One Night in Miami, Minari, Black Bear, and More at Savannah Film Festival, Online Edition

Editor, Canada; Montréal, Canada (@bonnequin)
One Night in Miami, Minari, Black Bear, and More at Savannah Film Festival, Online Edition

While there are down sides to festivals moving online, there are definitely perks. Mainly, that people who for financial or mobility issues may have not been able to attend previously, now have the opportunity to see films they would otherwise not (not every community has an art-house or indie cinema theater, and not all films find VOD/streaming distribution). As many festivals have been in recent months. SCAD Savannah Film Festival is rising to the pandemic challenge, programming an amazing line-up of features, docs, shorts, tributes, and panels.

To start, the festival will open with Julia Hart's new film I'm Your Woman, close with Regina King's One Night in Miami, and also hava a gala presentation of A24's Minari starring Steven Yeun. If that's not enough to wet your appetite, there's Be Water, the doc on Bruce Lee; Black Bear, starring Aubrey Plaza (and that looks like the best kind of insane), Garrett Bradley's experimental and heart-wrenching doc Time; and the TV mini series The Good Lord Bird starring Ethan Hawke.

Hawke will also be honoured with an award, as will Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Candyman), Millie Bobbie Brown (Stranger Things), and Delroy Lindo (Da Five Bloods), among others. In special events, there will be a discussion with Gina Prince-Bythewood and some of the team from the outstanding The Old Guard, a peek inside the workings of Blumhouse in Women of Blumhouse: Shaping Genre Storytelling at the Iconic House of Horror, and other discussions on the industry in front of and behind the screen.

The festival runs October 24th-31st, so you have plenty of time to explore the programme and plan for the eight days. Some titles will be geoblocked; please see the festival website for details, and read more details from the press release below.

