SCAD Lacoste Film Festival 2023
SCAD Lacoste – Summer 2023 – Lacoste Film Festival – Screening of “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris” – Maison Basse – Photography Courtesy of SCAD

Savannah College of Art and Design held its second annual SCAD Lacoste Film Festival in early July, and the university brought a heaping spoonful of Southern hospitality to the Luberon Valley region of Provence in France.

The two-day festival highlights SCAD’s quaint, cobble-stoned campus in Lacoste, France where students can spend a quarter of their school year studying among the medieval village’s winding streets and nearby lavender fields.

If you’ve attended the university’s long-running SCAD Savannah Film Festival or its Atlanta-based SCADAnimation and SCADTV festivals, you’ll find that SCAD Lacoste is a delightful, bite-sized European adventure for those who love the energetic spirit of SCAD students, great movies, and the French countryside.

Since the university’s founder and president Paula Wallace began purchasing land over 20 years ago in the village that was once home to famous fashion designer Pierre Cardin, Lacoste has turned into a bustling creative hub for young artists searching for inspiration.

From July 1-2, festival attendees — from SCAD students to local residents — enjoyed moonlit screenings and thought-provoking conversations on the fragrant lawn of SCAD’s historical Maison Basse.

A group of SCAD students at Maison Basse during the 2023 SCAD Lacoste Film Festival. Photography Courtesy of SCAD.

“With walls dating back from the 12th century, La Maison Basse transforms into an outdoor stage and theater where art can be enjoyed under the stars,” said SCAD Lacoste executive director Cédric Maros. “Every second feels special here, and it’s that magic that gives the SCAD Lacoste Film Festival its unique setting for artists sharing their work with the students and the community.”

Also Read: My Top Five at 25: The SCAD Savannah Film Festival

SCAD Lacoste Honors Actress Lesley Manville

It’s hard not to envy the SCAD students who not only get to study in France but also attend intimate Q&A sessions with some of Hollywood’s most prominent people.

On Saturday, July 1, students, SCAD faculty, and festival guests gathered on the grass to watch screenings of two episodes of Emily in Paris followed by a talk from costume designer Marylin Fitoussi.

And on Sunday night, Phantom Thread and The Crown star Lesley Manville sat down for a career-spanning discussion upon receiving her SCAD Etoile award for achievement in cinema, along with a screening of her recent film Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris.

“I’m over 60, but I’m far from done,” Manville told the crowd on the closing night of the festival. “I’m interesting. I’ve got lots to say… I don’t want to be put into a corner because I’m not 25 anymore.”

Phantom Thread actress Lesley Manville gives a masterclass for SCAD students

In addition to sharing acting advice with the crowd — “I’ve now been working for 51 years as an actor. You don’t want quick fixes. You don’t want to be the flavor of the month,” she said —  Manville also gave a masterclass to a group of very lucky SCAD students.

For the fashion-obsessed, the opening day of the festival coincided with the grand opening of the Christian Lacroix Habille Peer Gynt pour la Comédie-Française exhibition at SCAD FASH Lacoste. The exhibition features displays of breathtakingly intricate costumes that the designer made for a production of the Henrik Ibsen play Peer Gynt that ran at the French state theater La Comédie-Française in Paris.

Other highlights of the weekend festival included a conversation with U.K. film and television producer Alison Owen (Elizabeth, The Other Boleyn Girl); a tribute to iconic French-Swiss director Jean-Luc Godard and a screening of his 1960 debut film Breathless; and a short film block called Fashion on Film: A Cinematic Celebration of Iconic SCAD Exhibitions featuring shorts about influential fashion designers whose have a connection to SCAD, including Pierre Cardin, Oscar de la Renta, and Isabel Toledo.

SCAD Lacoste Film Festival is presented by SCADFILM, the university’s year-round event program for students and working professionals in animation, film, television, interactive design, game development, immersive reality, and digital media arts.

From golden hour hillside views to sunsets that don’t come until 10 p.m., a summer weekend in Lacoste proved to be the perfect setting for an absolutely unforgettable film festival.

Main Image: SCAD Lacoste – Summer 2023 – Lacoste Film Festival – Screening of Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris – Maison Basse – Photography Courtesy of SCAD

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