‘Saltburn,’ ‘American Fiction’ Win 2023 SCAD Savannah Film Fest Audience Awards

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn and Cord Jefferson’s American Fiction took home the top prizes in the inaugural Audience Awards at the 2023 SCAD Savannah Film Festival.

The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) announced Tuesday the audience winners, which were selected by festival attendees, alongside the juried winners of the festival’s 26th annual iteration.

More from The Hollywood Reporter

Oscar-winning Fennell’s Saltburn was the top pick, with the filmmaker appearing in-person to receive the Spotlight Director Award in front of a sold-out screening. American Fiction, the directorial debut of writer and producer Cord Jefferson, was the year’s runner-up and also appeared during the nearly two-week-long event, where he was honored with the Breakthrough Director Award.

A total of 19 awards were announced last Thursday from the 99 films chosen to compete as part of the 2023 festival. There were over 2,100 submissions across competition categories, including Narrative Features, Documentary Features, Professional Shorts, Animated Shorts, Documentary Shorts, Student Shorts, Shorts Spotlight, the Global Shorts Forum, and the inaugural SAVFF LGBTQIA+ Short Film Competition presented by Amazon MGM Studios.

Focused on the need for more inclusive storytelling, the LGBTQIA+ Short Film Competition sees Amazon MGM Studios donating $10,000 for the jury-awarded Best Overall Film and $5,000 for an Audience Award. Films in the program are under 40 minutes in length and represent excellence in storytelling and execution in narrative or documentary formats, reflecting unique insight into LGBTQIA+ themes, issues or ideas.

Overall, this year’s festival screened 167 films, including 51 narrative feature films, 16 documentary feature films and 100 short films, and featured 11 world premieres and four U.S. premieres. It also bestowed a litany of achievement honors on recognizable Hollywood names, including Kevin Bacon, Ava DuVernay, Todd Haynes, Eva Longoria, Jeff Nichols, Greta Lee, Peter Sarsgaard, Cailee Spaeny and George C. Wolfe, among others.

A full list of winners for the 2023 SCAD Savannah Film Festival is below.

Professional Competition

Best Animated Short
Slow Light, directed by Katarzyna Kijek and Przemysław Adamski

Best Director
Smoking Tigers, directed by So Young Shelly Yo

Best Documentary Feature
Bad Press, directed by Rebecca Landsberry-Baker and Joe Peeler

Best Documentary Short Unique Courage
Unique Courage – Mayan Softball Revolution, directed by Michael Zimbalist

Best Documentary Short – Lessons of Hope
Seeds of Change, directed by Maximilian Armstrong

Best Narrative Short
The Old Young Crow, directed by Liam LoPinto

Best Narrative Feature
At The Gates, directed by Augustus Meleo Bernstein

Documentary Shorts
Best of Show – Mayan Softball Revolution, directed by Michael Zimbalist

Student Competition

Best Narrative Student Short
The Fuse, directed by Kevin Haefelin

Best Student Animation
Close Your Eyes, directed by Manon Bérardengo, Audrey Defonte, Léo Depoix, Denis Koessler, Clémentine Laurent, Pierre Guislain, and Chloé Boursier

Best Student Documentary Short
Just Jacob., directed by Halle Losordo (SCAD Student Film)

Documentary Shorts Jury Award – The Local Hero Award: Lessons of Hope
God’s Love Split (SCAD Student Film)

Student Animated Shorts Jury Award – Excellence in 2D Animation
The Sun Is Bad, directed by Rachel Mow (SCAD Student Film)

Student Narrative Shorts Jury Award – Excellence in Directing and Acting
Blue Hour, directed by J.D. Shields

Global Shorts Forum

Global Shorts Forum Best of Show
Our Males and Females, directed by Ahmad Alyaseer

Best Global Short: Beyond Identity
Hafekasi, directed by Annelise Hickey

Best Global Short: Rocking the Cradle of Civilization
In the Garden of Tulips, directed by Julia Elihu

Shorts Spotlight

Shorts Spotlight Best of Show
Mira, directed by Eva Louise Hall

Best Shorts Spotlight: A Kaleidoscope of Connections
Tom & Cinda, directed by Eva Neuwirth

Best Shorts Spotlight: Family Fun
Morning Joy, directed by John Henry Hinkel

Best Shorts Spotlight: Horrors in Plain Sight
Mira, directed by Eva Louise Hall

Shorts Spotlight Jury Award: Excellence in Craftsmanship
Lovebugs, directed by Teddy Alvarez-Nissen

SAVFF LGBTQIA+ Short Film Competition Presented by Amazon MGM Studios

Best LGBTQIA+ Short
100% USDA Certified Organic Homemade Tofu, directed by Gbenga Komolafe

Audience Award Winner
Fanatic, directed by Taran Killam

Best of The Hollywood Reporter

Click here to read the full article.