22-29, will showcase 143 films, including 53 narrative feature films, 20 documentary feature films, and 79 shorts, with eight world premieres and six U.S. premieres.
It will also celebrate Eddie Redmayne with the Virtuoso Award for The Good Nurse (Netflix); Janelle Monáe with the Spotlight Award for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Netflix); Sadie Sink with the Rising Star Award for The Whale (A24); Jeremy Pope with the Distinguished Performance Award for The Inspection (A24); Jonathan Majors with the Spotlight Award and JD Dillard with the Rising Star Director Award for Devotion (Sony); Nicholas Hoult with the Vanguard Award for The Menu (Disney); Kerry Condon with the Distinguished Performance Award for The Banshees of Inisherin; Henry Selick with the Outstanding Achievement in Animation Award for Wendell and Wild (Netflix); and Sandy Powell with the Creative Impact Award in Costume Design for Living.
Previously announced honorees include Colson Baker (aka Machine Gun Kelly), who will receive the Discovery Award for Taurus (RLJE Films) and will join yours truly for a live episode of The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast; Ron Howard, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award in Directing for Thirteen Lives (Amazon); Evgeny Afineevsky, who will receive the Daring Documentarian Award for Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom (still seeking U.S. distribution); and the directors of 10 of the year’s top documentary features — Shaunak Sen for All That Breathes (HBO), David Siev for Bad Axe (IFC), Margaret Brown for Descendant (Netflix), Sara Dosa for Fire of Love (Nat Geo), Ryan White for Good Night Oppy (Amazon), Ondi Timoner for Last Flight Home (MTV), Brett Morgen for Moonage Daydream (Neon), Daniel Roher for Navalny (HBO Max), Matthew Heineman for Retrograde (Nat Geo) and Kathlyn Horan for The Return of Tanya Tucker (Sony Classics) — who will join yours truly for the 9th annual ‘Docs to Watch’ panel.
Set to make special appearances are longtime fest friend Miles Teller, who will participate in a conversation following a screening of the 2022 blockbuster of which he was a part, Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount); and former U.S. congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who will participate in a conversation with filmmakers Julie Cohen and Betsy West following a screening of the documentary Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down (Briarcliff), which shows how an assassination attempt on Giffords impacted her life and inspired her to become a fierce advocate for gun safety.
All of the aforementioned honorees’ films will screen at the fest, as will titles including Aftersun (A24); Armageddon Time (Focus); Broker (Neon); Causeway (A24/Apple); Close (A24); Corsage (IFC); Decision to Leave (MUBI); Empire of Light (Searchlight); Holy Spider (Utopia); The Lost King (IFC); My Policeman (Amazon); Nanny (Amazon); One Fine Morning (Sony Classics); She Said (Universal); Till (UAR); and Women Talking (UAR).
“Join me as we celebrate the cultural phenomenon of film at SCAD’s silver anniversary SCAD Savannah Film Festival,” SCAD founder and president Paula Wallace said in a statement. “Each year, the world’s preeminent university-run film festival delights tens of thousands of theatergoers who love to escape into the screen to preview future Academy Award winners. The lights will be bright, the red carpets rolled out and Hollywood royalty will be in the house. There’s no telling who you might see strolling down Broughton Street.”
Added SCAD Savannah Film Festival executive and artistic director Christina Routhier, “The 25th annual SCAD Savannah Film Festival is set to delight guests with our exciting group of honorees and stellar film line-up. This milestone anniversary for the festival is an incredible accomplishment. For the past 25 years, the university has achieved unprecedented growth and academic success and the film festival has become a venerable stop for films on their way to the Academy Awards. With a slate of nearly 150 films, including some filmed right here in Savannah, we are ready for eight full days of outstanding cinema.”