Press Release / Sept. 22, 2015

SCAD announces first wave of films for 2015 Savannah Film Festival


The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is pleased to announce confirmed films for the 2015 Savannah Film Festival taking place Oct. 24-31, 2015.  Hosted by SCAD, the annual event has celebrated cinematic creativity from award-winning professionals and emerging filmmakers for 17 years.

The festival will open on Saturday, Oct. 24 with the stirring “Suffragette.” The Focus Features film’s BAFTA Award-winning director Sarah Gavron and Academy Award-nominated producer Alison Owen are expected to attend. “Suffragette” is a moving drama that will empower all who are striving for equal rights in our own day and age. Written by Emmy Award winner Abi Morgan, “Suffragette” is inspired by the early-20th-century campaign of the Suffragettes, who were activists for Women’s Suffrage – risking their very lives for the right of women to vote. The cast includes Academy Award nominees Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter, Golden Globe Award nominees Brendan Gleeson and Romola Garai, British Independent Film Award winner Anne-Marie Duff, BAFTA Award winner Ben Whishaw, and three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep.

Additional films confirmed for the festival include:

  • “Brooklyn” - The profoundly moving story of Eilis Lacey, a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother’s home for the shores of New York City. The initial shackles of homesickness quickly diminish as a fresh romance sweeps Eilis into the intoxicating charm of love. But soon, her new vivacity is disrupted by her past, and Eilis must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.  The film is distributed by Fox Searchlight. Director: John Crowley. Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent.
  • “I Saw the Light” – “I Saw the Light” tells the story of Hank Williams, the iconic, influential country singer and songwriter of the 1940’s and early 50’s whose meteoric rise and fall, including his death at age 29, has become part of American folklore.  Writer-director Marc Abraham has created a compelling, historically accurate narrative of Hank’s career that examines his tormented creative genius and the turbulent domestic life that inspired him to write some of his best-known songs.  By literally going back in time, you see Hank as he was, living his life on his terms, battling his demons and ultimately creating music for the ages. The film is distributed by Sony Pictures Classics. Director: Marc Abraham. Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen, Cherry Jones, Bradley Whitford, Maddie Hasson and Wren Schmidt.
  • “Krisha” - The story of a woman’s return to the family she abandoned years before, set entirely over the course of one turbulent Thanksgiving.  When Krisha shows up at her sister’s Texas home on Thanksgiving morning, her close and extended family greet her with a mixture of warmth and wariness. Almost immediately, a palpable unease permeates the air, one which only grows in force as Krisha gets to work cooking the turkey and trying to make up for lost time by catching up with her various relatives, chief among them her nephew, Trey. As Krisha's attempts at reconciliation become increasingly rebuffed, tension and suspicion reach their peak, with long-buried secrets and deep-seated resentments coming to the fore as everyone becomes immersed in an emotionally charged familial reckoning. The film is distributed by A24. Director: Trey Edward Shults. Cast: Krisha Fairchild, Robyn Fairchild, Bill Wise and Trey Edward Shults.
  • “Lady in the Van” - A big screen adaptation of writer Alan Bennett’s iconic and celebrated memoir. The film tells the true story of the relationship between Alan Bennett and the singular Miss Shepherd, a woman of uncertain origins who ‘temporarily’ parked her van in Bennett’s London driveway and proceeded to live there for 15 years. Their unique story is funny, poignant and life-affirming. The film is distributed by Sony Pictures Classics. Director: Nicholas Hytner. Cast: Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Jim Broadbent, Frances De La Tour, and Roger Allam.
  • “Mia Madre” – Margherita is a director shooting a film with the famous American actor, Barry Huggins, who is quite a headache on set. Away from the shoot, Margherita tries to hold her life together, despite her mother's illness and her daughter's adolescence. The film is distributed by Alchemy. Director: Nanni Moretti. Cast: Margherita Buy and John Turturro.
  • “Miss You Already” – The friendship between two life-long girlfriends is put to the test when one starts a family and the other falls ill. The film is distributed by Roadside Attractions. Director: Catherine Hardwicke. Cast: Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette.
  • “Room” - Both highly suspenseful and deeply emotional, “Room” is a unique and touching exploration of the boundless love between a mother and her child. After 5-year-old Jack and his Ma escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery: the outside world. As he experiences all the joy, excitement, and fear that this new adventure brings, he holds tight to the one thing that matters most of all—his special bond with his loving and devoted Ma. Based on the international bestselling book by Emma Donoghue. The film is distributed by A24. Director: Lenny Abrahamson. Cast: Brie Larson, William H. Macy, Joan Allen and Jacob Tremblay.
  • “Son of Saul” - Saul Ausländer is a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando, the group of Jewish prisoners isolated from the camp and forced to assist the Nazis in the machinery of large-scale extermination. While working in one of the crematoriums, Saul discovers the body of a boy he takes for his son. As the Sonderkommando plans a rebellion, Saul decides to carry out an impossible task: save the child's body from the flames, find a rabbi to recite the mourner's Kaddish and offer the boy a proper burial. The film is distributed by Sony Pictures Classics. Director: László Nemes. Cast: Géza Röhrig, Levente Molnár, Urs Rechn, Todd Charmont, Sándor Zsótér and Marcin Czarnik.
  • “Touched With Fire” – Two manic depressives meet in treatment and begin a romance that brings out all of the beauty and horror of their condition. The film is distributed by Roadside Attractions. Director: Paul Dalio. Cast: Katie Holmes, Luke Kirby and Christine Lahti.
  • “Truth” - Based on the book "Truth and Duty" by Mary Mapes that tells the incredible true story of Mary Mapes (played by Cate Blanchett), an award-winning CBS News Journalist and Dan Rather's producer, who broke the Abu-Ghraib prison abuse story, among others. The film chronicles the story Mapes and Rather uncovered that a sitting US president may have been AWOL from the United States National Guard for over a year during the Vietnam War. When the story blew up in their face, the ensuing scandal ruined Dan Rather's career, nearly changed a US Presidential election, and almost took down all of CBS News in the process. The film is distributed by Sony Pictures Classics. Director: James Vanderbilt. Cast: Cate Blanchett, Robert Redford, Topher Grace, Elisabeth Moss and Dennis Quaid.
  • “Youth” - From Paolo Sorrentino, the director of Italy’s Oscar foreign language winner “The Great Beauty” comes “Youth,” about two longtime friends vacationing in the Swiss Alps. Oscar winning actor Michael Caine plays Fred, an acclaimed composer and conductor, who brings along his daughter (Rachel Weisz) and best friend Mick (Harvey Keitel), a renowned filmmaker.  While Mick scrambles to finish the screenplay for what he imagines will be his last important film, Fred has no intention of resuming his musical career.  The two men reflect on their past, each finding that some of the most important experiences can come later in life. The film is distributed by Fox Searchlight. Director: Paolo Sorrentino. Cast: Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz and Jane Fonda.

