20 October, 2014

2014 Savannah Film Festival competition films

The lineup for this year's 17th annual Savannah Film Festival was released earlier this month. While plenty of big Hollywood and international films are featured that will go on to garner awards attention in the coming months, SAVFF also sheds a light on independent film. Below, we've gathered all of the features and short films in competition this year.

Look for more information on the special guests and gala presentations later this week, but in the meantime, check out www.savannahfilmfestival.com for the complete schedule and more information. The festival takes place from October 25th through November 1st.

Narrative Features

Amira and Sam
An army veteran struggles to assimilate back into a country he barely recognizes while trying to win the heart of an Iraqi immigrant who is teetering on the brink of deportation.

When published Japanese author Kyoko Murakai travels to Paris, France, in search of the perfect character to inspire her next novel, she encounters carefree Parisian women and an enigmatic Spaniard across the hall who force her to rethink her own life and marriage.

The Sound and the Shadow
When the 6-year-old girl next door goes missing, Harold realizes that his secret audio recordings of the neighborhood may provide clues to the case. But when his overzealous new roommate Ally pushes him into a dangerous investigation, Harold’s world is turned upside down. “The Sound and the Shadow” examines the perceptions and stories we create from the sounds of our neighbors — and the secrets we hide behind our own walls.

After giving up on his dream of making it in the Chicago improv scene, a young comedian reconnects with the former love of his life while working at a coffee shop in his hometown. Afraid of growing old alone like his recently divorced father, Warren must choose between winning Emma back or finding the courage to go after his dreams a second time.

An unlikely friendship forms in the spectacular Alaskan wilderness, giving a runaway girl hope and sanctuary in America's last frontier.

Documentary Films

Ice Warriors: USA Sled Hockey
Military veterans play alongside teenagers in this gripping look at members of the U.S. Sled Hockey team who play for pride and country. The stories are filled with tough competition and spiritual uplift as the team represents the U.S. at the Paralympic Games.

The Irish Pub
This film is a tribute to the greatest institution in Irish society — the pub, or more specifically, the traditional Irish publicans who run them. Through their warmth, wit and wisdom, we gain insight into the heart and soul of “The Irish Pub.”

Limited Partnership
“Limited Partnership” is the love story between Filipino-American Richard Adams and Australian Tony Sullivan, who, in 1975, became one of the first same-sex couples in the world to be legally married. This tenacious story of love, marriage and immigration equality is as precedent setting as it is little known ... until now.

Paradise Garden: Howard Finster's Legacy
The Rev. Howard Finster, known as the grandfather of Southern folk art, showed that art can thrive outside of museums and galleries — namely in Paradise Garden, an art installation near Summerville, Georgia. The film charts the renovation of Paradise Garden, which fell into disrepair after Finster’s death, while examining how art is inspired, created, sold, collected, preserved and reborn through inspiration.

Poverty, Inc.
Drawing from more than 200 interviews filmed in 20 countries, “Poverty, Inc.,” unearths an uncomfortable side of charity we can no longer ignore and challenges each of us to ask the question: Could I be part of the problem?

Professional Shorts

Bis Gleich (Till Then)
An unspoken connection between two elderly neighbors, who share a daily ritual but who have never actually met, deepens when they face the inevitable — together.

Broken Branches
A 14-year-old Jewish girl from Poland is sent by her family to Israel on the eve of World War II. Her tale is told through the eyes of her granddaughter, who animates her story.

Rocky Horror Picture Show's Barry Bostwick stars in “Dragula,” a coming-of-age musical about a high school senior who overcomes self-esteem issues after attending Bostwick’s amazing drag performance.

A tenacious young girl struggles with a boy and his darkest demons as she tries to free him from his troubled way of life.

The Gunfighter
In the tradition of classic Westerns, a narrator sets up the story of a lone gunslinger who walks into a saloon. However, the people in this saloon can hear the narrator and the narrator is a bit of a jerk.

In The Clouds
The difference between how we think romance should work and how it actually does is at the comedic heart of “En las Nubes” (“In the Clouds”), an exploration of cultural disagreements about intimacy, love, and marriage proposals in the age of YouTube.

The Karman Line
When a mother is affected by a rare condition that causes her to lift off the ground at a slow but ever-increasing rate, her husband and daughter are forced to come to terms with losing her.

One Armed Man
A wealthy cotton gin executive is confronted by a disgruntled former employee demanding the return of an arm lost in the gin's machinery in Oscar-winning writer Horton Foote's chilling drama “One Armed Man.”

