The 2013 Savannah Film Festival, presented by the Savannah College of Art and Design, kicked off in downtown Savannah, Georgia on Saturday night, and runs October 26 to November 2, 2013. The 16th edition of the festival features more than 50 competition films, selected from more than 800 entries in the categories of feature, short, animation, documentary and student competition. Films on the lineup include HANK AND ASHA, THE PRETTY ONE and documentaries BROTHERS HYPNOTIC and DEAR MR. WATTERSON.
The 2013 Savannah Film Festival competition films include:
Hank and Asha (USA)
In this modern love story, an Indian woman studying in Prague and a lonely New Yorker begin an unconventional video correspondence—two strangers searching for human connection in a hyper-connected world.
“Home:______” is the story of a man, recovering from mental illness, who tries to rebuild his life and reconnect with his estranged son by moving out of a group home and into an apartment of his own.
Jack Irish: Bad Debts (Australia)
A phone message from ex-client Danny McKillop doesn’t ring any bells for Jack Irish (Guy Pierce). Life is hard enough without having to dredge up old problems: his beloved football team has moved interstate; the odds on his latest plunge at the track seem far too long; and he’s still cooking for one. But when Danny turns up dead, Jack has to take a walk back into a dark and dangerous past.
The Pretty One (USA)
When a woman’s (Zoe Kazan) prettier identical twin sister dies, the woman assumes her sister’s identity, moves to the big city and into her apartment.
Brothers Hypnotic (USA and the Netherlands)
For the eight young men in the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, brotherhood is literal: they’re all sons of anti-establishment Chicago jazz musician Phil Cohran. Raised together on Chicago’s South Side as subjects of their father’s utopian family experiment, they wore homemade clothes, followed a vegan diet and awoke at 5 a.m. for family band practice. Now grown, as they raise eight brass bells to the sky—while playing for quarters in Times Square, collaborating with Mos Def or wowing a jazz festival—they find the values their father bred into them constantly tested. They must decide whether their father’s principles really are their own. “Brothers Hypnotic” is a coming-of-age story, for eight brothers, and for an ideal.
Dear Mr. Watterson (USA)
“Dear Mr. Watterson” is not a quest to find Bill Watterson or to invade his privacy. It is an exploration to discover why his simple comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” made such an impact on so many readers, and why it still means so much to us today.
Mayan Blue (USA)
“Mayan Blue” documents the recent discovery of an ancient Mayan site beneath the waters of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. Through the investigation of the 2,000-year-old city of Samabaj, the film explores the Mayan view of the cosmos and their ancient mythologies. The findings reveal a catastrophe the likes of which the Maya could never have imagined, reshaping everything they believed about the Earth and the origins of their underworld.
Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve (USA and Canada)
Nearly 100 years after its creation, the power of the U.S. Federal Reserve has never been greater. Markets and governments around the world hold their breath in anticipation of the Fed chairman’s every word. Yet the average person knows very little about the most powerful, and least understood, financial institution on Earth. Narrated by Liev Schreiber, “Money For Nothing” is the first film to take viewers inside the Fed and reveal the impact of Fed policies, past, present and future, on our lives. Join current and former Fed officials as they debate the critics, and each other, about the decisions that helped lead the global financial system to the brink of collapse in 2008, and why we might be headed there again.
Stuck and injured on a remote road in the dead of winter—who will come to save you?
Drea, a 20-something woman living in Brooklyn, struggles to make progress in her own life while being the sole caregiver for her father, who has Alzheimer’s disease.
The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars (Il Turno di Notte lo Fanno le Stelle) (Italy)
This is a story about a man and a woman. He is alone. She is married. They are both mountaineers, both survivors of cardiac operations. He has in his chest the heart of a young woman. She has a surgically replaced mitral valve. A fate and a promise unite them. A short story where the rhythm of the heartbeat accelerates to find, at the end, a steady pace.
“Palimpsest” is a short film about the subtle forces at play in relationships and the tangible remnants of memory. Peter, a successful house tuner in New York City, meets Ellen while consulting in her apartment. As a house tuner, Peter offers his clients a unique form of therapy that examines minute details in living spaces that sometimes reveal more about a person’s past than they intended.
Setup, Punch (USA)
Showing that there is always a reason to laugh, stand-up comic Reuben Stein (Elijah Wood) does the most daring set of his life.
Walking the Dogs (UK)
A Buckingham Palace guard attending to Queen Elizabeth’s (Emma Thompson) room takes her dogs for a walk. While he’s away, an intruder breaks in for a chat with the monarch.
