SCAD Announces Line-Up And Honorees For 2015 Savannah Film Festival

Alfie Allen, Meg Ryan and Olivia Wilde to receive honors; Festival presents "An Evening with Saoirse Ronan"; "Dixieland," "Ithaca," "Legend," "Meadowland" and "Spotlight" added to Gala Screenings; Docs to Watch, Conversation series and Competition Screenings announced

SAVANNAH, Ga., Oct. 1, 2015 — (PRNewswire) —  The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is pleased to announce honorees, guests and the rest of its film line-up for the 2015 Savannah Film Festival. Meg Ryan will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award; Olivia Wilde will receive the Spotlight Award; and Alfie Allen will receive a Rising Star Award. The festival will host a special "An Evening with Saoirse Ronan" following a screening of her film "Brooklyn."  In addition, the festival will hold a Conversation Series, which will include director Marc Abraham and actress Elizabeth Olsen ("I Saw the Light"), director Catherine Hardwicke ("Miss You Already"), director Sarah Gavron and producer Alison Owen ("Suffragette") and composer David Lang ("Youth").  The festival will be held in downtown Savannah, Georgia, and runs from Saturday, Oct. 24 to Saturday, Oct. 31.

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Alfie Allen will receive the Rising Star Award on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Allen currently stars in HBO's smash hit series "Game of Thrones." His film work includes "Soulboy," "The Kid," "Freestyle," "Powder," "Confine," "Plastic," "John Wick," "Atonement," "You Are Here" and "Elizabeth."

Meg Ryan will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award on Thursday, Oct. 29. Her film "Ithaca," which marks her directorial debut, will screen in the festival. Her film credits include "When Harry Met Sally," "Sleepless in Seattle," "You've Got Mail," "Courage Under Fire," "When a Man Loves a Woman," "Promised Land," "Serious Moonlight," "The Women," ""In the Land of Women," "City of Angels," "Addicted to Love," "French Kiss," "Against the Ropes," "In the Cut," "Kate and Leopold," "Proof of Life," "Hurlyburly," "I.Q.," "Anastasia," "Joe Versus the Volcano," "The Doors," "Prelude to a Kiss," "Flesh and Bone" and "Restoration."

Olivia Wilde will receive the Spotlight Award on Opening Night, Saturday, Oct. 24. Her film "Meadowland," which Wilde produced and stars in, will screen at the festival and the film's director, Reed Morano, will also attend. Wilde's past film credits include the Oscar-winning drama "Her" and Golden Globe nominated "Rush," among others. Wilde also executive produced and starred in the critically-acclaimed indie comedy "Drinking Buddies." Wilde has also served as executive producer on several documentary films. Her most recent documentary short, "Body Team 12," premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and went on to win the award for Best Documentary Short. It will screen during the Savannah Film Festival in the Documentary Shorts Competition. In early 2016, Wilde will return to television with the highly-anticipated rock 'n' roll drama "Vinyl" for HBO. She previously starred on FOX's hit medical drama "House."

The festival hosts a Conversation Series, which are moderated discussions with directors, actors and below-the-line whose films are receiving awards attention.

"An Evening with Saoirse Ronan" will take place on Sunday, Oct. 25 following a screening of the Fox Searchlight film "Brooklyn." Ronan is best known for her starring role in the feature film "Atonement," directed by Joe Wright, in which she starred opposite Keira Knightley and James McAvoy. Ronan was 13 years old when she earned an Oscar nomination as well as Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for the critically-acclaimed performance. Her other roles include "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "Stockholm, Pennsylvania," "Lost River," "The Host," "Justin and the Knights of Valour," "How I Live Now," "Byzantium," "Hanna," The Way Back" and "The Lovely Bones." She is currently in production on the movie adaptation of Anton Chekhov's "The Seagull" directed by Michael Mayer. In 2016, she will make her stage debut in "The Crucible" on Broadway. She will star as Abigail Williams opposite Ben Wishaw, Sophie Okonedo and Tavi Gevinson.

Also featured in the series will be director Sarah Garvon and producer Alison Owen following a screening of opening night film "Suffragette" on Saturday, Oct. 24; producer/actress Olivia Wilde and director Reed Morano following a screening of opening night film "Meadowland" on Saturday, Oct. 24; actress Riley Keogh following a screening of "Dixieland" on Sunday, Oct. 25; actor Tab Hunter following a screening of "Tab Hunter Confidential" and composer David Lang following a screening of "Youth" on Monday, Oct. 26; director Catherine Hardwicke following a screening of her new film "Miss You Already" on Tuesday, Oct. 27; director/producer/writer James Sadwith on Thursday, Oct. 29 following a screening of "Coming Through the Rye"; and director Marc Abraham and actress Elizabeth Olsen following a screening of "I Saw the Light" on Saturday, Oct. 31.

The following gala screenings have been added to the line-up.

"Dixieland" - Two star-crossed lovers — a young, recently-released and unpredictable ex-con with bad luck, and a sexy, listless girl-next-door with a troubled family — become trapped in a downward spiral of crime and obsessive love as they try to ditch their dead-end town for a better life. A contemporary, low-down story set in the hot lazy days of modern day Mississippi, "Dixieland" is Hank Bedford's feature debut about love and lawlessness but also about the reality of poverty and violence. The film is distributed by IFC Films. Director: Hank Bedford. Cast: Chris Zylka, Riley Keough, Faith Hill and RJ Mitte.

"Ithaca" – In Meg Ryan's directorial debut, 14-year-old Homer Macauley is determined to be the best and fastest bicycle telegraph messenger anyone has ever seen. His older brother has gone to war, leaving Homer to look after his widowed mother, his older sister and his 4-year-old brother, Ulysses. And so it is that as spring turns to summer, 1942, Homer Macauley delivers messages of love, hope, pain...and the good people of Ithaca. And Homer Macauley will grapple with one message that will change him forever. The film is distributed by The Exchange. Director: Meg Ryan. Cast: Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks, Sam Shepard, Jack Quaid, Melanie Griffith, Alex Neustaedter and Christine Nelson.

"Legend" – From Academy Award® winner Brian Helgeland comes the true story of the rise and fall of London's most notorious gangsters, Reggie and Ron Kray, both portrayed by Tom Hardy in an amazing double performance. "Legend" is a classic crime thriller taking us into the secret history of the 1960s and the extraordinary events that secured the infamy of the Kray twins. The film is distributed by Universal Pictures. Director: Brian Helgeland. Cast: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, David Thewlis , Christopher Eccleston , Chazz Palminteri , Tara Fitzgerald and Taron Egerton .

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