SCAD announces schedule for 23rd annual SCAD Savannah Film Festival
By Oz Online | Published on October 5, 2020

The nation’s largest university-run film festival will feature gala screenings of I’m Your Woman and One Night in Miami as well as the prestigious Docs to Watch series and more.

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA — 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.

A key stop on the Academy Awards festival circuit, the SCAD Savannah Film Festival will screen 148 films, including 20 narrative films, 17 documentary films and 111 shorts, with 14 world premieres, four U.S. premieres and four North American premieres.

The festival kicks off Saturday, Oct. 24, with the opening-night Gala Screening of I’m Your Woman, directed by Julia Hart and featuring Spotlight Award honoree Rachel Brosnahan. The festival culminates Saturday, Oct. 31, with the closing-night Gala Screening of One Night in Miami, directed by Regina King. Minari will be featured as a Gala Spotlight Screening on Mon., Oct. 26, with a special Q&A with actor Steven Yeun and director Lee Isaac Chung.

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. The SCAD Savannah Film Festival has screened more than 125 Academy Award-nominated films and has honored more than 90 legendary actors, directors, producers, writers and filmmakers from around the world.

Entertainment Weekly returns as a media partner to help curate this year’s programming and moderate select talent panels.

SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace said, “SCAD screens the stories that matter to our students and to viewers around the globe. And this year, everybody’s got the best seat in the house!”

“We are so excited for the virtual program we’ve put together this year, from our film screenings to our amazing guests and panelists,” said SCAD Savannah Film Festival Executive Director Christina Routhier. “I am even more proud that the festival will be screening films from more than 64 women filmmakers and hosting our annual

Wonder Women panels, making us one of the few festivals that continues to highlight the work of women artists from around the world.”

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.

  • ImageImage

    Share this Post