Diane Lane received an Outstanding Achievement in Cinema Award at the 2012 Savannah Film Festival

Diane Lane received an Outstanding Achievement in Cinema Award at the 2012 Savannah Film Festival

Actors Michelle Monoghan, Matt Dillon, and Diane Lane at the 15th annual Savannah Film Festival on Nov. 1.

Diane Lane received an Outstanding Achievement in Cinema Award at the 2012 Savannah Film Festival

Nov. 1, 2012, 8 p.m.

Diane Lane received the Outstanding Achievement in Cinema Award Nov. 1 at the 15th annual Savannah Film Festival, presented by the Savannah College of Art and Design. The Golden Globe-, SAG-, Emmy- and Academy Award-nominated actress attended the festival for the commemorative screening of the 1979 film, "A Little Romance" and accompanying Q-and-A.

"Thank you for making me feel special and loved. I've been told how amazing this college is and thought it couldn't possibly live up to what I'd heard, but it did. In an alternate life, I'd like to have been a student [at SCAD]," said Lane. While gracious, she was anxious to meet an old friend backstage. "I'm so excited to see (fellow honoree) Matt Dillon again. We're having a reunion, so I have to run!"

Well-versed in television and film, Lane was named "Best Actress" in 2002 by the New York Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics, and also received an Academy Award nomination for her role in "Unfaithful." She garnered two Golden Globe nominations for her leading roles in "Under the Tuscan Sun" and "Cinema Verite." Her extensive acting career continues with the anticipated 2013 summer release of "Superman: Man of Steel."

Actress Michelle Monaghan was also honored Nov. 1 with the Spotlight Award, following the screening of her recent film "Tomorrow You're Gone." Monaghan joined director David Jacobson for a Q-and-A session after the screening.

Monaghan tearfully thanked SCAD for the award. "This really means a lot to me. Sorry if I'm getting a little emotional ... I'm an actress. I love this job so much. I don't know what else I would do. And thank you to the Pink House [Restaurant] for serving me a chicken pot pie larger than my head."

The festival will also honor actor Matt Dillon ("Crash") with an Outstanding Achievement in Cinema Award. On opening night, actor John Goodman ("Flight") received an Outstanding Achievement in Cinema Award; screenwriter John Gatins ("Flight") received a Spotlight Award; and screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher ("Precious") received a SCAD Cinevation Award, which is given for imagination, inspiration and innovation in cinema. Legendary comic book writer Stan Lee ("Spider-Man") was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award following the opening weekend.

The Savannah Film Festival is one of the largest entertainment events in the Southeast. The festival features more than 30 competition films, selected from more than 1,000 entries in the categories of feature, short, animation, documentary and student competition that are submitted from around the world. During the festival, professional workshops and lectures for the community and area high school and college students address topics such as acting, directing, producing, animation and filmmaking, among others. SCAD students are also given the opportunity to network with filmmakers, directors, studio executives, producers and others to gain further understanding of their chosen career.

In previous years, many of the evening screenings at the festival have garnered Academy Award nominations. The festival has U.S. premiered two Pedro Almodovar films as well as films by Robert Redford and Woody Allen. Special gala screenings, which were shown before their national release, include "127 Hours," "Amélie," "Babel," "Black Swan," "Precious: Based on the novel "Push" by Sapphire," "Sideways," "Slumdog Millionaire," "The Artist," "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," "The Wrestler" and "Up in the Air."

Each year, distinguished honorees are presented awards for excellence in the entertainment industry. Past honored and special guests include Peter O'Toole, Michael Douglas, Oliver Stone, Jane Fonda, Sidney Lumet, Sir Ian McKellen, Isabella Rossellini, Lily Tomlin, Ellen Barkin, Liam Neeson, Vanessa Redgrave, Norman Jewison, James Marsden, Tommy Lee Jones, John Waters, James Franco, Alec Baldwin, Ray Liotta, Aaron Eckhart, Roger Ebert, Terrence Malick, Sydney Pollack, Malcolm McDowell and Milos Forman.

For more information, visit scad.edu/filmfest.

SCAD: The University for Creative Careers

The Savannah College of Art and Design is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution conferring bachelor's and master's degrees at distinctive locations and online to prepare talented students for professional careers. SCAD offers degrees in more than 40 majors.