Many of you know that I graduated just this year from a university called SCAD (The Savannah College of Art & Design), and a few of you might know that SCAD plays host to a film festival each fall. I would bet though, that not many of you know that the Savannah Film Festival is the largest university-hosted film festival in the country, and sees tens of thousands of guests descend on this colonial coast-town, along with hundreds of industry folks and generally cool people to watch dozens of interesting films and shorts. 2010 marks my fifth year of attendance at SavFF, but my first as a graduated, full-time writer. It’s been a hell of a week with some yet left to go, and I thought I’d introduce you to the Fest a little bit before the flow of content starts.

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First, you can always start at the website here.

You can also check out my old-school 2008 blogs from this index, though I would specifically point to this one that includes a little history and context of the festival, or this adventure of me getting my picture with Brett Ratner as well as getting my first (and to this day pretty much only) film scoop.

Don’t forget to follow my twitter if you’re into that.

Also, check out this short video of Ian McKellen reenacting the Bridge of Khazad-Dum for an audience, and a Hobbit-semi-non-scoop from yesterday.

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So the festival is not as jam-packed as something like a Fantastic Fest but instead fills its days with panels, special screenings, and short film showcases leading up to each night’s gala screening. These special screenings are typically well-programmed and represent some of buzziest films on the fest circuit, and SavFF has a strong track record of picking a line-up of future Oscar contenders. The following new films I’ve caught (or will catch) at screenings and you can expect reviews of over the next week…

The Black Swan
Rabbit Hole
Conviction (I’d previously seen this film. Review here)
Nice Guy Johnny
Fair Game
Don’t Go In the Woods
The Illusionist
The Conspirator
Blue Valentine
Made in Daghenam
The River Why Streetcar
127 Hours

You can also expect a few special pieces focusing on a few interesting people such as Sir Ian McKellen, who contributed a wealth of energy and insight to the festival, and Bobby Zarem, the most effective P.R. person in history- if you haven’t heard of him, it’s because he’s worked his whole life for his clients and films rather than himself.

One of the big boast’s of the Savannah Film Festival and its home theater –The Trustee’s Theater– is that they’ve installed what is apparently the only full 4K Sony CineAlta digital projection system in a single-screen theater in the country. Flat out, it looks fucking incredible. I’m hoping to speak with some people and arrange a little expose on this sexy piece of film exhibition tech, but that remains to be seen… (fingers crossed).

I was also pleased to spend a large portion of the week with the frequent company of the wonderful Jen Yamato and Todd Gilchrist, and I definitely want to thank them right out front for helping make it a great festival.

Expect the first review (Black Swan) up soon, with the rest of the material flowing out throughout next week!

Photos by Bob Jones (www.nathanjonesphoto.com/bounce)