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Savannah Film Festival


Hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design, the Savannah Film Festival features the best in independent and innovative film from around the world. From feature-length films to two-minute shorts, the annual festival presents a full range of cinematic creativity from both award-winning professionals and emerging student filmmakers.


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Interview with Producer J. Miles Dale and actor Richard Jenkins at 20th annual SCAD Savannah Film Festival

Producer J. Miles Dale onstage during 20th Anniversary SCAD Savannah Film Festival

Producer J. Miles Dale onstage at 'The Shape of Water' screening at Trustees Theater during 20th Anniversary SCAD Savannah Film Festival on November 2, 2017 in Savannah, Georgia. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for SCAD)

Winner of the Golden Lion at this year's Venice Film Festival, Guillermo del Toro's latest film 'The Shape of Water' (2017) is a Cold War magical realism love story set in 1962. The film is sweeping up awards at international film festivals and has audiences raving about del Toro's latest groundbreaking cinematic opus. Produced by J. Miles Dale and Guillermo del Toro and distributed by Fox Searchlight, the film stars Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Ocatvia Spencer and Michael Stuhlbarg. It held its international world premiere at this the 70th annual Venice Film Festival and recently screened at the 20th annual SCAD Savannah Film Festival where producer J. Miles Dale and actor Richard Jenkins and production designer Paul D. Austerberry were in attendance.

 

I briefly interviewed producer Miles Dale during the SCAD Savannah Film Festival. Here is what he had to say:

 

Your latest film is Guillermo del Toro's 'The Shape of Water'. People are saying this film brings back real cinema. What do you have to say about that and what was it like to produce?

MILES: It was fun and challenging. It's kind of an homage to the films in the past. It feels like a Hollywood film from the 40s and 50s in a way. It's a sentimental romance, not sappy but it still pulls on your heart strings. You know, it's a love story, it's a Cold War thriller. It's a lot of things and even genre bending. It's also a kind of love letter to musicals and to Hollywood movies. And really in Guillermo's mind, it's a love letter to love itself. I think he feels that with everything going on in the world right now, we need a lot more love and less of the rest of it.

 

What was it like working with Guillermo?

MILES: Terrible. Totally tyrannical is the word.

 

He's a visionary so I guess he does whatever he has to do to get it right?

MILES: It's great because he's very detailed about what he wants. He can explain anything. There's nothing ambiguous or arbitrary, so it's actually great because you've got some direction and you can improve on it. He throws what he wants out there then you feel free to come in and elevate it. He's wonderful, very supportive, funny, humane. He's demanding, definitely and there's no compromises. That was the big challenge, just keeping up with him and not wanting to disappoint in terms of his vision. I feel like we got there in every way though.

 

Has this been one of your most rewarding production experiences so far?

MILES: 100% it's been the most rewarding movie of my career, and I've done a few good and fun ones. So go see it and feel free to laugh, cry, cheer, throw something at the screen, throw something at me.

 

As the film's producer, it's all your fault if the film fails or goes wrong right?

MILES: You know what, I'll take that. I'm pretty sure I'll come out of that reasonably unscathed, so you got it.

 

 

In another short interview with actor Richard Jenkins, here is what he had to say:

Actor Richard Jenkins during 20th Anniversary SCAD Savannah Film Festival

Actor Richard Jenkins attends 'The Shape Of Water' screening at Trustees Theater during 20th Anniversary SCAD Savannah Film Festival on November 2, 2017 in Savannah, Georgia. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for SCAD)

 

Can you tell us what made this film different than what you've worked on before?

RICHARD: Well, I felt like I was going back in time, back to the studio days with Tracy and Hepburn and Errol Flynn. This had the feeling of a real old time master making cinema. It's his ode to cinema, his love letter to cinema. He understands cinema and knows what movies can do and how you do it. He doesn't speak in any other language but film language and really it was so much fun.

 

Can you tell us about your character Giles?

RICHARD: I'm Sally's friend and neighbor. I'm a gang man who is an artist in 1962 whose lost his job. He doesn't have much money and she asks me to help her.

 

Do you have a favorite character you've played during your career?

RICHARD: I loved playing Walter Vale in 'The Visitor'. Henry Kitteridge in 'Olive Kitteridge'. I loved Giles in 'The Shape of Water'. I love this movie.

 

Interview by Vanessa McMahon

Production designer Paul D. Austerberry, actor Richard Jenkins and producer J. Miles Dale  during 20th Anniversary SCAD Savannah

Production designer Paul D. Austerberry, actor Richard Jenkins and producer J. Miles Dale attend 'The Shape Of Water' screening at Trustees Theater during 20th Anniversary SCAD Savannah Film Festival on November 2, 2017 in Savannah, Georgia. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for SCAD)

 

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About Savannah Film Festival

Bolda Sheila Lynne
(Savannah College of Art and Design)

Hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design, the Savannah Film Festival features the best in independent and innovative film from around the world. From feature-length films to two-minute shorts, the annual festival presents a full range of cinematic creativity from both award-winning professionals and emerging student filmmakers.

Savannah

United States



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