Wild Horses (USA)
In this story, that spans one day, cruelty, courage, love and memory collide as two generations of women bear witness to the brutality common in wild horse roundups in the American West.
Who Shot Rock & Roll: The Film (USA)
This documentary short explores the groundbreaking collaborations between photographers and recording artists who came together to create some of the most enduring images in rock history. From the early 1950s through the present, “Who Shot Rock & Roll” tells the stories behind the photos and takes viewers on a visual journey through the many eras of rock and roll. Powerful imagery and insightful commentary give viewers a unique glimpse into photography’s impact on the ever-changing, but everlasting, culture of rock and roll.
Professional animation shorts
Fear of Flying (Ireland)
A small bird with a fear of flying tries to avoid heading south for the winter. When a harsh winter rolls around he must face his fears in order to survive.
Irish Folk Furniture (Ireland)
“Irish Folk Furniture” is an animated documentary about repair and recycling in rural Ireland. In Ireland, old, hand-painted furniture is often associated with hard times, with poverty, and with a time many would rather forget. Because of this association, much of the country’s furniture heritage lies rotting in barns and sheds. In the making of this film, 16 pieces of abandoned folk furniture were restored and returned back into daily use. This film was shot in a green and environmentally friendly way, using local craftspeople, local narrators and inexpensive secondhand equipment. Only natural light was used to shoot this film.
Love in the Time of Advertising (USA)
“Love in the Time of Advertising” is about a young man living inside a billboard, charged with updating the advertisements. When a tear in the sign reveals a beautiful young lady living across the highway, he falls instantly in love. Unable to leave his billboard home to tell her how he feels, he decides to use the only method he knows in order to get his message across–advertising.
The Missing Scarf (Ireland)
Albert the squirrel makes a startling discovery—an empty space that his favorite scarf once occupied. He heads off into the forest only to find everyone else is preoccupied with worries of their own. He helps who he can before moving on but never seems to get any closer to his goal. Ultimately, Albert’s problem is put in perspective by the friends he helped and the problems they faced and overcame together. Narrated by George Takei.
Mr. Hublot (France and Luxembourg)
Mr. Hublot is a withdrawn, idiosyncratic character with obsessive-compulsive disorder, scared of change and the outside world. Robot Pet’s arrival turns his life upside down when he is forced to share his home with this very invasive companion.
The Rose of Turaida (Australia)
Based on a true story and set in 17th-century Latvia, “The Rose of Turaida” tells of the tragedy of a beautiful young woman who makes the ultimate sacrifice for love and honor.
“Sci-Fly” is a journey through time and space and the fight for existence, with a dark premise contrasted with the divine imaginary, creating a hypnotic ride of tone and emotion. Only in-camera effects were used to capture “Sci-Fly.” The wonders of our own world were filmed in order to create another. Capturing visual effects in-camera is starting to become an afterthought. The main goal of “Sci-Fly” was to create a journey solely on experimenting with new techniques that we had never done before. Those new methods would shift the storytelling arch. “Sci-Fly” evolved organically, just like the effects created.
Student narrative shorts
After a boy promises to whisk her away to paradise, “Dirt” tries to escape her dilapidated neighborhood and overcome her greatest adversary—her mother.
The Empty Room
Isolated and extremely uncomfortable at a dinner party, Allen escapes into a room where he has a life-changing conversation with a girl he’s never met before.
Justice Denied (SCAD)
On April 18, 2006, Howell Woltz and his wife are arrested outside their North Carolina home on charges of which they had never heard, for a crime that didn’t exist. Howell is left with no other option but to fight a corrupt system from behind bars while struggling to keep his family intact. Upon examining other inmates’ cases, he is shocked to find he is not the only one facing injustice.
Mo Chara (SCAD)
Regardless of history, religion or what their parents say, Sean and David become friends.
Pretty (Columbia University)
When the intrusive and controlling nature of small-town living promises a life of confinement, Mary sets an intricate plan in motion to escape with Will, her childhood sweetheart. She just needs to get through one last day.
Six Letter Word (American Film Institute)
Down on her luck, Zoe (Rumer Willis) turns tricks to support herself and her bright, odd son Jax, but wants a better life for him. Her estranged mother agrees to pay for Jax to go to a private school, where an unexpected encounter with one of her johns gradually helps Zoe realize Jax has autism and needs much more than she alone can give him.
Skin (Columbia University)
“Skin” is the story of a child taxidermist, an outsider in his small town. He is entranced by a girl who finds his work beautiful. But just as their relationship begins to progress, he does something that drastically changes everything.
