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Jan. 8 - Savannah Stopover Kicks Off 10th Anniversary with concert on Jan. 22

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

January 8, 2020 - Savannah Stopover Music Festival will kick off its 10th Anniversary Season with a concert at Service Brewing Company on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. Brooklyn’s acclaimed indie rock band Beach Fossils will perform, marking their first appearance in Savannah. LA rising star, Negative Gemini, will open.

Stopover X, which takes place March 5-7 in Savannah, will announce the full festival lineup of over 65 bands on Jan. 22. The festival announced its first wave of 25 bands on Nov. 6, including Shovels & Rope, CAAMP, Devotchka, The Nude Party, Omni, and many more. 

In addition, Service Brewing, which serves as both a venue for the festival and its official beer partner will release the Stopover 2020 beer, I AM THE ROADIE, at the event. The lager will be available in Savannah leading up to and during the festival. The artwork and label for the beer was designed by SCAD alum Katie Campbell.

Chazito’s Latin Cuisine food truck will be on site from 7:30 - 10 p.m.

Tickets to the event are available on Eventbrite for $16 in advance, $18 the day of the show. The event is 21+. For more information visit Eventbriteor Facebook.

Service Brewing Company is located at 574 Indian St., Savannah GA 31401. 



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Jan. 6 - WJCL ABC 22 working to renew carriage on DIRECTV

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

January 6, 2020 - Following protracted negotiations, the efforts of Hearst Television, parent of WJCL, to achieve a new carriage agreement with DIRECTV, reached an impasse, and, as a result, WJCL is now no longer being carried by DIRECTV’s satellite system or its internet-delivered platform AT&T TV Now (formerly known as DIRECTV TV Now). The channel impacted is 22.

The current carriage agreement had been set to expire at midnight on Dec. 31, but was extended by Hearst Television multiple times until 7 p.m. on Jan. 3, in an
attempt to avoid an impasse.

“Unfortunately, the DIRECTV negotiating team is seeking the right to carry our stations at below market rates, which is neither fair nor reasonable given the significant investments we
have made to deliver top tier programming to our viewers,” said Timothy J. Morrissey.” “We regret the inconvenience DIRECTV’s demands have imposed on its subscribers, and we will keep our communities fully informed of developments.”

“It should be noted that we have not ‘blacked out’ our station,” Morrissey added. “Viewers may continue to receive our station for free, over the air, and, where available, from local cable or
other satellite operators.”

Viewers can determine the type of antenna needed to receive the signals of Hearst Stations at

WJCL urges viewers to contact DIRECTV customer service at 1-800-531-5000 or 1-800-288-2020 in an effort to resume service.

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Dec. 20 - Entertainment Production industry generates $120.1 million in direct spend in Savannah region in 2018

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

December 20, 2018 - The Savannah Area Film Office announced that in 2018, the entertainment production industry generated $120.1 million in direct spend leading to a staggering $253.6 million economic impact for the region. In 2017, the direct economic spend was $65 million with an economic impact of $137.9 million.

“We set out five years ago to grow the film and television production industry and further diversify the regional economy. With the support of the SEDA board and engagement of so many key community partners pulling in the same direction, we have seen incredible growth,” said Trip Tollison, President and CEO of the Savannah Economic Development Authority. “The numbers we report today are not an accident but the result of a well-executed strategy. I am very proud of the team at SEDA who have been involved since day one, Brynn Grant and Ralph Singleton in particular, as well as the film office executive director Beth Nelson and her team Katie Schuck, Catalina Alcaraz-Guzman and Andy Young who are the best in the business. We still have ground to cover, but this kind of progress is worth celebrating.” 

Executive Director of the Savannah Area Film Office Beth Nelson said, “Over the past several years through marketing and direct day to day contact with the industry we have been able to increase the awareness of all Savannah has to offer for tv series, feature films, commercials and more.”

“This would not be possible without the quality product we have in the region from the historic district to Tybee Island to the other smaller towns and neighborhoods, along with the invaluable cooperation we receive from residents who recognize that these productions mean good jobs and a better economy for all,” Nelson added. “We would be remiss if we didn’t thank our partners including the City of Savannah and Chatham County for helping provide a nearly seamless experience when productions are here on location.Those professionals are always doing their best to make sure they protect the interests of citizens while working to make every production successful. None of this progress would be possible without them.” 

From 2010-2014 the entertainment production direct spend was a combined $58 million, 2015 -  $59 million, 2016 - $61 million and in $2017 - $65 million.

In 2018, 208 professional productions and 147 student productions were filmed with one of the biggest productions to date being Gemini Man directed by Academy Award winner Ang Lee and starring Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen and Benedict Wong.

Savannah also landed Disney’s Lady and The Tramp; the Hulu anthology, The Act starring Patricia Arquette, Chloë Sevigny and Joey King as well as Pop TV’s new comedy series Florida Girls.

In September, the SEDA Board of Directors voted unanimously to extend the Savannah Entertainment Production Incentives for three more years. These incentives are in addition to the tax credit the state of Georgia offers. 

