Savannah Film Fest is back in the saddle again! An annual tradition for Sav cinefiles and students alike, SCAD’s bringing in a promising roster of huge names and engaging features this year.
While last year’s standouts may have been heavy on the docs, 2015 is a true red carpet affair: in tales of music legends, political scandals, and historical dramas, you’ll see the likes of Meryl Streep, Maggie Smith, Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Michael Caine, Cate Blanchett, Drew Barrymore, William H. Macy, and more illuminating downtown’s silver screens.
Stay tuned for SFF’s Docs to Watch, After Dark Series, and Competition Screenings, to be announced on October 1; tickets will also be available for purchase online on that date at savannahboxoffice.com, by phone at 912.525.5050, or in person at Trustees Theatre. In the meantime, scope out the first wave of announced films and get your mouse-clicking finger ready to purchase those tickets next week.
The highly-anticipated feature Suffragette sits as the festival’s centerpiece. A Focus Features film directed by the BAFTA Award-winning Sarah Gavron, the drama is inspired by the early 20th century activists risking their lives to grant women the right to vote. The star-studded cast features Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson, Romola Garai, and more.
SFF keeps up their nod to country music tradition following last year’s screening of the excellent Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me with I Saw the Light, a biopic telling the story of legendary songwriter Hank Williams. Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers and Thor films’ villain Loki) is an unexpectedly interesting choice for the lead of Williams, with Elizabeth Olsen (Avengers: Age of Ultron and younger sis to Mary-Kate and Ashley) portraying wife Audrey.
Inspired by the book Truth and Duty, Truth is the story of Mary Mapes, award-winning CBS News Journalist and Dan Rather's producer, who, among other significant career highlights, broke the Abu-Ghraib prison abuse story. Mapes, (Cate Blanchett), and Rathers (Robert Redford) uncover that a sitting US president may have been AWOL from the United States National Guard for over a year during the Vietnam War. The film chronicles the ensuing scandal as the story blows up in their faces, nearly changes a presidential election, and nearly takes down all of CBS in the process. Directed by James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, The Amazing Spiderman), it’s sure to be a star-studded can’t-miss with supporting roles from Topher Grace, Elisabeth Moss, and Dennis Quaid.
Michael Caine, Jane Fonda, Rachel Weisz, and Harvey Keitel star in Youth, the story of two longtime friends vacationing in the Swiss Alps. Fred (Caine) brings daughter (Weisz) along for the trip; while best friend Mick (Keitel) works on the screenplay he envisions as his last important film, composer Fred has no intention of getting back into the music business. There’s much to be learned for the two men as they look back on their careers and discover that their most important experiences can come later in life.
Fox Searchlight’s Brooklyn, the story of Eilis Lacey, a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn, stars Saoirse Ronan (Atonement, The Grand Budapest Hotel) as Eilis, with Domhnall Gleeson, Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent.
A film adaptation of Alan Bennett’s 1999 hit West End play of the same name, Lady in the Van stars Maggie Smith as a woman of uncertain origins who “temporarily” parks her van in a man’s driveway and ends up spending 15 years there. Directed by Nicholas Hytner (The Crucible, The History Boys), it also stars Alex Jennings, Jim Broadbent, Frances De La Tour, and Roger Allam.
Stars Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette head up Miss You Already, which navigates the friendship of two life-long friends as one begins a family and the other falls ill. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, the force behind such diverse films as Thirteen, Lords of Dogtown, and Twilight, the film is distributed by Roadside Attractions.
Krisha tells the story of a woman returning to a family she abandoned years before, set entirely over the course of the Thanksgiving holiday. Directed by Trey Edward Shults, the story of reconciliation and familial tension stars Krisha Fairchild, Robyn Fairchild, Bill Wise and Trey Edward Shults.
In Mia Madre, audiences meet Margherita, a director shooting a film with American actor Barry Huggins. Amidst struggles to work with a difficult actor, Margherita struggles to hold her life together with an adolescent daughter and an ill mother. Starring Italian actress Margherita Buy and John Tuturro (Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, Transformers), Mia Madre is directed by Nanni Moretti.
Reveling in emotion and suspense, Room explores the bond of a mother and child as they escape from the captivity in which they have been held for half a decade. Brie Larson (21 Jump Street, The Spectacular Now, Community), William H. Macy, and Joan Adams (Face/Off, the Bourne films) star.
Son of Saul tells the story of Saul Ausländer, a Hungarian member of 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, Sauls discovers the body of a boy he presumes is his son and decides to save the body, find a rabbi to recite the mourners Kaddish, and provide a proper burial—all while the Sonderkommando plan a rebellion. Géza Röhrig, Levente Molnár, Urs Rechn, Todd Charmont, Sándor Zsótér and Marcin Czarnik star in the Sony Pictures Classics film, directed by László Nemes.
In Touched With Fire, two manic depressives meet in treatment and fall into a love that reveals more about their condition than they could have imagined. Katie Holmes, Luke Kirby, and Christine Lahti star.
Bio: Connect Savannah Arts & Entertainment Editor Anna Chandler started writing about music after growing hoarse from talking about it nonstop. Born in Tennessee and raised in South Carolina, she has been a proud Savannahian for 8 years. She sings & plays guitar & accordion in COEDS and Lovely Locks.