Film showcases and specialty series

A SCAD Savannah Film Festival panel

The SCAD Savannah Film Festival offers the best in independent and major studio films from around the world. From feature-length films to two-minute shorts and everything in between, the festival celebrates cinematic excellence from award-winning and emerging filmmakers. More than 100 competition films are selected from more than 1,500 annual entries, along with dozens of panels, workshops, and special guest interviews led by leading entertainment journalists.

Competitions are held in nine categories, including Narrative Features, Professional Shorts, Student Shorts, Documentary Features, and Animated Shorts, as well as several specialty competition series. The Global Shorts Forum competition presents films with international perspectives that tackle pressing global issues. The Shorts Spotlight competition includes films that transcend traditional filmmaking modes. The Docs to Watch series, hosted by Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter, presents the top 10 documentaries of the year. The festival's Gala Screenings and Signature Screenings feature top and soon-to-be-released films poised for contention in the next Oscar season.

2022 SCAD Savannah Film Festival award winners

Professional competition

  • Best Animated ShortNew Moon, directed by Jeremie Balais, Jeff LeBars, and Raul Domingo
  • Best Documentary FeatureSam Now, directed by Reed Harkness
  • Best Documentary ShortThe Flagmakers, directed by Cynthia Wade and Sharon Liese
  • Best Professional ShortNorth Star, directed by P.J. Palmer
  • Best Narrative FeaturePinball: The Man Who Saved the Game, directed by Austin Bragg and Meredith Bragg
  • Best Director — Reed Harkness, Sam Now
  • Best EditingButterfly in the Sky, edited by Bradford Thomason
  • Jury Award for Animation ExcellenceBlack Slide, directed by Uri Lotan.
  • Jury Award for Best Ensemble CastThe Big Bend, directed by Brett Wagner
  • Jury Award for Excellence in Inspirational StorytellingAfghan Dreamers, directed by David Greenwald
  • Jury Award for Excellence in CinematographyCrows are White, directed by Ahsen Nadeem
  • Jury Award for Comedic ExcellenceMiss Patti, directed by Kate Hamilton and Grasie Mercedes
  • Jury Award for Powerful StorytellingAngola Do You Hear Us? Voices from a Plantation Prison, directed by Cinque Northern

Student competition

  • Best Student ShortThis Wild Abyss, directed by Thomas Mendolia
  • Best Student AnimationThe Soloists, directed by Mehrnaz Abdollahinia, Feben Elias Woldehawariat, Razahk Issaka, Celeste Jamneck, and Yi Liu
  • Student Shorts Jury Award for Artistic ExcellenceMaayanagri (A City of Dreams), directed by Sourab Reddy*

Global Shorts Forum

  • Global Shorts: Best of ShowWax and Wane, directed by Beidi Wang
  • Best Global Short: Of The LandMulsotan — The Rooted, directed by Janantik Shukla*
  • Best Global Short: XXHysterical, directed by April Moreau
  • Global Shorts: Jury Award for Artistic ExcellenceMurmurs of the Jungle, directed by Sohil Vaidya
  • Global Shorts: Jury Award for Unique StorytellingFeeling the Apocalypse, directed by Chen Sing Yap

Shorts Spotlight

  • Shorts Spotlight: Best of ShowBurros, directed by Jefferson Stein
  • Shorts Spotlight Best Short: Amusing PerspectivesChasin' Butterflies, directed by Joshua Harding,* Adam Hobbs, and Matt Klug. 
  • Shorts Spotlight Best Short: Person First Murder Tongue, directed by Ali Sohail Jaura

*SCAD student or alum

Competition series

Animated Shorts

Animation has the ability to delight and excite. These animated films represent the diversity of the process, from simple, hand-drawn figures to stop-motion and digital rendering, showcasing unique storytelling at its finest.

Global Shorts Forum

This collection of more than 30 powerful short films from a variety of international perspectives tackles pressing challenges faced by our global community, including BIPOC topics, homelessness, health, and women's issues.

Narrative Features

From side-splitting comedies to heart-wrenching dramas, the narrative feature films selected represent diversity in storytelling, excellence in acting and directing, and exemplary cinematography and editing.

Shorts Spotlight

These short films transcend the traditional modes of filmmaking with stories that make us laugh, consider the challenges many people face, and change the way we think about the world around us.

Documentary Features

Beyond simple subject matter, documentaries present compelling stories that illuminate and educate audiences in a thought-provoking and timely manner.

Documentary Shorts

In this mesmerizing collection of shorts, filmmakers explore art, history, politics, and personal profiles to offer a captivating panorama of our world.

Professional Shorts

Running the gamut of topics and styles, these short films are selected based on their individual merits in storytelling and execution.

Student Shorts

Student shorts represent emerging visions from a broad range of categories including live action, narrative, documentary, and animation.

Non-competition series

Docs to Watch

This series, hosted by Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter, showcases the top 10 must-see documentaries of the year that are campaigning for Academy Award recognition. Directors participate in post-screening Q&A sessions, culminating in the Docs to Watch: Directors Roundtable.

Gala Screenings

Get an early look at buzzworthy films premiering at the festival or not yet in wide release. In previous years, many have gone on to win Academy Awards, Independent Spirit Awards, and other prestigious accolades.

Signature Screenings

View screenings of selected feature-length films with aspirations for top awards, followed by discussions with the creative talent behind them.

Specialty series

Sketch to Screen: Top Animated Contenders

Hosted by Clayton Davis of Variety, Sketch to Screen highlights the top animated films of the year. Showcasing a broad array of artistic avenues and animation styles, these films tell compelling stories as they contend for Oscar acclaim. Directors participate in post-screening Q&As and join Davis for an Animation Roundtable during the festival.

Panels and Workshops

Panels and workshops are an essential part of the SCAD Savannah Film Festival programming. From software and special effects demonstrations to discussions and panels with industry stars and insiders, knowledge sharing occurs every day of the festival.

Wonder Women

The SCAD Savannah Film Festival honors the achievements and contributions of women in film with panels that focus on directors, producers, and below-the-line talent.

After Dark

The SCAD Savannah Film Festival's home for late night fun and genre fare, these soon-to-be-cult-classics are selected to thrill, scare, and entertain.

In Conversation

Leading entertainment journalists and professionals sit down with SCAD Savannah Film Festival honorees for an intimate conversation about their career highlights.