2016 Savannah Film Festival   Oct. 22 -29


Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Big things are happening down in Savannah, Ga starting this weekend. The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is putting on the Savannah Film Festival from Oct. 22 – 29. The Savannah Film Festival has garnered a reputation on bringing some the falls biggest and best films, along with some amazing honorees and guests.  Many of the films screening at the festival are sure to be considered during the upcoming award season. I will be attending the film festival and look for my reviews of several of the films below next week.

Miles Teller will receive the Vanguard Award on Tuesday, Oct. 25, and participate in a Q&A following “Bleed for This” with director Ben Younger and the World Championship boxer Vinny Pazienza. His credits include ”War Dogs,” “Rabbit Hole,” “That Awkward Moment,” “Divergent,” “Whiplash,” and  “The Spectacular Now.”

Sam Claflin will receive the Spotlight Award on Wednesday, Oct. 26.  Claflin will participate in a Q&A following the screening of “Me Before You” with director Thea Sharrock and producer Alison Owen. Claflin’s credits include “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2,” and “Friday.”

Mahershala Ali will receive the Discovery Award on Friday, Oct. 28. He will participate in a Q&A following the screening of “Moonlight.” Ali can currently be seen starring in Netflix and Marvel Entertainment’s “Luke Cage.” His film credits include “Kicks,” “The Free State of Jones,” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.”

Bleed for This

Photo courtesy of Open Road Films

The festival hosts a Conversation Series, which are moderated discussions with directors, actors and below-the-line talent whose films are receiving awards attention. The following moderated Q&A’s are scheduled including: writer Eric Heisserer for “Arrival;” film critic Leonard Maltin and SCAD Cinema Circle for “La Belle et la Bete (Beauty and the Beast);” writer/producer Craig Shilowich and producer Melody C. Roscher for “Christine;” actor Rodrigo Santoro for “Dominion;” director/actor Avan Jogia for “The Drowning;” director Matt Trynauer and producer Corey Reeser for “Jean Nouvel: Reflections;” director Damien Chazelle for “La La Land;” director David F. Sandberg for “Lights Out;” director/writer Ricki Stern and film subjects Celeste Corcoran, Kevin Corcoran, Sydney Corcoran and Tyler Corcoran for HBO Documentary Films’ “Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing;” editor Affonso Gonçalves for “Paterson;” director/actor Demián Bichir for “Refugio;” director and producer Roxy Shih, producer Brandon Tansley and actor Michael Nardelli for “The Tribe;” director Mike Mitchell, co-director Walt Dohrn and production designer Kendal Cronkhite for “Trolls.”

Over 155 films will be shown in categories of narrative features, documentary features, animated shorts, student shorts, and Global Shorts Forum selections.

Here are my films showing at the festival that you don’t want to miss:

Saturday, Oct. 22nd


Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

“Jackie”  Natalie Portman stars as First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy during the days following her husband’s assassination.

“Christine”  Rebecca Hall stars as the title character that is based on a true story of a female news reporter who’s life and career come to a shocking end.

Sunday, Oct. 23rd

“Tower”  Animated documentary on the mass shooting in Austin, Texas from the Twenty-seventh floor of the University of Texas Tower.

“La La Land” Original musical about everyday life set in modern Los Angles. The film stars Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and John Legend.

Monday, Oct. 24th

American Pastoral

Photo courtesy of Lionsgate

“American Pastoral” Seymour “Swede” Levov (Ewan McGregor) is a former high school star athlete and a successful Jewish businessman.  His seemingly perfect life falls apart after his daughter’s (Dakota Fanning) new political affiliation threatens to destroy their family.

Tuesday, Oct. 25th

“Bleed for This”  This is the incredible true story of one of the most inspiring and unlikely comebacks in sports history. Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza, a local Providence boxer, shoots to stardom after winning two world title fights. After a near-fatal car accident leaves him with a broken neck, he is told he may never walk again. Against all the odds and doctor’s orders, he returns to the ring just a year after the accident for what could be the last fight of his life. Film stars Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart, and Katey Sagal.

Wednesday, Oct. 26th

“Arrival” When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team led by expert linguist Louise Banks is brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks, and the team race against time for answers. Film stars Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker.

Thursday, Oct. 27th

“Lion”  A 5-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia. Twenty-five years later, he sets out to find his lost family. Film stars Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, and Rooney Mara.

Friday, Oct. 28th


Photo courtesy of A24

“Moonlight”  Told in three acts, this timeless story of human connection and self-discovery follows the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world. Film stars Mahershala Ali, Janelle Monae, and Trevante Rhodes.

Saturday, Oct. 29th

“Loving”  Plaintiffs in the 1967 civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, Richard and Mildred Loving fight to live as an interracial married couple in their home state of Virginia. Film stars Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton.


Tickets and passes are available for purchase online at savannahboxoffice.com, by telephone at 912.525.5050, or in person at the Trustees Theater, located at 216 E. Broughton St., Savannah.

Visit www.filmfest.scad.edu for a complete list of films and screening locations.

For more of Mike’s reviews and interviews here