Savannah Film Festival kicks off - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah Film Festival kicks off

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

The 16th annual Savannah Film Festival kicks off Saturday with the a screening of Nebraska, a film that critics say will more than likely be nominated for an Oscar.  

58 films have been entered into this year's competition, entries coming from people overseas and even local students at SCAD. 

Over the next 8 days, the films will be judged in several different categories and are competing to win more than $80,000. There are also workshops and special screenings going on this week.

Alexander Payne will receive the Outstanding Achievement in Cinema Award.  Game of Throne's Natalie Dormer will receive the Discovery Award.

Alec Baldwin is expected to showcase his new documentary called "Seduced and Abandoned.

"This is an opportunity to bring those professionals and our students together," said Danny Filson, Executive Director of the Savannah Film Festival. "It creates internships, it creates real jobs. For the city of Savannah, it's a great showcase; it is a fantastic destination."

A handful of SCAD students entered the festival but even those students who didn't enter the festival are also benefiting.

"You get to meet so many awesome people and it's awesome to be a part of it," said Leslie Martin, SCAD student.  

"It's not so much what I have to say but the energy that the students bring," said Alexander Payne, Outstanding Achievement in Cinema Award recipient.  

SCAD students can volunteer and be a part of the film festival, an opportunity that some say is priceless.

"Freshman year I was talking to Nick Patterson not realizing he was the guy who wrote the screenplay for the new Bridge to Terabitha movie and his mom wrote the book," said Martin.

This is Martin's fifth and final year being able to participate as a student but she knows her experience will help jumpstart her career.

"I'm kind of sad about that but I'm still excited to go out into the world," said Martin.  

 Many students are already making a good impression on the professionals in the industry.

"I think they brought out of me things that I, myself would have liked to hear perhaps when I was in film school," said Payne.

To purchase tickets you can log on to www.savannahfilmfestival.com

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