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SCAD Savannah Film Festival Prizes Go to ‘Killing Eleanor,’ ‘Kusasa’

SCAD Savannah Film Festival Announces 2020
Courtesy SCAD Savannah Film Festival

The 23rd annual SCAD Savannah Film Festival has announced this year’s competition award winners. Best narrative feature went to “Killing Eleanor,” while “Kusasa” won best documentary feature. “My Brother’s Keeper” won the Jury Award for exceptional storytelling.

A key stop on the festival circuit leading up to the Academy Awards, SCAD screened more than 150 films ranging from narrative features to documentaries and shorts with 14 world premieres.

Thirty-three awards were announced from the 122 films selected to compete in the categories of narrative features, documentary features, professional shorts, animated shorts, student shorts, Global Shorts Forum, Shorts Spotlight and Southern Voices.

“Killing Eleanor,” directed by Rich Newey, is about a terminally ill elderly woman who convinces a self-destructive addict to help her die on her terms in exchange for clean urine. Meanwhile, “Our Side,” directed by Nicola Rinciari, won best live action short by a SCAD student. The story follows an African caregiver named Adillah living in Sicily whose visa is rendered invalid due to new law changes. As a result, she is forced to choose between prioritizing herself or the man in her care.

The festival and competition, which will wrap up Saturday, provides SCAD students the opportunity to connect with entertainment industry leaders through master classes, coffee talks, lectures, workshops and panel discussions. This year, the SCAD Savannah Film Festival received more than 1,700 submissions for the competition film series.

COMPLETE LIST — 2020 SCAD SAVANNAH FILM FESTIVAL AWARD WINNERS

Professional Competition
“Kusasa:” Best Documentary Feature. Directed by Shane Vermooten.
“Killing Eleanor:” Best Narrative Feature. Directed by Rich Newey.
“The Seeker:” Best Professional Short. Directed by Lance Edmands.
“To the Dusty Sea:” Best Animated Short. Directed by Héloïse Ferlay.
Benjamin Schwartz (“Chuck Connelly Into the Light”): Best Director
“Free Color:” Best Editing. Directed by Alberto Arvelo.
Matthew Mitchell (“The Seeker”): Best Cinematography
“My Brother’s Keeper:” Jury Award for Exceptional Storytelling. Directed by Laurence Topham.
Bill Heck (“Small Town Wisconsin”): Jury Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role. Directed by Niels Mueller.

Student Competition
“Our Side:” Best Live Action Short by a SCAD Student. Directed by Nicola Rinciari.
“The Mandrake:” Best Animated Short by a SCAD Student. Directed by Quincy Baltes
“Gunpowder:” Best Student Animation and Student Shorts Best of Show. Directed by Romane Faure, Nathanael Perron, Léa Detrain, Benoît de Geyer d’Orth, Pei-Hsuan Lin, and Anne-Lise Kubiak.
“Unfinished Lives:” Best Student Live Action Short. Directed by Yucong Chen.
“The Light Breaks:” Jury Award for Creative Storytelling with Social Impact. Directed by Hailey French.
“Un Diable dans la Poche:” Jury Award for Excelling in Animation. Directed by Antoine Bonnet and Mathilde Loubes.

Global Shorts Forum
“American Dream:” Best Global Short: Black Voices and Global Shorts Forum Best of Show. Directed by Nicolas Polixene and Sylvain Loubet.
“Adnan:” Best Global Short: Far from Home. Directed by Steven Chatterton and Mark Arrigo.
“Kim:” Best Global Short: HER Story. Directed by Maria Vattimo.
“WhateverTree:” Best Global Short: One Planet. Directed by Isaac King.
“Grab My Hand: A Letter to My Dad:” Global Shorts Forum Jury Award for Exceptional Storytelling. Directed by Camrus Johnson and Pedro Piccinini.
“How Far Is Home:” Global Shorts Forum Honorable Mention. Directed by Apo W. Bazidi.

Shorts Spotlight
“Steam!:” Shorts Spotlight Best of Show. Directed by Jeffrey D. Simon.
“Blackfeet Boxing: Not Invisible:” Shorts Spotlight Best Short: Overcoming Obstacles. Directed by Kristen Lappas and Tom Rinaldi.
“Under the Lights:” Shorts Spotlight Best Short: Trigger Warnings. Directed by Miles Levin.
“I Want to Make a Film About Women:” Shorts Spotlight Best Short: Pride Parade. Directed by Karen Pearlman.
“Trois Francs Six Sous:” Shorts Spotlight Best Short: Animated Gems. Directed by Clémence Ottevaere, Florence Blain, Louise Leblond, Varoon Indalkar, Morgane Ladjel, and Hugo Valdelièvre-Rattier.
“Influx:” Shorts Spotlight Jury Award for Exceptional Filmmaking. Directed by Daniel Uribe.
“Tales from the Multiverse:” Shorts Spotlight Jury Award for Most Innovative Short. Directed by Magnus I. Møller.
“100,000 Acres of Pine:” Shorts Spotlight Jury Award for Outstanding Storytelling. Directed by Jennifer Alice Wright.

Southern Voices
“Huntsville Station:” Southern Voices Best of Show. Directed by Jamie Meltzer and Chris Filippone.
“They Say I’m Your Teacher:” Southern Voices Jury Award for Profound Storytelling. Directed by Lucy Massie Phenix and Catherine Murphy.