Meet this year's honorees.

By Rachel Yang
Updated October 22, 2020 at 12:48 PM EDT
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Yahya Abdul-Mateen II just keeps winning.

The actor, who recently scored an Emmy for Watchmen, will receive the Distinguished Performance Award at the 23rd SCAD Savannah Film Festival in October, the Savannah College of Art and Design announced.

Other 2020 honorees also include Ethan Hawke, Millie Bobby Brown, Rachel Brosnahan, Delroy Lindo, Jennifer Hudson, and Glen Keane, who will be celebrated at the festival taking place virtually from Oct. 24 to Oct. 31. The festival later added three more names to the list of honorees: Samuel L. Jackson, Tessa Thompson, and Steven Yeun. And on Oct. 22, SCAD announced that Billy Crystal will receive this year's Lifetime Achievement Award.

The largest university-run film festival in the country will honor Brosnahan and Lindo with the Spotlight Award; Brown with the Maverick Award; Hawke with the Outstanding Achievement in Entertainment Award; Hudson with the Virtuoso Award; Keane with the Lifetime Achievement in Animation Award; Jackson with the Legend of Cinema Award; Thompson with the Vanguard Award; and Yeun with the Discovery Award.

Additional honorees will be announced prior to the festival.

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Entertainment Weekly returns as media partner to help curate this year's programming and moderate select talent panels. EW will host two exclusive panels: Entertainment Weekly's Women Who Kick Ass Panel and Entertainment Weekly's Breaking Big Panel and Awards. Panelists will be announced prior to the festival. Exclusive photo and video content will be available on EW.com and EW's social platforms.

Abdul-Mateen recently won his first Emmy for Outstanding Support Actor in a Limited Series for his role as Doctor Manhattan in HBO's Watchmen, and he can be seen in upcoming films like Nia DaCosta's Candyman and Aaron Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7. Brosnahan has won an Emmy and two Golden Globes for starring as Midge Maisel in Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and stars in Amazon Studio's I’m Your Woman out later this year.

Sharing the Spotlight Award with Brosnahan is Lindo, who's known for his collaborations with director Spike Lee on films such as Malcolm X, Crooklyn, and most recently, Da 5 Bloods. Brown is a Netflix favorite, starring in the streamer's popular Stranger Things series as well as the new flick Enola Holmes, which she also produced.

Hawke, a four-time Oscar-nominated actor, writer, and director with a career spanning three decades, can next be seen in Blumhouse Television and Showtime’s The Good Lord Bird.

Keane is a 38-year veteran of Walt Disney Feature Animation and has animated iconic Disney characters in films including The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Tarzan, as well as the Oscar-winning film Dear Basketball in collaboration with Kobe Bryant, and the upcoming film Over the Moon.

Grammy winner Hudson, who also earned an Academy Award for her role as Effie in Dreamgirls, will portray Aretha Franklin in the upcoming biopic Respect.

Jackson, who has more than 100 film credits to his name including his Oscar-nominated performance in Pulp Fiction, will appear in next year's Spiral costarring Chris Rock.

Westworld star Thompson can soon be seen in Sylvie’s Love, which she produced alongside co-star Nnamdi Asomugha.

Former Walking Dead favorite Yeun stars in Sundance hit Minari.

The Tony and Emmy Award-winning Crystal is being honored for his legendary body of work, including beloved films like When Harry Met Sally, City Slickers, and Analyze This; his time as a cast member on Saturday Night Live; his stint as a nine-time Oscar host; and more. Crystal can now be seen starring in the friendship comedy Standing Up, Falling Down alongside Ben Schwartz. The iconic actor will next direct, produce, and star opposite Tiffany Haddish in Here Today, and is developing a Broadway musical adaption of his 1992 classic film Mr. Saturday Night.

Recipients of this year's Breaking Big Awards are Ciara Bravo, Clare Dunne, Joshua Caleb Johnson, Elle Lorraine, Jo Ellen Pellman, and Talia Ryder, who will all participate in a panel discussion on Saturday, Oct. 31.

See the schedule for the 23rd SCAD Savannah Film Festival below.

