Lights, Camera, Savannah

As if you needed one, here’s another reason to visit this wonderful Georgia town.

The street comes alive as moviegoers make their way to the historic Trustees Theater.

Movie lovers need not take a bus to Hollywood. You can meet big stars, rub elbows with famous directors, and see new flicks at the Savannah Film Festival October 31-November 7, 2009.

This town is quite familiar with the film industry. Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) offers degrees in cinema studies and occasionally assists production teams when they come to town. So it seemed only logical that the school start its own film festival.

Now in its eleventh year, the festival starts off with a street party on opening night. Then you’ll enjoy a variety of feature-length, documentary, independent, student, and animated works.

The main feature plays in the beautifully restored Trustees Theater. It boasts a state-of-the-art sound system, which guarantees a great experience from front-row center to rear balcony. The delightful historic Lucas Theatre for the Arts serves as the other venue.

Whether you are a filmmaker or just a motion picture buff, take advantage of the workshops. Industry professionals give you the who, what, when, and where of the business.

Don’t forget to people-watch during the festival. Chances are you’ll see more than just friendly locals. Celebrity attendees have included Peter O’Toole, Kathleen Turner, Rosanna Arquette, and the ever-critical Roger Ebert.

Mr. Ebert says he reserves his ratings for movies only, but if he gave thumbs-ups to film festivals, we bet Savannah’s would get one.

Savannah Film Festival: October 28-November 4; (912) 525-5051 or www.scad.edu/filmfest.