The Savannah Film Festival is doing something unique on the festival circuit. It’s giving back to the college that is at the heart of Savannah, Georgia by hosting the festival within and alongside the school. Savannah College of Art and Design, or SCAD, has transformed the city, at least by accounts from accounts of Savannah citizens I spoke with. Before SCAD moved in, Savannah was crippled by poverty and crime. Once the film school moved in, they started buying old buildings, renovating them, and little by little the town became a full blown college town, thriving and continuing to grow. It hasn’t lost its character – it’s still the Savannah of old in many ways. You can’t go anywhere without someone having a long conversation with you in the eternally humid lazy afternoons. I didn’t go as far as sweet tea but I enjoyed the conversation, I have to admit, especially after spending so much of my time reading the hysterics of the internet. In many ways, we were not built to type into computers without filters. We were meant to speak to each other, looking into someone’s eyes and reading their reaction. Savannah is that kind of town.
The film festival is run by students and staff of SCAD and features many of the high profile Oscar contenders like Spotlight and Room. Last night, while bike riding around town, there was a very long line of film students excited to see Tom Hardy in Legend. What an education for film students to run this fest and watch films that would never get to their city till months after the Oscar race. But more than that, there are industry panels, after-parties, and really, the modern independent Hollywood experience, invaluable for film and animation students who are looking to break into the business. The Savannah Film Fest offers a platform for upcoming films looking for a higher profile, as well as a working textbook for students – way out here in Georgia. The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg hosted a doc panel. This morning will be a Women in Animation panel (I am going to try to attend).
AwardsDaily will be here until Sunday morning.