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BWW Blog: SCAD Savannah Film Festival – The Passion for Theatre

BWW Blog: SCAD Savannah Film Festival – The Passion for Theatre

This past week I got to experience my second film festival at SCAD. My university runs the largest university run film festival in the world and it only continues to grow. Being a dramatic writing major, screenwriting and playwriting, it is hugely important to me to get to not only see these incredible films that I may not get a chance to ever see in a theater or even on DVD but to get to hear from the honored guests about their creative journeys and their advice to upcoming actors, writers, directors, and more. The SCAD Savannah Film Festival ran from Oct. 27th to November 2nd and I got to see a handful of awe-inspiring films and actors who've been in films, television, and theatre.

The first film I saw was Harriet, which was released in theaters this weekend for the public. It was an inspiring film that made me appreciate Harriet Tubman even more and the lead actress is Cynthia Ervio and one of the supporting actors is Leslie Odom Jr., both theatre legends. Just getting to see those two incredible actors in a film was such a pleasure.

Then I got the immense privilege to listen to the legend Alan Cumming give a talk at our SCAD Museum. Alan Cumming has always been one of my favorite actors and an idol to me. Cabaret and his one-man shows are unlike anything you've ever seen in theatre. His passion for theatre and taking stories and giving air to them for a live audience is exactly what I want to do as a writer.

Another Broadway icon, who just broke out onto the scene, we got to see on many different occasions at the film festival was Beanie Feldstein, who was there for a breakout award and to promote her film Booksmart. I was also lucky to attend a secret screening for just the dramatic writing and film students for her newest film How to Build a Girl and this was the first American screening of the film. The film was incredible, and I advise anyone and everyone to go see it once it comes out next year, because it was one of the best pieces of cinema I have ever witnessed. Her first Broadway role was in Hello Dolly! From April 2017 to January 2018 and I can't wait to see where her theatrical journey goes from here.

Other actors we got to hear talk or see their films who have been involved in theatre were Elisabeth Moss (who was nominated for a Tony for The Heidi Chronicles), Sienna Miller, Daniel Kaluuya, and so many more. Samantha Morton, who hasn't been in much theater, was my absolute favorite to hear from and whom I got a chance to meet afterwards.

I met her a few weeks ago at a convention but getting to talk to her again was the highlight of the festival for me. She is not only the most talented actress, but also the most humble and sweetest person you could ever meet. She truly cares about her fans and loves to talk to them. She, like all the rest of the guests at the festival tried to do, actually wanted to talk to the fans and share advice with them and inspire them in their creative fields and that is the greatest thing someone with even an ounce of power can do for others. Meeting your creative idols and even getting that push to work even harder in your career and to keep going no matter what is the greatest thing I believe you can ever receive and I can't thank her or any of the other honorees enough for what they've done for me and the other students at SCAD.

The other inspiring thing that most of them touched upon was that even though they work in film and television that they love returning to or getting a chance to work in theatre. Nothing is like theatre because you have that instant connection, especially as an actor, with an audience and you can have feedback with the snap of your fingers. You can feed off the energy of the audience and it can change the performance every night depending on their reactions. There is no greater challenge for an actor and that is why they love the thrill of it. You don't get a second chance. Everything is on the line and it is like you are literally fighting for your life. Theatre is so very special and even some of the biggest names in Hollywood kill for a chance to be on a stage, no matter the size, to have that special and unique connection that is so rewarding. There's so much that goes into any kind of production and that's what makes being in a creative field such a wonderful thing, even if you must experience the bumps along the way. Those moments of success and connection are what makes everything worth it and I'm so glad the actors touched upon it. That they would love to do more work in the theatre to get to have that feeling of proudness and immediate feedback that comes with it.

I'm so grateful to my school that we are given opportunities like the film festival to get to see these films and to get to hear and even meet some of these actors that are huge inspirations. I hope that whoever reads this and is going to school or is able to attend any kind of event similar to this that they take the chance and go and see these works of art and to listen to and ask as many questions as they possible can to the guests, whether they are actors, directors, or producers, and find that inspiration to spark the flame of your creativity. You may feel alone or feel like there are so many obstacles piled up in your way to your creative field but getting to go to these events and hearing advice from people who once were in your situation is the most inspiring thing in the world.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Emily Bonifacio