Award-winning filmmaker and Savannah native Deborah Riley Draper kicks off the SSU Indie Film Fest this Saturday

The SSU Indie Film Festival kicks off on April 21, 2018 with the screening of the NAACP Image Award nominated documentary Olympic Pride, American Prejudice.  Written and directed by award-winning filmmaker and Savannah, GA native Deborah Riley Draper (Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution) and narrated by Blair Underwood, Olympic Pride will be screened at 4:00PM at the Torian Auditorium located at at 3219 College Street, Savannah, GA 31404.

The screening is free and open to the public.

“As a filmmaker, I am inspired and eager to shine light on the untold and intentionally and unintentionally dismissed stories, voices and characters that make up the rich tapestry of African American history. Olympic Pride, American Prejudice follows 18 African Americans who are little known but the impact of their efforts at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin is a seminal moment in civil rights, the integration of sports and the use of sports as a social justice platform. It’s an unbelievable story and we are honored to tell it,” says Writer/Director Deborah Riley Draper.

A Q&A session with Ms. Riley Draper will follow the screening.

View the trailer for the film at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97Icc35DJPM


How was Savannah? ‘Gemini Man’ production talks ‘wonderful’ city, and hope for a return

April 12 is the last day of shooting in Georgia for “Gemini Man,” the film most of Savannah has been talking about since it set up shop a number of weeks ago. The film, which stars Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Clive Owen, is moving production to Colombia and Hungary, but wanted to leave the Hostess City with their impression of the town so multiple members of the production took the time to answer questions from the Savannah Morning News.

What made you all decide on Savannah as the filming location?

Savannah had everything (the) production was looking for, as well as terrific infrastructure, great assistance from the Savannah Film Office, as well as city and state authorities, talented local crew, and fine housing for cast and crew. It’s a wonderful place to make a feature film.

What have the interactions with locals who have shown up while you all have been filming scenes been like?

Local people have been consistently and genuinely polite, friendly, kind and hospitable, as well as very patient and understanding. We could not ask for more. #GeminiMan

Read here the Full Savannah Morning News Article


Variety Reports: Savannah’s 10% Rebate Sweetens Georgia’s Transferrable Tax Credit

Bustling Atlanta may be the third-largest production center in the U.S. (after L.A. and New York), but the coastal Georgia city of Savannah offers far more charming allures for producers looking to shoot amidst cobblestone streets, green parks and historic buildings – not to mention in the haunting Bonaventure Cemetery, made famous by the novel and film “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” Plus, the city provides a 10% rebate on qualified film and TV spend on top of Georgia’s already generous 20-30% transferable tax credit.

To qualify, films must be budgeted at $1.75 million or higher. Qualifying TV series must include a minimum of five episodes.

The minimum spend must be $500,000 per film; $500,000 is also required of TV, per season. There’s a project cap of $150,000 for film and $250,000 for TV, per calendar year. In addition, at least 60% of the filming days must take place in Chatham County, where Savannah is located.

Recent projects shot in Savannah include “The Front Runner” (2018), “Baywatch” (2017), “Gifted” (2017), “Live By Night” (2016), “The Birth of a Nation” (2016), “Z: The Beginning of Everything” (TV Series, 2015 to present), “Magic Mike XXL” (2015), “The Legend of Bagger Vance” (2000), “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” (1997), “Forrest Gump” (1994), “Cape Fear” (1991) and “Glory” (1989).

Information courtesy of EP Financial Solutions, a production incentive consulting and financial services company.



The Golden Tiger Film Society host the 4th SSU Indie Film Festival

Film submission period open until March 31, 2018

The 4th SSU Indie Film Fest submission period is now open for everyone worldwide until March 31, 2018.  Filmmakers can submit films to these 5 categories: Music Video, Horror/Sci-fi, Comedy, Documentary and Drama.

Submit films completed after January 1, 2016.  Films can be from 3 to 15 minutes. (Any films longer than time limit will be disqualified.)  Please no nudity in films and limit the profanity in the films as well. Films must be in English and the entry Fee: $10 and $5 for students.  Films can be submitted at https://filmfreeway.com/SSUIndieFilmFestival.

