Savannah Film Fest: Directors of 10 Top Docs Set for Hollywood Reporter Panel

Savannah Film Fest photo compilation - Publicity Stills - Split - H 2019
Courtesy of Films

Ten of 2019's top documentary features will be represented by their directors on the SCAD Savannah Film Festival's 'Docs to Watch' panel, which, for the sixth year in a row, will be presented by The Hollywood Reporter and moderated by yours truly. The one-of-a-kind gathering will take place at SCAD's Lucas Theatre on the afternoon of Friday, Nov. 1.

Headed to Georgia for the panel will be Steven Bognar on behalf of American Factory (Netflix); Todd Douglas Miller on behalf of Apollo 11 (Neon); John Chester on behalf of The Biggest Little Farm (Neon); Feras Fayyad on behalf of The Cave (NatGeo); Oscar winner Asif Kapadia (Amy) on behalf of Diego Maradona (HBO); Lauren Greenfield on behalf of The Kingmaker (Showtime); Rachel Lears on behalf of Knock Down the House (Netflix); Alex Holmes on behalf of Maiden (Sony Classics); Nanfu Wang on behalf of One Child Nation (Amazon); and Richard Ladkani on behalf of Sea of Shadows (NatGeo).

The panel, which will run for 90 minutes, will be recorded and air exclusively on THR's website shortly after it takes place. (The website currently offers video of the panels from 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018; in four of those five years, the eventual best documentary feature Oscar winner was among the panelists.)

The SCAD Savannah Film Festival, which is held on the Savannah campus of the Savannah College of Art and Design, is the nation's largest university-run film fest. Its 22nd edition is set to run Oct. 26-Nov. 2. In recent years, under the oversight of artistic director Christina Routhier, the event, long known for its beautiful setting and Southern hospitality, has also become an important stop on the awards circuit, drawing as guests top Oscar contenders (e.g. Damien Chazelle, Aaron Sorkin), international stars (e.g. John Boyega, Robert Pattinson) and living legends (e.g. Stan Lee, Gena Rowlands).

At last year's festival, which drew some 63,000 people, the lineup included 18 films that went on to receive Oscar nominations, including eventual best picture winner Green Book. This year's lineup includes a whole new batch of awards hopefuls, including The Aeronauts (Amazon), A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony), Clemency (Neon), Harriet (Focus), A Hidden Life (Fox Searchlight), Honey Boy (Amazon), Just Mercy (Warner Bros.), Knives Out (Lionsgate), Motherless Brooklyn (Warner Bros.), Pain and Glory (Sony Classics), Parasite (Neon), Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Neon), The Report (Amazon), Seberg (Amazon), The Truth (IFC) and Waves (A24).

Other titles will be announced Oct. 1, and honorees and guests will follow soon after.