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Matt Dillon received an Outstanding Achievement in Cinema Award Nov. 2 at the 15th annual Savannah Film Festival, presented by the Savannah College of Art and Design. Dillon was honored for his work in films such as "City of Ghosts," "Crash" and "The Outsiders."
"It's really truly an honor. I'd like to thank SCAD and everybody for putting this together. Paula, that was just so lovely. It's incredible that this university is as young as it is. I was told that the Savannah Film Festival is the largest film festival that's sponsored by a university. I think it's really wonderful," said Dillon after accepting the award from SCAD President and Co-founder Paula Wallace. "I think being an actor and being able to come down here and talk to aspiring filmmakers as an actor and as a filmmaker it's really great, it's really special. It makes it so much better than your typical film festival."
Dillon attended the festival for the screening of "City of Ghosts," followed by a Q-and-A session. The versatile actor not only made his directorial debut with the film, but also wrote and starred in it. Dillon's remarkable performances over his three-decade acting career have acquired notable recognition-his singular performance in "Crash" alone earned him nominations for an Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, Critics Choice Award, BAFTA Award, and won him an Independent Spirit Award.
Dillon accepted his award after a screening of "The Sapphires," directed by Wayne Blair and staring actors Chris O'Dowd, Deborah Mailman and Jessica Mauboy. "City of Ghosts" was screened earlier in the day.
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 ("Violet & Daisy") received a SCAD Cinevation Award, which is given for imagination, inspiration and innovation in cinema. Following the opening weekend, legendary comic book writer Stan Lee ("Spider-Man") received a Lifetime Achievement Award; Diane Lane ("Unfaithful") received an Outstanding Achievement Award in Cinema; and Michelle Monaghan ("Gone Baby Gone") received a Spotlight Award.
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.
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.