Gala Screenings:

The SCAD Savannah Film Festival is renowned for spotlighting major award contenders, screening a multitude of studio films prior to their wider release. Ten films have been selected for the distinguished Gala Screenings, which are followed by Q&As with the directors and select cast:

  • The Father (directed by Florian Zeller and featuring Olivia Colman, Anthony Hopkins, Mark Gatiss, Olivia Williams, Imogen Poots and Rufus Sewell)
  • Francesco (directed by Evgeny Afineevsky)
  • I Carry You With Me (directed by Heidi Ewing and featuring Armando Espitia, Christian Vázquez, Michelle Rodríguez and Ángeles Cruz)
  • I’m Your Woman (directed by Julia Hart and featuring Rachel Brosnahan, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Arinzé Kene, Frankie Faison and Bill Heck)
  • Minari (directed by Lee Isaac Chung and featuring Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho and Scott Haze with Yuh-Jung Yuon and Will Patton)
  • Nine Days (directed by Edson Oda and featuring Winston Duke, Zazie Beetz, Benedict Wong, Tony Hale and Bill Skarsgård)
  • One Night in Miami (directed by Regina King and featuring Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, Leslie Odom Jr., Joaquina Kalukango and Nicolette Robinson with Beau Bridges and Lance Reddick)
  • Sound of Metal (directed by Darius Marder and featuring Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci, Lauren Ridloff, Chelsea Lee, Shaheem Sanchez and Mathieu Amalric)
  • Sylvie’s Love (directed by Eugene Ashe and featuring Tessa Thompson, Nnamdi Asomugha, Aja Naomi King, Jemima Kirke, Tone Bell, Alano Miller, Eva Longoria and Wendy McLendon-Covey)
  • Uncle Frank (directed by Alan Ball and featuring Paul Bettany, Sophia Lillis, Peter Macdissi, Steve Zahn, Judy Greer, Margo Martindale, Stephen Root and Lois Smith)

Signature Screenings:

The Signature series features premiere and special screenings, followed by Q&As with select directors, writers, actors, and producers. This year’s selection of films includes:

  • Be Water (directed by Bao Nguyen)
  • Black Bear (directed by Lawrence Michael Levine and featuring Aubrey Plaza, Sarah Gadon, Alex Koch and Christopher Abbott)
  • Farewell Amor (directed by Ekwa Msangi and featuring Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Zainab Jah, Jayme Lawson, Joie Lee and Nana Mensah)
  • Herself (directed by Phyllida Lloyd and featuring Harriet Walter, Conleth Hill, Cathay Belton, Clare Dunne and Rebecca O’Mara)
  • Stardust (directed by Gabriel Range and featuring Jena Malone, Johnny Flynn, Marc Maron, Anthony Flanagan and Aaron Poole)

Docs to Watch:

The seventh annual Docs to Watch series will be accompanied by a roundtable with the directors, hosted by Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter. Selected films include:

  • Boys State (directed by Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss)
  • Crip Camp (directed by James LeBrecht and Nicole Newnham)
  • Dick Johnson Is Dead (directed by Kirsten Johnson)
  • The Dissident (directed by Bryan Fogel)
  • The Human Factor (directed by Dror Moreh)
  • MLK/FBI (directed by Sam Pollard)
  • Time (directed by Garrett Bradley)
  • The Truffle Hunters (directed by Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw)
  • The Way I See It (directed by Dawn Porter)
  • Welcome to Chechnya (directed by David France)

Animation Corner

Animation has experienced an artistic resurgence that informs and entertains across generations and across the globe.

  • Wolfwalkers (directed by Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart)

TV Sidebar

As Hollywood A-listers migrate to episodic storytelling on the small screen, the SCAD Savannah Film Festival presents TV Sidebar, a special screening that highlights the best in television.

  • The Good Lord Bird (created by Ethan Hawke and featuring Ethan Hawke, Joshua Caleb Johnson, Beau Knapp, Hubert Point-Du Jour, Nick Eversman, Ellar Coltrane, Daveed Diggs and Steve Zahn). Produced by Blumhouse Television, the series is available on Showtime.

After Dark

The SCAD Savannah Film Festival’s nod to the Halloween season, includes this late-night feature film selected to thrill, scare and shock.

  • Spell (directed by Mark Tonderai and featuring Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine and Andre Jacobs)

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