SCAD Announces Line-Up For 2016 Savannah Film Festival

Jackie” to Open Fest; “La La Land” and “Arrival” set as Spotlight and Centerpiece Gala Screenings

Additional Gala Screenings and Docs to Watch Announced

The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has announce its line-up of films for the 2016 Savannah Film Festival, including Gala Screenings, Signature Series, Docs to Watch and a new Global Shorts Forum. The festival will launch on Saturday, Oct. 22 with “Jackie” and will feature the Spotlight Gala Screening of “La La Land” and Centerpiece Gala Screening of “Arrival.”

SCAD Savannah Film Festival

Savannah Film Festival (PRNewsFoto/SCAD)

Hosted by SCAD, the annual event has celebrated cinematic creativity from award-winning professionals and emerging filmmakers for 19 years. The festival will be held in downtown Savannah, Georgia, and runs from Saturday, Oct. 22 to Saturday, Oct. 29.

The 19th annual festival gathers a diverse group of industry professionals from all fields of the business to participate in panels and Q&A discussions on several topics about the film, television and digital media business. More importantly, 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.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

Opening Gala Screening: “Jackie” – A searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Natalie Portman). “Jackie” places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband’s assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband’s legacy and the world of “Camelot” that they created and loved so well. Director: Pablo Larrain. Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup and John Hurt.la_la_land_xlg-1

Spotlight Gala Screening: “La La Land” – Written and directed by Academy Award® nominee Damien Chazelle, “La La Land” tells the story of Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams. Director: Damien Chazelle. Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and John Legend.arrival_ver3_xlg

Centerpiece Gala Screening: “Arrival” – When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team — led by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) — is brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers — and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity. Director: Denis Villeneuve. Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg and Mark O’Brien.

GALA SCREENINGS: The annual Gala Screenings spotlight upcoming studio films before their wide releases, including this year’s entries: Continue reading

Netflix Original Documentary “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight For Freedom” Premieres October 9, 2015

Netflix will premiere the original documentary Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, directed by Evgeny Afineevsky, exclusively to Netflix members worldwide on Friday, October 9, 2015.

Chronicling events that unfolded over 93 days in 2013 and 2014, Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom witnesses the formation of a new civil rights movement in Ukraine. What started as peaceful student demonstrations supporting European integration morphed into a full-fledged violent revolution calling for the resignation of the nation’s president. The film captures the remarkable mobilization of nearly a million citizens from across the country protesting the corrupt political regime that utilized extreme force against its own people to suppress their demands and freedom of expression. The harrowing documentary is set to make its world premiere at the 72nd Venice Film Festival in September.

Evgeny has assembled a cinematic tribute to the heroism, spirit and determination of the Ukrainian people,” said Lisa Nishimura, Netflix VP of Original Documentary Programming. “We are honored to provide a global platform for him to share his powerful narrative.”

The filmmakers investigated the escalating political crisis in Ukraine from directly within the conflict zone. At the onset of demonstrations, they were there to record the special forces who were deployed to disperse the crowds, beating and seriously injuring hundreds of protesters. It was this moment that ultimately gave rise to mass protests and large-scale civil unrest in the country. In response, millions of Ukrainians rallied together to fight against the police state. Through interviews with protesters, activists, journalists, medical workers, artists and clergy representing multiple generations, social classes, nationalities and faiths, including a twelve-year old volunteer, the film tells the story of a diverse movement that self-organized towards one common goal, that stood their ground in the midst of extreme bloodshed, despair and the harshest of conditions.

While we were filming unfathomably brutal attacks by the police on unarmed citizens, we weren’t thinking about how to get the best shots, only the importance of showing the ways in which the movement would forever change the country and the lives of its participants,” said Afineevsky. “We’re pleased that Netflix is enabling us to share the hard truth and shocking reality of this historical event with the rest of the world.”

Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom is Afineevsky’s third feature documentary. He has produced over ten feature and short films, including the 2002 adaptation of Crime & Punishment, starring Vanessa Redgrave, Crispin Glover, John Hurt and Margot Kidder. He also produced and directed numerous TV projects. His feature directorial debut, Oy Vey! My Son is Gay! has garnered numerous awards at film festivals globally.

Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom is produced by Netflix, Afineevsky – Tolmor Production, UkrStream.TV and SPN Production, in association with Passion Pictures, Campbell Grobman Films and Rock Paper Scissors Entertainment. The film is produced by Afineevsky and Den Tolmor. John Battsek, Lati Grobman, Christa Campbell, Lisa Nishimura, Adam Del Deo, Angus Wall, David Dinerstein, Andrew Ruhemann, Dennis L. Kogod, Nadine Khapsalis Kogod and Bohdan Batruch serve as Executive Producers.

 

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Sundance Institute Announces Films in Spotlight, Park City at Midnight and New ‘Sundance Kids’ Section for 2014 Sundance Film Festival 30th Anniversary of the Sundance Film Festival

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In the run-up to the 2014 edition, The Sundance Institute www.sundance.org) announced the films selected to screen in the 2014 Sundance Film Festival (www.sundance.org/festival) out-of-competition sections Spotlight, Park City at Midnight. The Festival takes place January 16-26 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

Trevor Groth, Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival, said, “The films in the sections announced today round out our 2014 Sundance Film Festival program and further reflect the depth and diversity of modern independent filmmaking that will satisfy everyone from festival fledglings to fanatics.”

SPOTLIGHT

Regardless of where these films have played throughout the world, the Spotlight program is a tribute to the cinema we love.

Jeremy Saulnier, Blue Ruin, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Jeremy Saulnier, Blue Ruin, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Blue Ruin / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jeremy Saulnier) — A mysterious outsider’s quiet life turns upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving to be an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family. Cast: Macon Blair, Amy Hargreaves, Sidné Anderson, Devin Ratray, Kevin Kolack.

The Double / United Kingdom (Director: Richard Ayoade, Screenwriter: Avi Korine) — Jesse Eisenberg plays Simon, a timid and isolated man who is overlooked at work. When James, a new coworker arrives, he upsets the balance because he is both Simon’s physical double and his opposite: confident and good with women. Then James slowly starts taking over Simon’s life. Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Noah Taylor, Cathy Moriarty, James Fox.

Ida, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Ida / Poland (Director: Pawel Pawlikowski, Screenwriters: Pawel Pawlikowski, Rebecca Lenkiewicz) — Anna, a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland, is on the verge of taking her vows when she discovers a dark family secret dating back to the years of the Nazi occupation. Cast: Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowska, Dawid Ogrodnik.

Director Steven Knight, Locke, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Director Steven Knight, Locke, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Locke, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Locke, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Locke / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Steven Knight) — Locke is a feat of dynamic storytelling from Academy Award–nominated writer/director Steven Knight, anchored by Tom Hardy’s fantastic performance. Unfolding in real time, the film is a gripping story of choices, consequences, and a man who risks everything he holds dear to do the right thing. Cast: Tom Hardy, Ruth Wilson, Olivia Colman, Andrew Scott, Tom Holland, Bill Milner. Continue reading