The Savannah College of Art and Design presents the 23rd annual SCAD Savannah Film Festival as an all-virtual experience Oct. 24–31. The largest university-run film festival in the U.S., the eight-day celebration of cinematic excellence honors both professional and student filmmakers and welcomes major industry luminaries, including award-winning directors, writers and actors across the big screen.
The 2020 schedule includes Gala and Signature Screenings, professional and student competition films, Docs to Watch, Shorts Spotlight, Global Shorts Forum, and the Wonder Women and Below the Line panel series.
Gala Screenings
The SCAD Savannah Film Festival is renowned for spotlighting major award contenders, screening a multitude of studio films prior to their wider release. Ten films have been selected for the distinguished Gala Screenings, which are followed by Q&As with the directors and select cast:
    •    The Father (directed by Florian Zeller and featuring Olivia Colman, Anthony Hopkins, Mark Gatiss, Olivia Williams, Imogen Poots and Rufus Sewell)
    •    The North American premiere of Francesco (directed by Evgeny Afineevsky)
    •    I Carry You With Me (directed by Heidi Ewing and featuring Armando Espitia, Christian Vázquez, Michelle Rodríguez and Ángeles Cruz)
    •    I’m Your Woman (directed by Julia Hart and featuring Rachel Brosnahan, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Arinzé Kene, Frankie Faison and Bill Heck)
    •    Minari (directed by Lee Isaac Chung and featuring Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho and Scott Haze with Yuh-Jung Yuon and Will Patton)
    •    Nine Days (directed by Edson Oda and featuring Winston Duke, Zazie Beetz, Benedict Wong, Tony Hale and Bill Skarsgård)
    •    One Night in Miami (directed by Regina King and featuring Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, Leslie Odom Jr., Joaquina Kalukango and Nicolette Robinson with Beau Bridges and Lance Reddick)
    •    Sound of Metal (directed by Darius Marder and featuring Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci, Lauren Ridloff, Chelsea Lee, Shaheem Sanchez and Mathieu Amalric)
    •    Sylvie’s Love (directed by Eugene Ashe and featuring Tessa Thompson, Nnamdi Asomugha, Aja Naomi King, Jemima Kirke, Tone Bell, Alano Miller, Eva Longoria and Wendy McLendon-Covey)
    •    Uncle Frank (directed by Alan Ball and featuring Paul Bettany, Sophia Lillis, Peter Macdissi, Steve Zahn, Judy Greer, Margo Martindale, Stephen Root and Lois Smith)
Signature Screenings
The Signature series features premiere and special screenings, followed by Q&As with select directors, writers, actors, and producers. This year’s selection of films includes:
    •    Be Water (directed by Bao Nguyen)
    •    Black Bear (directed by Lawrence Michael Levine and featuring Aubrey Plaza, Sarah Gadon, Alex Koch and Christopher Abbott)
    •    Farewell Amor (directed by Ekwa Msangi and featuring Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Zainab Jah, Jayme Lawson, Joie Lee and Nana Mensah)
    •    Herself (directed by Phyllida Lloyd and featuring Harriet Walter, Conleth Hill, Cathay Belton, Clare Dunne and Rebecca O’Mara)
    •    Stardust (directed by Gabriel Range and featuring Jena Malone, Johnny Flynn, Marc Maron, Anthony Flanagan and Aaron Poole)
Docs to Watch
The seventh annual Docs to Watch series will be accompanied by a roundtable with the directors, hosted by Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter. Selected films include:
    •    Boys State (directed by Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss)
    •    Crip Camp (directed by Nicole Newnham and James LeBrecht)
    •    Dick Johnson Is Dead (directed by Kirsten Johnson)
    •    The Dissident (directed by Bryan Fogel)
    •    The Human Factor (directed by Dror Moreh)
    •    MLK/FBI (directed by Sam Pollard)
    •    Time (directed by Garrett Bradley)
    •    The Truffle Hunters (directed by Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw)
    •    The Way I See It (directed by Dawn Porter)
    •    Welcome to Chechnya (directed by David France)
TV Sidebar
As Hollywood A-listers migrate to episodic storytelling on the small screen, the SCAD Savannah Film Festival presents TV Sidebar, a special screening that highlights the best in television.
    •    The Good Lord Bird (created by Ethan Hawke and featuring Ethan Hawke, Joshua Caleb Johnson, Beau Knapp, Hubert Point-Du Jour, Nick Eversman, Ellar Coltrane, Daveed Diggs and Steve Zahn. Produced by Blumhouse Television and Showtime.)
Animation Corner
Animation has experienced an artistic resurgence that informs and entertains across generations and across the globe.
    •    Wolfwalkers (directed by Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart)
After Dark
The SCAD Savannah Film Festival’s nod to the Halloween season includes this late-night feature film — selected to thrill, scare and shock — followed by a Q&A with Omari Hardwick.
    •    Spell (directed by Mark Tonderai and featuring Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine, John Beasley and Andre Jacobs)
SCAD will honor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (The Trial of the Chicago 7) with the Distinguished Performance Award, Rachel Brosnahan (I’m Your Woman) and Delroy Lindo (Da 5 Bloods) with the Spotlight Award, Millie Bobby Brown (Enola Holmes) with the Maverick Award, Ethan Hawke (The Good Lord Bird) with the Outstanding Achievement in Entertainment Award, Jennifer Hudson (Respect) with the Virtuoso Award and Glen Keane (Over the Moon) with the Lifetime Achievement in Animation Award.
Join the SCAD Savannah Film Festival for conversations and panels with industry stars and insiders. This year’s panels include:
    •    The Old Guard Creative Spotlight Conversation, a special presentation and discussion with acclaimed director Gina Prince-Bythewood, actor KiKi Layne, editor Terilyn A. Shropshire, and VFX supervisor Sara Bennett.
    •    The Wonder Women series, focusing on the cinematic achievements and contributions of women directors, producers, writers and below-the-line talent in film and television.
    •    The Below the Line series, highlighting the contributions of below-the-line talent to the art of cinema with a focus on costume design, cinematography and production design.
    •     The influential female voices at Blumhouse host the panel Women of Blumhouse: Shaping Genre Storytelling at the Iconic House of Horror to discuss working at the studio and offer a glimpse into how the sauce gets made, from creative to production to casting.
    •    The State of the Industry presentation, sponsored by SAGindie, which offers a glimpse into the complicated landscape of film, television and new media production in 2020 and beyond.
    •    The panel New Realities of Representation for Actors, Writers, and Directors with talent managers, agents and producers.
    •    The SCAD Alumni Panel, highlighting graduates of the university’s top-ranked film and television degree program.
    •    The exclusive Entertainment Weekly’s Women Who Kick Ass Panel and Entertainment Weekly’s Breaking Big Panel and Awards, hosted by festival media partner Entertainment Weekly.
    •    Roundtables with the directors of films in the Professional Shorts and Documentary Features categories.
Narrative Features
From side-splitting comedies to heart-wrenching dramas, the narrative feature films selected represent diversity in storytelling, excellence in acting and directing, and exemplary cinematography and editing.
    •    Dramarama (directed by Jonathan Wysocki and featuring Anna Grace Barlow, Nico Greetham, Nick Pugliese and Zak Henri)
    •    Electric Jesus (directed by Chris White and featuring Brian Baumgartner, Judd Nelson, Andrew Eakle and Shannon Hutchinson)
    •    The world premiere of Killing Eleanor (directed by Rich Newey and featuring Annika Marks, Jenny O’Hara, Jane Kaczmarek and Betsy Brandt)
    •    The Outside Story (directed by Casimir Nozkowski and featuring Brian Tyree Henry, Sonequa Martin-Green and Sunita Mani)
    •    Small Town Wisconsin (directed by Niels Mueller and featuring David Sullivan, Kristen Johnston and Bill Heck)
Documentary Features
Beyond simple subject matters, documentaries present compelling stories that illuminate and educate audiences in a thought-provoking and timely manner.
    •    Chuck Connelly Into the Light (directed by Benjamin Schwartz)
    •    Chuck Leavell: The Tree Man (directed by Allen Farst)
    •    Free Color (directed by Alberto Arvelo)
    •    Kusasa (directed by Shane Vermooten)
    •    That’s Wild (directed by Michiel Thomas)
Professional Shorts
Running the gamut of subject matter and style, these short films are selected based on their individual merits in storytelling and execution:
    •    Alina (directed by Rami Kodeih and featuring Alia Shawkat, Rebeca Robles, Edin Gali and Mark McCullough)
    •    Dawn in the Dark (directed by Runyararo Mapfumo and featuring Livia Nelson and Percelle Ascott)
    •    A Glimpse (directed by Tom Turner and featuring Rachel Shenton and Chris Overton)
    •    The Heart Still Hums (directed by Savanah Leaf and Taylor Russell)
    •    Master Maggie (directed by Matthew Bonifacio and featuring Lorraine Bracco, Neil Jain, Brian Dennehy, Kenan Thompson and Chris Henry Coffey)
    •    My Brother’s Keeper (directed by Laurence Topham)
    •    The Seeker (directed by Lance Edmands)
    •    Skywatch (directed by SCAD graduate Colin Levy and featuring Uriah Shelton and Zach Callison)
    •    Sky West and Crooked (directed by Heather Edwards and featuring Matt Jones, Vivienne Rutherford, Martha MacIsaac and Ethan Jones)
    •    Sitting (directed by Jones and featuring Allyson Morgan and Louis Changchien)

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