The festival will announce its Docs To Watch, After Dark Series and Competition Screenings on Oct. 1. As part of the annual competition screening event select films will match up in the categories of narrative features, documentary features, professional shorts, student shorts, professional animation shorts, student animation shorts, student live action, movies from Ireland and supernatural movies. Entries selected will compete to win more than $80,000 in cash and prizes.

The 18th annual festival — held in downtown Savannah, Georgia from Oct. 24-31 — gathers a diverse group of industry professionals from all fields of the business to participate in a panel and Q&A discussions on several topics about the film, television and digital media business.

The additional line-up will be announced on Thursday, Oct. 1 where additional tickets and passes will be 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, Georgia.

About the Savannah Film Festival

The festival, and the competition, provides students with opportunities as unique as the movies on the screen. It’s a chance for SCAD students to exclusively connect with leaders from the entertainment industry through master classes, coffee talks, lectures and panel discussions and a chance for Savannah, a premier film hub, to promote quality movies produced by independent and studio filmmakers.

Visit filmfest.scad.edu for a complete list of films and screening locations or follow the festival on Facebook and on Twitter @savfilmfest and use the hashtag #SAVFF.

About SCAD

The Savannah College of Art and Design is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution conferring bachelor’s and master’s degrees at distinctive locations to prepare talented students for professional careers. SCAD offers degrees in more than 40 majors, as well as minors in more than 60 disciplines. With 32,000 alumni worldwide, SCAD demonstrates an exceptional education and unparalleled career preparation.

At locations in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia; in Hong Kong; in Lacoste, France; and online through SCAD eLearning, the diverse student body consists of more than 12,000 students, from across the United States and over 100 countries. SCAD’s innovative curriculum is enhanced by advanced, professional-level technology, equipment and learning resources. Curricular collaborations with companies and organizations including Google and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) affirm the professional currency SCAD champions in its degree programs.

The university, students, faculty and alumni have garnered acclaim from respected organizations and publications worldwide including four consecutive years of No. 1 rankings for the undergraduate interior design program by DesignIntelligence, recognition as one of the 2014 Red Dot Design Rankings’ top 10 universities in the Americas and Europe, and the No. 1 graduate fashion program in the U.S. as determined by Business of Fashion — recently cited by Fast Company as one of the world’s top 10 most innovative companies of 2015 in media. For more information, visit the official SCAD blog.

Media contacts

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