This past week the Savannah College of Art and Design hosted the 13th annual Savannah Film Festival, a weeklong event featuring independent and innovative films from around the world as well as films by SCAD students. The films were shown at a variety of venues around the city, including the historic Trustees Theater on Broughton Street, conveniently located next door to Leopold’s Ice Cream Shoppe for a tasty post-movie dessert!
Catherine Moore and Kolin Podell, staff at our wonderful B&B, each attended a variety of events at the Savannah Film Festival and so we bring you their co-authored blog entry!
Catherine: As the weather in Savannah grows chillier, I was happy to nestle into a comfy seat at the Trustees to take in two excellent films. The first film I saw was ”The Illusionist,” a 2010 animation by French director Sylvain Chomet, best known for his wordless 2003 animation “The Triplets of Belleville.” The film played to a packed auditorium, featuring the somber story of a magician who inspires a young girl to leave her home in Scotland and discover the magic and tragedy of the real world. The second film I saw was “Gods & Monsters,” a 1998 film by director Bill Condon about the last days of famed Frankenstein director James Whale. The performance featured a Q&A session afterwards by none other than Ian McKellan, who was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Whale in the film and is also well-known for playing Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Other special guests at the festival including Isabella Rossellini, Bobby Zarem, and Miles Teller. Liam Neeson also attended the Film Festival, and was spotted by a friend of mine dining at an Azalea Inn favorite: Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House!
Kolin: I also attended a few of the movies and events. On Monday evening, the feature length film, “Conviction”, starring Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell, and Minnie Driver. “Conviction” is a gripping drama surrounding a sister (Swank) fighting her way through law school and years of finding enough evidence to exonerate her brother of a murder conviction he was serving a life sentence for. The film was inspired by the true story of Betty Anne Waters’ 18 year life-consuming struggle to end her brother, Kenneth’s life sentence. Witty comedic one liners lightened some of the dark tones of the brilliant film produced by Tony Goldwyn, who also attended and followed the screening with a Q & A segment. The film was followed by a reception at Jazz’d Tapas Bar. Red and White wine, and a full bar were complimentary to guests with special passes (which we were lucky enough to acquire through a friend in high places within SCAD). A long buffet of delicious bites were also the feature of the gathering. Later in the week, I attended the animated shorts collection which included “The Cow Who Wanted to be a Hamburger”, “Leonardo”, ” Masks”, “A Lost and Found Box of Human Sensation”, “Offline”, “Ormie”, and “Zero”. Excellent animation in each short was enhanced by either deep storyline or light-hearted slapstick humor.
Savannah’s beautiful weather and atmospheric live oaks and Spanish moss have made it a favorite filming location for movie producers, most recently hosting the filming of Robert Redford’s “The Conspirator” and “The Last Song” written by Nicholas Sparks and starring Miley Cyrus. The Savannah Film Festival has made the city a hot-spot for movie-goers as well. We hope you have the chance to visit us next fall for the 2011 festival, and can share your stories of celebrity sightings over warm coffee and breakfast at the Azalea Inn & Gardens!
Festivals abound in Savannah Georgia so check back often for the latest news and events and be sure to reserve your room at Azalea Inn and Gardens Bed and Breakfast, a Savannah GA bed and breakfast, and enjoy all that the Historic District of Savannah has to offer.