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Opening Night of Film Fest Sparkles

The 15th annual Savannah Film Festival opened with a walk along the red carpet and a montage of the films, honored guests and signature moments that have made this “the nicest film festival in the world.”

Photo courtesy of SCAD

By Amy Paige Condon

Gray skies courtesy of Hurricane Sandy churning just off the coast didn’t dampen the spirits of VIPs— including actor James Gandolfini—guests and stargazers as they mingled outside of SCAD‘s Trustees Theater for an elegant and low-key Broughton Street party ahead of the opening of the 15th annual Savannah Film Festival.  In fact, the cool breezes brought welcome relief from late-season humidity and seemed to elevate the anticipation hanging in the air for the feature presentation, Silver Linings Playbook,which recently won the coveted People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival.

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The unexpectedly offbeat Bradley Cooper-Jennifer Lawrence rom-com played to a packed house that erupted into applause as the credits rolled.  That happy vibe spilled over into the evening reception at the SCAD Museum of Art, where hugs and air kisses were exchanged in the serpentine lines to the swank, lighted bars (and, where we spotted actor Alex McArthur, Madonna’s rugged boyfriend in the Papa, Don’t Preach video and one of this year’s jurors) as the live band played vintage blues and soul standards.

Photography by Beau Kester

While sipping a full compliment of libations, guests gnoshed on delectable, bite-sized quinoa caviar, tomato pie, bacon-wrapped shrimp, flank steak crostini, apricot with ham, cheese and chives, and silkened chocolate confections—all passed by young servers who lived up to the Hostess City moniker, many of whom were SCAD students.

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Though a few jewel-toned dresses punctuated the darkness, the uniform of choice was the LBD, perhaps an homage to the celebrated André Leon Talley-curated exhibit gracing the museum’s east wing. One unidentified partygoer snapped photos of women’s shoes with his iPhone, which we can agree were sleek, strappy, spiky and as sparkly as a night filled with stars.

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