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Sept. 10 - Savannah Film Alliance Announces Eight Honorees for Upcoming Inaugural Gala

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

September 10, 2019 - The Savannah Film Alliance (SFA) has chosen eight outstanding local professionals from Savannah’s thriving film and television community to be honored at the inaugural SFA Honors Gala, slated for Saturday, Sept. 28, at Victory North, 2603 Whitaker St.

The star-studded event has a theme of “Old Hollywood” and is open to the public. Attendees can expect a night of “Lights! Camera! Action!” at the gala, intended as a glamorous and high-profile new event on Savannah’s social calendar. The entertainment community will pull out all the stops that evening, evoking classic Hollywood with lights, a red carpet, live music – even paparazzi.

The honorees being recognized that night include:

  • Nora Clark, a production coordinator with credits on at least six film and television projects, now at work on a documentary about the life of Chicago tap dance legend Bril Barrett;
  • John Grace, who has worked as director of photography and camera operator on theatrical features and commercials, including work for ABC, NBC, CBS, HBO, ESPN, PBS and Walt Disney Studios, among many others. He is also a faculty member of the Georgia Film Academy and teaches technical production classes at Savannah Technical College;
  • Genevieve Hawkins, with credits as a production and location coordinator, has worked on such Savannah-filmed projects as “Lizzie,” “Peanut Butter Falcon,” “The Act,” and “Council of Dads”;
  • Amanda Kulkoski, documentarian, cinematographer, and film professor at Savannah College of Art and Design;
  • Witt Lacy is an assistant director who has worked with a variety of productions before setting up base in Savannah to work on “Underground,” “Poison Rose,” “Lady and the Tramp,” and “The Glorias,” among others;
  • William Martin, documentarian, cinematographer, and educator, has 15 years of production experience in television news;
  • Buck Meeks, location services and period actor, first worked in period costume locally 30 years ago in the filming of “Glory”;
  • Anthony Paderewski, whose background includes a wide array of roles in the film industry, including photographer, acting coach, producer, location scout, location manager and actor.

“The local entertainment industry adds so much to Savannah, enriching our culture and tremendously boosting our economy,” said Charles Bowen, founder of the SFA. “Yet many of the people who work so hard in the field are laboring under the radar, unrecognized and unheralded. The Savannah Film Alliance chose to remedy that by starting a tradition of recognizing our local talent.”

The event also offers an opportunity to offset the negative attention that has been spurred by Georgia’s adoption of anti-abortion legislation and the resulting threat that the entertainment industry will boycott the state should that legislation be enforced, Bowen said. “This is a chance to put the focus back onto all of the positive and fun aspects of the movie and television industry,” he said.

A cross-section of the local entertainment industry selected the inaugural class of honorees, each of whom will receive beautiful trophies at the event. Their accomplishments and the recognition of the breadth and health of Savannah’s professional film community will be at the core of the upcoming celebration. Victory North, where the gala will be held, is a distinctive new event space in Savannah’s charming Starland District.

In addition to saluting these honorees, the event will showcase the best of the local entertainment scene and will celebrate its role in our local economy. Last year, the entertainment industry was responsible for $120 million in direct spending in the Savannah Area, according to the Savannah Regional Film Commission.

Tickets to the inaugural gala are $75 for general admission or $150 for VIP admission. To learn more and buy tickets, please visit www.savannahfilmalliance.org.

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