SCAD Savannah Film Festival Focuses on Women, Becomes a Contender

by Margaret Gardiner November 3, 2017
Christina Routhier

Christina Routhier

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The SCAD Savannah Film Festival celebrates its 20th year bringing in top talent. Following the concept of ‘if you build it they will come’ and fostering close relationships with a powerful group of industry women, the Savannah College of Arts and Design makes full use of its student body during the film festival to enhance opportunities and relationships.

Festival Artistic Director Christina Routhier explains why  SCAD Savannah Film Festival came to nab its strategic position on the brink of the busy Fall season.  “It’s really hot in Savannah in the summer – October cools off. That was the determining factor. We started small, with maybe 30 to 40 films in competition, not necessarily from the major studios. Over the years it grew so that we now have 133 screenings covering diverse topics from refugees to climate, to women’s issues. Some of the names attending include Kyra Sedgwick, Andrea Riseborough, Salma Hayek Pinault and Aaron Sorkin. Films include Call Me By Your Name, Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool, The Florida Project, I Tonya, Lady Bird and The Shape of Water amongst a host of others."

 SCAD Savannah Film Festival's 2018 focus was Wonder Women, with several panels of women showcasing abilities and diversity in all areas -  Producers, Directors and Below the Line Talent. Students jammed the discussions, gleaning practical advice from women in the trenches. Beyond that, connections were made. Routhier notes that one of her students is working as a PA for a top star and another, who graduated from Production Design, is working on the Super Bowl Half Time Shows with the biggest names in Hollywood. SCAD students shoot their own web series and garnered an Emmy for their show: The Buzz.