Sun Dogs by Jennifer Morrison
Sun Dogs

Sun Dogs and Resistance is Life won the top prizes at the 20th anniversary SCAD Savannah Film Festival.  Eleven awards were handed out to the competition films winners during a celebratory luncheon, held at the historic Olde Pink House.

2017 SCAD Savannah Film Festival Award Winners

Narrative and Documentary Features

Best Narrative Feature: Sun Dogs (USA) – Intellectually limited from an accident at birth, Ned Chipley has failed four times to join the Marines. He teams up with a young runaway and the two surveil a group of young men they mistake as terrorists. The pair’s misadventures lead to the unexpected discovery that sometimes the greatest purpose in life can present itself in the most unlikely of places. Director: Jennifer Morrison

Best Director: Ian Hunt Duffy, Gridlock (Ireland) – During a traffic jam on a country road, a little girl goes missing from one of the cars. Her father desperately forms a search party to find her, and soon everyone is a suspect. Director Ian Hunt Duffy

Best Documentary Feature: Resistance is Life (Syria/Turkey/USA) – From a refugee camp on the Turkish–Syrian border, 8-year-old Evlin characterizes the resilience of her homeland’s resistance against jihadists. Her heroes, the Kurdish female fighters, are defending the city of Kobane against ISIS militants. Evlin takes us on a journey that introduces many different faces of the resistance, provides a unique look at the spirit behind the first major victory against ISIS and shows us that hope and resilience prevail even in the most tragic circumstances. Director: Apo W. Bazidi

Special Jury Award: Best Family Documentary: Through the Windmill (USA)- Explore the history of miniature golf in the U.S., and how these unique, family-friendly roadside attractions have evolved over the last 100 years. Hear from the talented people who design, build and operate them in interviews with top designers, players and historians. Director Amanda Kulkoski

Best Editing: Five Minutes (USA) – A progressive elementary school’s parenting class takes an unexpected and dramatic turn. Director Justine Bateman

Professional Shorts

Best Animated Short: Follow Your Heart (USA) – In a world where people’s hearts are detached from their bodies and are like pets, Mary loses “Skip,” only to rediscover herself and learn what it means to follow your heart. Director Rob O’Neill

Best Narrative Short: The Silent Child (UK) – In rural England, a profoundly deaf four-year-old girl named Libby lives in a world of silence until a caring social worker teaches her the gift of communication. Director Chris Overton

Special Jury Award: Stop Motion Animation Poles Apart (UK) – An unlikely meeting occurs between Nanuk, a tough female polar bear, and Aklak, an enthusiastic male grizzly bear, brought together by their changing habitats. Director Paloma Baeza

Student Awards

Best Student Short: It’s Just a Gun (USA) – When a young boy finds a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, it sets in motion a series of events that will change him forever. Director: Brain Robau

Special Jury Award: Poles Apart (USA) – An unlikely meeting occurs between Nanuk, a tough female polar bear, and Aklak, an enthusiastic male grizzly bear, brought together by their changing habitats. Director Paloma Baeza

Silver Screen Society Award (Best Short Film by a SCAD Student): I Have Something to Tell You (USA) – Adrain Chesser, a fine-art photographer, uses his work to cope with his HIV/AIDS diagnosis in this acclaimed portrait series. Director Dumaine Babcock and Ben Joyner

Best Student Animation: Icky (Iran) – In a world of people with a Rubik’s cube head, there is one kid who is different than the others. Director Parastoo Cardgar

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