Published: Nov 2, 2009
From left: Actor Ben Foster, SCAD President Paula Wallace and actor Woody Harrelson.
SAVANNAH, Ga.—The 2009 annual Savannah Film Festival, hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design opened tonight with the university’s President Paula Wallace presenting the Outstanding Achievement in Cinema Award to Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster for recognition of their work in the acclaimed drama, “The Messenger.” Also, on hand to share the tribute was the film’s director and co-writer, Oren Moverman. Following the tribute to both actors festival goers were treated to a special screening of the film.
Looking out over the audience, Foster accepted his award from President Wallace by exclaiming, “Holy Smokes! I want to thank SCAD for inviting us...I’m deeply inspired by you and Savannah.”
Harrelson also graciously accepted his award from President Wallace, who applauded him for his support of sustainable living and invited him to apply for SCAD’s new degree in Design for Sustainability. Referring to his recent film, “Zombieland,” filmed outside of Atlanta, he said, “When I was filming earlier this year, I was told that I’ve got to go to Savannah, the best city in Georgia…there just weren’t enough zombies to kill.”
In “The Messenger,” Ben Foster stars as Will Montgomery, a U.S. Army officer who has just returned home from a tour in Iraq and is assigned to the Army's Casualty Notification service. Partnered with fellow officer Tony Stone (Woody Harrelson) to bear the bad news to the loved ones of fallen soldiers, Will faces the challenge of completing his mission while seeking to find comfort and healing back on the home front. The film hits select theatres on November 13th.
Harrelson’s critically acclaimed portrayal of controversial magazine publisher Larry Flynt in Milos Forman's “The People vs. Larry Flynt” garnered him best actor Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild nominations. Other highlights from Harrelson’s film career include “No Country For Old Men,” “The Thin Red Line,” “Ed TV,” “Wag the Dog,” “Kingpin,” “Natural Born Killers,” “Indecent Proposal” and “White Men Can't Jump,” among others. He won an Emmy in 1988 for his role in the NBC sitcom “Cheers” and was nominated four additional times during his eight-year run on the show. He later made a return to television with a recurring guest role on the hit NBC series, “Will and Grace.”
Foster has starred in such films as “Alpha Dog,” “3:10 to Yuma,” and “X-Men 3.”
On television, he starred in the HBO drama “Six Feet Under,” for which he was nominated for two SAG awards. His other television work includes “Freaks and Geeks” and the Emmy-nominated HBO film “The Laramie Project.” His performance in Showtime's “Bang Bang You’re Dead,” a meditation on school shootings, garnered him a Daytime Emmy.
For more information, visit www.scad.edu/filmfest
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