SAVANNAH, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 25: (L-R) Joel Crawford, Dean Fleischer Camp, Henry Selick, Clayton Davis, Domee Shi, Kyle Balda, and Masaaki Yuasa speak onstage during the Sketch to Screen Directors Roundtable during the 25th SCAD Savannah Film Festival on October 25, 2022 in Savannah, Georgia. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SCAD)
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Animation directors of “Elemental,” “Nimona,” “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” and “Trolls Band Together” will attend the second annual “Sketch to Screen: Top Animated Contenders” panel at SCAD Savannah Film Festival.

Hosted by Clayton Davis, senior awards editor for Variety, the panel will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 24. On the panel will be: Peter Sohn (Pixar’s “Elemental”), Nick Bruno and Troy Quane (Netflix’s “Nimona”), Joaquin Dos Santos, Justin K. Thompson and Kemp Powers (Sony Pictures’ “Across the Spider-Verse”), Jeff Rowe (Paramount Pictures’ “TMNT”) and Walt Dohrn (DreamWorks Animation’s “Trolls”).

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Oscars predictions in all categories.

Showcasing a broad array of artistic avenues and animation styles, these films tell compelling stories as they contend for awards acclaim, including the Oscars. Each filmmaker will also participate in post-screening Q&As of their movies, which will be screened individually at varying times throughout the festival.

This year’s race for animated feature boasts box-office juggernauts and critically acclaimed movies that may also factor into the best picture race. “The animation medium is vital to our cinematic landscape,” said Davis. “Selecting five films was more difficult than I anticipated. All are worthy of Oscar recognition, which includes their stunning technical achievements such as production design, editing and music. Animation is film, period.”

Last year’s inaugural panel included eventual Oscar-nominees Dean Fleischer Camp (“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”), Joel Crawford (“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”) and Domee Shi (“Turning Red”).

Gkids / Studio Ghibli

SCAD has also scheduled a special screening of Hayao Miyazaki’s critically acclaimed “The Boy and the Heron” for its southeast premiere on Wednesday, Oct. 25. GKids president and co-founder David Jesteadt, celebrating the company’s 15-year anniversary, will participate in a Q&A, also moderated by Davis.

Written and directed by Miyazaki, his first in 10 years, the film tells the story of a young boy named Mahito who ventures into a world shared by the living and the dead.

Variety will also hold its second annual 10 Artisans to Watch list on Oct. 18, recognizing the artists across cinematography, costume design, editing, hair/makeup, production design, sound editing/design and visual effects.

The 26th SCAD Savannah Film Festival runs from Oct. 21-28. Presented by the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), the SCAD Savannah Film Festival with more than 63,000 people attend the eight-day festival. The full festival line-up will be announced on Oct. 6.

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