Unorthodox (University of Southern California)
When Yankel’s older brother runs away from home after a bitter fight with his father, Yankel decides to strike back. He learns in school that fathers are punished for their children’s sins before their Bar Mitzvahs, so Yankel decides to test his faith for the first time in order to teach his father a lesson.
After dropping into Normandy on D-Day, one young lieutenant learns the true meaning of leadership and discovers the importance of passing on a legacy of valiance for generations to come.
Student animation shorts
Balloon Cat (SCAD)
A cat floats helplessly through space, tethered to balloons, as his life flashes before his eyes.
Baxter the raccoon makes his way into Granny’s Sweet Shop, but once inside, he becomes obsessed with the candy and he creates his own downfall.
Chicken or the Egg (Ringling College of Art and Design)
This is a story about a pig addicted to eating eggs, but when he falls in love with a chicken, he must decide what comes first, chicken or the egg.
The Collector’s Gift (University of Southern California)
“The Collector’s Gift” is a modern-day fairy tale about a young girl who discovers the key to creating a new world.
The Final Straw (Ringling College of Art and Design)
A scarecrow gets more than he bargains for when a stubborn crow invades his farmland.
The Observer (SCAD)
“The Observer” is a loose narrative that explores the continuum between inner doubt and self-acceptance.
Runaway (Ringling College of Art and Design)
“Runaway” is a charming story following the unfortunate misunderstanding between Stanley and his lovable and treasured 1950s refrigerator, Chillie. Set in the present day, a sad event sends Chillie into a whirlwind of emotional turmoil, and as a result, he runs away. Over the course of events, this story shows how a small assumption can cause big problems, yet the bond of friendship cannot be broken.
The Savannah Film Festival has added two new competition shorts blocks for everyone’s enjoyment: Historical Shorts and SuperShorts! Historical shorts pay tribute to the extra time and production design that setting a film in a different period entails. SuperShorts! showcases the challenge of creating and telling complete stories, in under six minutes.
Until The Dust Settles (USA)
A father and his two sons reconnect while traveling through the heart of the American Dust Bowl in 1932.
During the last week of WWII, an Austrian captain takes a developmentally disabled boy under his wing and brings the loyalty of his men to the test.
The Station Master (UK)
Set in 1950s England, a lonely, dysfunctional Station Master lives in the middle of nowhere. Unexpectedly, a woman exits one of the steam trains and during the night they spend together, she opens his eyes to a life he never believed he could have.
The Most Girl Part of You (USA)
Teens Kate and Big Guy are lifelong best friends. When tragedy causes charming oddball Big Guy to unravel, Kate finds herself both appalled by his behavior and driven by an attraction she never before realized.
Wolves from Another Kingdom (USA)
The two boys struggle to survive in a recently devastated world — an echo of natural disaster.
Korean Food (UK)
An English businessman tries to learn Korean in order to ask a Korean waitress out, but he may have misjudged the situation.
Darwin’s Theory (USA)
Three nugget creatures have to resort to their ability to change colors in order to avoid a large knuckle-dragging predator. The only problem is that one nugget is a little unique.
After losing a playful thumb war to his date, our hero puts his losing digit through a grueling and hilarious ‘ROCKY’-esque training regimen in an obsessive quest to reclaim the title and his manhood.
The Girl With the Tuba (USA)
A young autistic woman details how playing a tuba in the streets of Atlanta helped her sharpen her voice as an activist.
Her feet on the edge of a rooftop, his hand approaches slowly.
Halcyon 17 (USA)
A young physicist struggles to reach Mars by climbing to the top of a huge cherry tree.
Dji. Death Fails (Moldova)
Dji is an unlucky reaper. All he has to do is collect the soul of a dying man, but many obstacles prevent him from completing this simple process.
A Life With Asperger’s (USA)
An animated documentary exploring the challenges of growing up and living with Asperger’s syndrome.
Animation Hotline (USA)
A series of micro-animations that use crowd-sourced voicemail messages for content.
On his way home, a gorilla miner stumbles across a curious creature that’s much more than meets the eye.
Danza De Los Muertos (USA)
A young boy’s grandmother comes back from the world of the dead to visit, but he is too terrified of her skeletal form to dance with her.
La Hija (Spain and Argentina)
Fatima wants to play, but her father is too busy. She has imagination and special balloons.
A surreal animated musical about depression and finding happiness again.
How to Be a Female Director (USA)
Follow Kay in her quest to become a feature film director. This film is a satirical, vintage look at a very modern day issue.