“The Savannah Entertainment Production Incentives combined with the state of Georgia’s tax credit program, have significantly raised Savannah’s profile as a desired location for entertainment production,” said Tollison. “The renewal of the incentives for the next three years helps solidify the industry for our region.”

Nelson said, “The incentives, our diversity of locations, the efficiency of the film office and our partners are keys to this success, but we still have work to do. In 2019, we still need adequate soundstage space for productions and we are actively looking to secure a direct flight from Los Angeles to Savannah.”

The Savannah Area Film Office also announced that their name would be changing January 1 to the Savannah Regional Film Commission. The name change is in line with the national industry standard as outlined by the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI).

“Film Commission is an internationally recognized known and standardized name for film offices,” said Nelson. “It is the term producers, studio executives, location managers and other industry professionals use when referring to a local film office. Changing the name to the Savannah Regional Film Commission is much more effective for industry communication.”

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April 30 - Roots Up Gallery Celebrates Fifth Anniversary With A Special Show By Local Artist, Helen Durant

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report 

April 30, 2019 - May 1 marks the fifth anniversary of Roots Up Gallery representing 25 local Savannah artists and 50 regional and southern self-taught folk artists. Together these unique artists collectively share a world of soulful art that is borne from within.

This anniversary also celebrates the resiliency of the gallery. For the past five years Roots Up Gallery has captured the personal journey of gallery owner Leslie Lovell and late husband, Francis Allen. It has been filled with the highest of highs in 2014; getting married and together opening the gallery, to the lowest of lows; having Francis endure a three-year illness only to lose in the end. “During this time the gallery became my personal anchor,” says Lovell, “it was full of balance, hope and growth. Francis and I could still work on concepts and ideas and I would implement them.” As the end came on August 30, 2018 for Francis, so did the plight of the then gallery space. But what Lovell construes as ‘Divine Intervention’ is the current space presented itself in the Downtown Design District and the gallery moved and reopened on September 27, 2018. “As Francis was always my pillar of strength and support, it was as if the new space was a parting gift which filled me with a focus that consumed and helped me to move forward,” says Lovell.

“To honor this journey” Lovell says “I could not feel any more connected in celebrating the gallery’s fifth anniversary than with this kindred spirit show of In The Moment by friend and local artist, Helen Durant. This body of work is filled with drawings, paintings and mixed media capturing the moment.

“I’m so drawn to Helen’s work, it's like she releases herself in each piece which delivers such depth and emotion.” says Lovell, “There is nothing tiring or static in her artwork, the fluid strokes creates a conversation that is ongoing."

The pieces from In The Moment are just that. They are so entrenched with daily moments that are filed with marks expressing Helen’s voice from within. “It was just before the holidays,” says Durant, “which leaves us all more exposed to emotions. From the moment I woke up I was led by the paint and charcoal to release my feelings from the heart. There is no conscience message, it’s in the moment and the purest form of my art. It invites the audience to experience and bring their feelings and interpretations in the moment.”

Durant is informally trained honing her skills recording life through drawing. She has been experimenting with paint, torn paper, graphite, and found objects for most of her career. She found her voice in the ability to capture a fleeting moment expressing with gestures, energies and spirits of animals and people surrounding her.

Over the past few decades, Durant has exhibited widely in the United States. Her work can be seen in many public, corporate, and private collections throughout the United States and abroad. Her varied bodies of work are represented in Jackson Hole by Diehl Gallery, in Atlanta by Thomas Deans Fine Art, and in Savannah by Roots Up Gallery.

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Oct. 1 - SCAD Announces Honorees for 21st Annual Savannah Film Festival

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

October 1, 2018 - The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) recently announced the 2018 honorees to be recognized at the 21st annual SCAD Savannah Film Festival, taking place Oct. 27-Nov. 3. Now the largest university-run film festival in the country, the annual tribute to excellence in film has screened over 110 Oscar-nominated films and honored over 80 legendary actors, directors, producers, writers and filmmakers from around the world.

This year, SCAD will honor Hugh Jackman with the Legend of Cinema Award, Emily Blunt with the Icon Award, Maggie Gyllenhaal with the Outstanding Achievement in Cinema Award for Acting and Producing, Armie Hammer with the Outstanding Achievement in Cinema Award, Stephan James and KiKi Layne with the Discovery Award, John Krasinski with the Vanguard Award, Shailene Woodley with the Spotlight Award and Amandla Stenberg with the Rising Star Award. Additional honorees and programming will be announced at a later date.

The festival has become a distinguished stop on the road to the Oscars: hosting exclusive screenings, competition films, feature films, documentaries, shorts, animated films, panel discussions, and workshops at SCAD's historic theaters and industry leading studios. SCAD has a top-ranked film and TV program with more than 75 SCAD alumni working on 2018 Academy Award films.

Tickets and passes are available for purchase online at, by telephone at 912.525.5050, or in person at the Trustees Theater, located at 216 E. Broughton St., Savannah.

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