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Samuel L. Jackson, Tessa Thompson and Steven Yeun Honored at 23rd SCAD Savannah Film Festival
Samuel L. Jackson, Tessa Thompson and Steven Yeun Honored at 23rd SCAD Savannah Film Festival

Samuel L. Jackson, Tessa Thompson and Steven Yeun will be honored at the upcoming 23rd annual SCAD Savannah Film Festival, taking place as a virtual experience October 24 – October 31. The festival will honor Samuel L. Jackson with the Legend of Cinema Award, Tessa Thompson (Sylvie’s Love) with the Vanguard Award and Steven Yeun (Minari) with the Discovery Award.

They join previously announced honorees Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Rachel Brosnahan, Millie Bobby Brown, Ethan Hawke, Jennifer Hudson, Glen Keane and Delroy Lindo.

Festival media partner Entertainment Weekly will also host the Breaking Big Awards and Panel on Saturday, Oct. 31. This year’s honorees include Ciara Bravo, Clare Dunne, Joshua Caleb Johnson, Elle Lorraine, Jo Ellen Pellman and Talia Ryder, who will participate in a panel discussion and receive their awards.

New festival programming includes the Lionsgate film Wander Darkly, written and directed by Tara Miele and starring Sienna Miller and Diego Luna, with both Miele and Miller participating in a Q&A following the screening. The short film Our Side will also screen at the festival in its Southeast premiere. Directed by SCAD student Nicola Rinciari, the film was written by Rinciari and fellow SCAD student Emily Dillard.

Samuel L. Jackson – Legend of Cinema Award
Appearing in more than 100 films, Samuel L. Jackson has made an indelible mark on American cinema. He recently starred opposite Anthony Mackie in the Apple drama The Banker and can next be seen in the EPIX docuseries Enslaved, which he also executive produced.

Tessa Thompson – Vanguard Award
Tessa Thompsonis a critically acclaimed film, television, and theater actor and producer. She stars in Sylvie’s Love, which she produced alongside co-star Nnamdi Asomugha. Thompson will next star in the indie film Passing, directed by Rebecca Hall, and will also begin production on Thor: Love and Thunder in Spring 2021.

Steven Yeun – Discovery Award
Actor and producer Steven Yeun has amassed an impressive resume of diverse roles and continues to fearlessly evolve his body of work. He will next be seen in Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari, on which he also serves as executive producer. The film, which will be released by A24, premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury and Audience Awards. He will also star alongside Richard Jenkins, Beanie Feldstein, and Amy Schumer in Scott Rudin and Eli Bush’s A24 drama The Humans, based on the four-time Tony Award-winning play. Previously, Yeun starred in Chang-dong Lee’s Korean-language film Burning, an adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s short story “Barn Burning.” The film received critical acclaim including Best Supporting Actor recognition for Yeun from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Ciara Bravo – Breaking Big Award
Ciara Bravo has become one of the most versatile actors of this generation across film and television. She will next co-star alongside Tom Holland in the Russo Brothers’ highly anticipated feature Cherry for Apple TV+, which will debut in early 2021; in John Pollono’s feature Small Engine Repair; and in Coast, which she also associate produced. In 2018, Bravo appeared in Fidell’s feature film The Long Dumb Road, an official selection for the Sundance Film Festival. In 2017, she appeared in Marti Noxon’s Netflix feature To the Bone, alongside Lily Collins. The film premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and was featured in the U.S. Dramatic Competition.

Clare Dunne – Breaking Big Award
Irish actress and writer Clare Dunne made her feature debut in Herself. Co-written by Dunne and directed by Phyllida Lloyd, the film premiered to rave reviews at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was selected as one of the 12 feature film premiere events at the 2020 BFI London Film Festival. In recognition of her enthralling performance, Dunne received the Michael Dwyer Discovery Award at the 2020 Dublin International Film Festival and was honored with the Mill Valley Film Festival Spotlight Award.

Joshua Caleb Johnson – Breaking Big Award
Joshua Caleb Johnson currently stars opposite Ethan Hawke in the Showtime and Blumhouse limited series The Good Lord Bird. Johnson’s film work includes the independent feature It’s Just a Gun, which was awarded the Narrative Silver Medal at the 43rd Student Academy Awards. He has also co-starred opposite Keith David, Keith Carradine, and Sandra Locke in Ray Meets Helen.

Elle Lorraine – Breaking Big Award
Elle Lorraine stars in Justin Simien’s horror satire Bad Hair, which received rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival, and is set to premiere on Hulu and in select drive-in theaters in October 2020.

Jo Ellen Pellman – Breaking Big Award
Jo Ellen Pellman will make her feature film debut starring in Ryan Murphy’s highly anticipated Netflix film The Prom, based on the Tony Award-winning musical. She leads an all-star cast including Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, James Corden, Keegan Michael-Key, and Kerry Washington, among others.

Talia Ryder – Breaking Big Award
Talia Ryder is one of Sundance 2020’s breakout stars as the co-lead of Eliza Hittman’s critically adored film Never Rarely Sometimes Always, which was distributed earlier this year by Focus Features and is currently available to stream on demand. Ryder will follow this debut performance with Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, to be released in 2021.

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