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Si No Estas (If You’re Gone)

Mexico, 2007, 20 min., student, Beta SP
Director: Noe Santillan-Lopez
Writer: Noe Santillan-Lopez
Producers: Noe Santillan-Lopez, Cayman Eby, Claudio Jimenez Vizcarra
School: Savannah College of Art and Design
Cast: Bruno Bichir, Ivan Arriaga, Veronica Toussaint

Eight-year-old Sebastian’s life changes forever when his mother, Ana, dies. Julian, his father, finds himself unable to keep the family afloat and begins to sink into the comfort of a bottle, his life’s devotion to music and his will to live crushed by the loss of his wife. When Sebastian innocently follows Julian’s actions, Julian becomes aware once again of the importance of living.

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Ganó en Savannah: mejor película del año, mejor director (Noe Santillan), mejor guión, mejor actor (Bruno Bichir) y mejor música. Participan también Verónica Toussaint e Ivan Arriaga.


Submitted by Danielle Koch on Fri, 11/09/2007 - 06:00.


The tenth annual Savannah Film Festival came to a close on Nov. 3 with a screening of “The Kite Runner.” Prior to the screening, SCAD and the Savannah Film Festival announced the films that won the competition categories as well as other awards. Short films, documentaries, student films and narrative films were all recognized.

“Purple Violets,” written and directed by Ed Burns and starring Selma Blair, Patrick Wilson, Burns and Debra Messing, won Best Narrative Feature. The film is about Patti Petalson (Blair) finding herway out of a rut and back into her writing career. Her changes are spurred by reconnecting with her college boyfriend, Brian (Wilson), a bestselling author.

Best Documentary Feature was a tie between “The Singing Revolution” and “The First Saturday in May.” John and Maureen Castle Tusty directed “The Singing Revolution,” which documents thousands of Estonians who used song as a form of protest to end Soviet occupation. The songs the people in the film wrote anchored Estonia’s desire for independence and helped bring about independence without the loss of a single life. The film also won the Diane Passage Jury Award.

“The First Saturday in May,” directed by brothers John and Brad Hennegan, follows the path of six horses on their way to competing in the Kentucky Derby. The film also won the HBO Films Producer’s Award which included a large cash prize.

Many other awards included cash and equipment prizes. John Arlotto, director of “Deface,” won the Best Editing Award, which includes Avid Media Composer. In accepting his award, Arlotto said that before hand he had been thinking how fun it would be to call his editor and tell him. Then he remembered that he was the editor.

‘’Si No Estás,’‘ directed by Noé Santillán-López, a 2007 graduate of the film and television department, won both the Best Student Cinematography Award and the first ever Savannah Film Commission Award. The cinematography award comes with the use of a Panavision camera package worth $60,000. With the camera package, Santillán-López plans to filma feature version of his film.

“The longer version tells the story of how the death of this woman not only affects her husband and her son, but also the lives ofmany people in her family. It is about how this family searches and ultimately finds love and redemption,” said Santillán-López.

Winning the camera package was not the only prize for Santillán-López.As a SCAD graduate, he said hewas very excited to return to Savannah after spending the last three months in Los Angeles. He also said he decided to make the Savannah Film Festival his first because it was home, and hewasn’t disappointed in his decision.

“When it became real and we were announced as the winners, I felt so relieved that about a year and a half of our hard work was finally paying off. I am not obsessed with the awards, but I am obsessed about people loving our film and finding a connection to it. Their applause on Saturday night was my award,” said Santillán-López.

Other Awards

Best Animation “Shut-eye Hotel” (2007): Bill Plympton, director;
Biljana Labovic, producer

Best Documentary (co-winners) “The First Saturday in May” (2006):
Josh Hennegan, Brad Hennegan, directors/producers • “The Singing Revolution” (2006): James Tusty,Maureen Castle Tusty, directors/producers;
Mike Majoros, producer

Best Narrative Short “All Saints Day” (2006): Will Frears, director; Brooke Berman, writer; Caleb Harper Omens, Amy Hobby, Russ Stratton, producers

Best Narrative Feature “Purple Violets” (2007): Edward Burns, director/writer/producer; Margot Bridger, producer

Best Director Michelle Steffes, “Driftwood” (2006): Michelle Steffes,
Ben Bays, Maggie Malone, producer

Diane Passage Jury Award “The Singing Revolution” (2006): James Tusty, Maureen Castle Tusty, directors/producers; Mike Majoros, producer

Best SCAD Student Competition Award “Push” (2006): Stephen Stanley, director/writer; Sara Holman, Chad Carter, producers

Best Student Cinematography Award “Si No Estas” (2007): Noe Santillian-Lopez, director/writer/producer; Cayman Eby, Claudio Vizcarra, producers

Savannah Film Commission Award “Si No Estas” (2007): Noe Santillian-Lopez, director/writer/producer; Cayman Eby, Claudio Jimenez Vizcarra, producers

Best Editing Award “Deface” (2007): John Arlotto, director/writer; Roman Wyden, producer

HBO Films Student Competition Award 2007 First place—“Deacon’s Mondays” (2007): Destin Cretton, Lowell Frank, directors/writers/producers;
Kenny Laubbacher, producer • Second place — “Some Apologies” (2007): Adem Weldon, director/writer/producer

HBO Films Producer Award 2007 “The First Saturday in May” (2006): Josh Hennegan, Brad Hennegan, directors/producers