|The 2014 Savannah Film Festival honorees clockwise from top left:
Gena Rowlands, Matt Bomer, Analeigh Tipton, Asa Butterfield
Out of all of Georgia’s film festivals—and there are now more than ever—the Savannah Film Festival is the most star-studded. Every year, a bevy of Hollywood’s biggest and brightest names come to Georgia’s first city to showcase their work and be honored by the now 17-year-old film festival. Last year, Jeremy Irons, Alexander Payne, Natalie Dormer and Abigail Breslin were honorees. Gena Rowlands, Matt Bomer, Analeigh Tipton and Asa Butterfield are this year’s special award winners.
Two-time Academy Award nominee Gena Rowlands has had an incredible career, starring in films like “Gloria,” “A Woman Under the Influence” and more recently, “The Notebook.” Receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award, Rowlands will perform a Q&A after a special presentation of “Six Dance Lessons In Six Weeks” and will be joined by her son, director Nick Cassavetes, for a Q&A following a screening of “The Notebook.”
Television star Matt Bomer (“White Collar”) has made an impressive leap to feature films and will receive the Spotlight Award from the festival. He will perform a Q&A following a special presentation of the monumental HBO film “The Normal Heart.” Bomer is currently in Savannah filming “Magic Mike XXL” and will also appear in “The Nice Guys” with Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, currently filming in Atlanta.
Two young actors will receive Rising Star Awards—Asa Butterfield and Analeigh Tipton. Butterfield has starred in “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” “Hugo” and “Ender’s Game.” Tipton’s credits include “Crazy Stupid Love,” “Lucy” and Savannah Film Festival official selection “Two Night Stand” with frequent guest and former award-recipient Miles Teller.
I expect Teller to make an appearance, as he has attended every year since he received the Discovery Award in 2010 for his film “Rabbit Hole” and he stars in two festival selections this year, “Two Night Stand” and the highly-buzzed “Whiplash.” It is obviously that the festival is hoping Channing Tatum will show up, seeing as he is in two films this year—”Foxcatcher” and “Book of Life 3D”—and he is currently in Savannah filming “Magic Mike XXL.” Joe Manganiello and Adam Rodriguez from the film will join Matt Bomer in attendance. “The Walking Dead” star and frequent festival guest Norman Reedus will also attend.
Renee Zellweger was announced to be a Spotlight Award recipient but was forced to cancel her appearance due to scheduling conflicts. Last year, Terrance Stamp was forced to cancel his Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance due to filming obligations.
I heard early rumors that Virginia Madsen, Emmy Rossum, Courteney Cox and Sean William Scott were expected to appear during the festival, but have not been announced or confirmed.