“Silver Linings Playbook” kicking off this year’s Savannah Film Festival – OSCARS

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: David O. Russell’s Oscar contender “The Silver Linings Playbook” will open The 2012 Savannah Film Festival, an annual event that this year will showcase similar awards contenders like Robert Zemeckis’ “Flight,” Dustin Hoffman’s “Quartet,” the crowd-pleasing musical comedy “The Sapphires” and Michael Haneke’s emotionally draining “Amour.”

The fest will kick off on Saturday, Oct. 27. It also will conclude with a 3D screening of DreamWorks Animation’s holiday blockbuster “Rise of the Guardians.”

Russell’s comedy has been building awards momentum since it took home the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. The Hollywood Film Awards announced so far that it will recognize Robert De Niro with the “Hollywood Supporting Actor” award, as well as Russell with this year’s “Hollywood Director Award.” Expect them to be the first of many prestigious award nominations “Silver Linings” picks up as the season rolls along.

Savannah steadily has been raising its profile as a stop on the lengthy awards marathon, following the Venice-Telluride-Toronto trifecta and the New York and L.A. (AFI) fests. The festival has U.S. premiered two Pedro Almodovar films, as well as films by Robert Redford and Woody Allen. Special gala screenings, which were shown before their national release, include “127 Hours,” “Amelie,” “Babel,” “Black Swan,” “Precious,” “Sideways,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The Artist,” “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” “The Wrestler” and “Up in the Air.” This year, Savannah’s lineup makes room for the aforementioned films, all of which hold Oscar aspirations and can benefit from packed-house screenings in the Georgia city.

In addition, Savannah organizers have revealed that they will celebrate the fest’s 15th anniversary by recognizing Academy Award-nominated actors Matt Dillon (“Crash”) and Diane Lane (“Unfaithful”) with Outstanding Achievement in Cinema Awards. Michelle Monaghan (“Gone Baby Gone”) also will receive a “Spotlight Award” for her performance in “Tomorrow You’re Gone,” while Academy Award-winning writer and director Geoffrey Fletcher (“Precious”) will receive the “SCAD Cinevation Award,” which is given to one director for imagination, inspiration and innovation in cinema.

I’ll be reporting from the Savannah Film Festival once again this year, participating in panels and drinking in the cinema with the Southeast’s most sophisticated film-fest audiences. It has become a must-attend event every year, both for the festival’s professionalism, the impressive lineup, and the city’s overwhelming hospitality.

Tickets for the 2012 Savannah Film Festival are on sale, and can be purchased online at savannahboxoffice.com, or via phone at 912.525.5050. Here’s a rundown of this year’s special gala screenings.

• Robert Zemeckis’ “Flight”
• Dustin Hoffman’s “Quartet”
• Jacques Audiard’s “Rust & Bone”
• Wayne Blair’s “The Sapphires”
• Michael Haneke’s “Amour,” winner of Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival
• Walter Salles’ “On the Road”
• Geoffrey Fletcher’s directorial debut “Violet & Daisy” with star James Gandolfini (“Sopranos”) in attendance
• Ry Russo-Young’s “Nobody Walks”
• Matt Ross’ “28 Hotel Rooms”
• David Jacobson’s “Tomorrow You’re Gone”
• Bedabrata Pain’s “Chittagong”
• Brian Savelson’s “In Our Nature” with star Zach Gilford (“Friday Night Lights”) in attendance
• Ramona Diaz’s “Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey” documentary
• Julian Jarrold’s HBO film “The Girl” with Jarrold in attendance
• Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush’s “A Place at the Table” documentary
• Matt Dillon’s “City of Ghosts” starring festival honoree Dillon
• George Roy Hill’s “A Little Romance” starring festival honoree Diane Lane

Special guests currently scheduled to attend will include,
• Christy Turlington Burns, who will be screening her “No Woman, No Cry” documentary
• Director Adam Shankman (“Rock of Ages”)
• Producer and director, and founder and former president of New Line Cinema, Bob Shaye
• Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious”)
• Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead”)
• Miles Teller (“Rabbit Hole”)

The schedule, which is subject to change, currently is available on the Savannah Film Festival website. For more information, visit scad.edu/filmfest or follow them on Facebook and on Twitter at @savfilmfest.

Read more of our exclusive Awards coverage:
Our “Silver Linings Playbook” review
Ben Affleck tells us about his ensembles
“Argo” scores raves in Toronto
Amy Adams lends strength to “The Master”
Producer Harvey Weinstein

Hollywood News on Twitter for up-to-date news information.

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