The 4th SSU Indie Film Festival will be held April 24-26, 2018 at 6pm at Savannah State University Student Union Ballroom. Experience movies from around the world and find out more info at http://ssuindiefilmfest.weebly.com/.

For more information contact Kareem McMichael, co-coordinator and festival director, at 912-358-3352 or email: ssuindf@gmail.com and follow us on social media, Facebook: SSU Indie Film Fest and Instagram: @ssufilmfest.

The SSU Indie Film Festival is produced by The Golden Tiger Film Society which is a group that was created to engage students in the SSU Journalism and Mass Communications (JMC) department to get involved in producing films. The festival and group was started by Tracy Haynes, Tina Brown, and Kareem McMichael.

The JMC department offers 3 tracks for majors to concentrate in and they are audio & video, public relations & advertising, and online journalism.  In addition to the University of Georgia, Savannah State University’s Department of Mass Communications is the only program in the State of Georgia that is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC). The department has been accredited since 2007.



The Poison Rose, a low budget independent feature film is currently hiring for all union positions plus production assistants. Must be local to the Savannah Area.  Email resumes to poisonroseresumes@gmail.com with your desired position and department in the subject line.


Tybee-shot movie ‘Galveston’ set for premiere at SXSW Festival

Tybee is the new Texas! SXSW film festival has announced its 2018 lineup – including ‘Galveston’ which was filmed on Tybee Island and around the Savannah Area last year!


Read the Savannah Morning News article


Entertainment industry contributes $137 million to Savannah economy in 2017 – Savannah Now

Savannah’s tree-lined squares and cobblestone streets have welcomed their share of fictional characters over the years.

The growth continued in 2017 with the industry contributing $137 million in economic impact to Chatham County, spread across 260 projects, including 12 feature films, 23 television projects, 13 commercials and 161 student projects, according to the recently released annual Savannah Area Film Office report.

“We had some big projects that have a lot of appeal that we’ll find out about as they’re released and a lot of local people working, which is really the most important thing. We’re trying to get local crew here working and local businesses involved,” she said.

“I feel like I saw a lot of growth in businesses and vendors and their understanding of the industry. They are learning and getting a lot of business and that’s wonderful.”

“I want people to understand what that means and it means jobs for local people, not just people from Hollywood coming in, making their movie and then leaving. We have so many local people that work on film productions, so many local businesses that provide good and services to these productions and benefits,” Nelson said.

Having adequate sound stage space is critical to landing a television series, which remains a top goal for the film office. Series typically stay longer, often returning year after year, which also means they spend more and that allows the local crew base to grow and become even more sustainable.

“If we do not create sound stage space then we’re going to simply end up being great for location shots and doing location filming, which is fine, but we definitely don’t want to rest on just doing location shots,” Tollison said, adding that looking to the future a direct flight from Savannah to Los Angeles would also be a huge win for the industry.

“We want to have the whole thing here, pre-production, post-production; obviously the entire production cycle and for us to do that in the Savannah market we need more sound stage space.”

Read the full article here.

By Katie Nussbaum – katie.nussbaum@savannahnow.com



AFCI Announces 2018 Board of Directors and Newly Certified Film Commissioners

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.Jan. 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) today announced its 2018 Board of Directors, as well as the latest crop of film commissioners worldwide to earn AFCI Certification…

…The latest AFCI members to earn Certified Film Commissioner (CFC) status by completing the AFCI University Certified Film Commissioner Program.

The following five members from Austria, the United Arab Emirates and the United States have earned AFCI certification:

  • Jassim Al Nowais, Abu Dhabi Film Commission
  • Ann Griesser, Cine Tirol
  • Jennifer Jzyk, Santa Clarita Film Office
  • Beth Nelson, Savannah Area Film Office
  • George Norfleet, Connecticut Office of Film, TV & Digital Media.

In all, there are currently 50 AFCI Certified Film Commissioners representing film offices from across the globe.

Read the full article here.


Mountainfilm on Tour Savannah is happening this week!

This year’s ninth annual Mountainfilm on Tour – Savannah features over 30 inspiring, thought-provoking and adventure-seeking films

Here is the 2018 schedule and events

Get your tickets online here 



The feature film, Backtrace, is now hiring. Please send resumes to Backtracecrew@gmail.com.  Please include your department and desired position in the subject line for all applications.