A hell-bent bunch of boys break into an abandoned cargo trailer, but their conquest is interrupted when the vehicle's owner unexpectedly returns.

The War Photographers
“The War Photographers” recounts the personal experiences of award-winning photojournalists who risk their lives covering conflict in the world's most dangerous war zones. Intimate interviews and gripping imagery reveal stories of sacrifice, courage and the emotional toll endured by photographers and their subjects.

Professional Animation Shorts

Stan was born with a hell of a problem: an unfortunate resemblance to the devil. Rejected by society, Stan is forced to live a life of solitude. But Stan stays hopeful, creatively seeking connection and persisting despite all odds. Stan's life is destined to change when a strange delivery arrives at his door.

The Looking Planet
During the construction of the universe, a young member of the Cosmos Corps of Engineers decides to break some fundamental laws in the name of self-expression.

An incoming storm transforms a young girl's perspective of the world.

Sunny and Steve: Enjoy the Sweets
This short film tells the humorous tale of an office worker as he struggles with a protective, seemingly innocent bunny on a quest for sweets. In the first episode released for Easter, Sunny revels in every opportunity to keep the Easter eggs from Steve and goes to great lengths to ensure there is no sharing allowed.

My Dearest
An independent animated short about a man's quest to be reunited with the woman he loves.

The Oceanmaker
After the seas have disappeared, a courageous young female pilot fights against vicious sky pirates for control of the last remaining source of water: the clouds.

Two street performers dream of bringing their “Picture and Sound Show” to life. When they discover a magical contraption inside an old theater, they embark on a cinematic adventure of sight and sound, traveling through movie history to find the audience they always wanted.

The Planets
“The Planets” is an intergalactic animated adventure through 12 distinct worlds in which we find plasticine battles, bored sheep, robots in love, ghostly fish and chips, superhero kids and lots of other shenanigans. These bizarre, creepy and often hilarious planets give us a glimpse into an undiscovered part of outer space while mirroring how we spend our lives on planet Earth.

Student Shorts Block A

Snow Boat
A man lives on a lonely ice world with only a snow woman for company. One day, the sun threatens to melt everything he holds dear, and escape is the only option. Bringing the snow woman with him, he sets out on a journey of destruction and rebirth.

The Storyteller
A deer finds solace telling stories to his forest friends. When the encroaching city disturbs their peace, the hopeful storyteller decides to bring his magic to the people. His world is about to change.

A Toast To Our Youth
A coming-of-age road trip leads to a struggle between innocence and pride.

Lambing Season
“Lambing Season” tells the offbeat tale of Bridget, an American woman who travels to the Irish countryside to track down her long-lost father while posing as a stranger. On a sheep farm full of secrets, nature has its way of delivering the truth.

An introverted photo enthusiast, tormented by local bullies, is faced with a test of courage when his ailing grandfather's camera is stolen and placed at the top of a fire tower.

Sweet Corn
Bong-Moo, an old, stubborn farmer, takes extraordinary measures to save his corn field and gets surprising results.

The Gravedigger's Tale
The gravedigger leads a solitary existence, so far from the living, yet so close to the dead. Her loneliness is soothed every night by a haunting melody that floats in from the edge of the forest. It is death himself who serenades her. This is their love story.

Student Shorts Block B

This short film explores the birth, conquests and legacy of Thundercluck, the viking chicken with the power of thunder.

Clyde Thompson lives in isolation in a crumbling New Orleans, Louisiana, apartment, where he spends his days listening to conspiracy radio programs. Then, he discovers a mysterious tunnel running beneath his living room — and what he finds at the end of the passageway changes his life forever.

When 18-year-old Jesse returns home from an eating disorder clinic, he discovers that adjusting to life outside of the program may be more difficult than he expected.

A doctor struggles with his professional obligations as he attempts to diagnose a little girl's alarming symptoms on the eve of a viral outbreak.

Little Shadow
A teenage boy takes a detour before going home with his father, a soldier returning from a tour of duty. The father attempts to teach the boy how to deal with his peers and women, only to leave him to fend for himself among a group of older kids.

The Pinewood Man
After his wife leaves him, Frank uses his son's pinewood derby race to prove to everyone that he is not only a man, but “The Pinewood Man.”

“Simorgh” interprets the Persian poem “The Conference of the Birds” by Farid ud-Din Attar as a choreographic piece incorporating Persian music, calligraphic art and ornament designs to tell the traditional Persian story of life and the fragility of self worth.

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