Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Savannah Film Festival Honors Songwriters Alan and Marilyn Bergman With Lifetime Achievement Award Oct. 27

PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 11th annual Savannah Film Festival, hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design, presented acclaimed songwriters Alan and Marilyn Bergman with a Lifetime Achievement Award Oct. 27 at Trustees Theater, 216 E. Broughton St.

"What a team! Without tonight's honorees, the last fifty years of American cinema would sound completely different and the American Songbook wouldn't be half as good," said SCAD President Paula S. Wallace upon presenting the Bergmans with the award. "Alan and Marilyn Bergman provided the soundtrack to some of the most transformative moments in film."

"This city brings a lot of memories back to me. My mentor was Johnny Mercer," said Alan Bergman of Savannah's own beloved hometown songwriter.

Marilyn Bergman added, "I really get a feeling about Savannah. From the moment we walked into SCAD's classrooms and met the performing arts students, this place had such a commitment to arts excellence and a passion about it. It's for us to thank you. This is the kind of understanding audience that's so gratifying."

During their songwriting career, the Bergmans have won numerous Grammy and Academy Awards. "The Windmills of Your Mind" (1968), "The Way We Were" (1973) and the score for "Yentl" (1984) each won Academy Awards. In addition, "The Windmills of Your Mind" and "The Way We Were" earned Golden Globe Awards, and "The Way We Were" earned two Grammys.

Their song "Moonlight" was nominated for a Golden Globe, an Academy Award and a Grammy after it was performed by Sting in the Sydney Pollack film "Sabrina" in 1995. Other original Bergman songs include "Nice 'n' Easy," performed by Frank Sinatra, "In the Heat of the Night," performed by Ray Charles, and "That Face," performed by Fred Astaire.

In 2001, The Kennedy Center commissioned the Bergmans to write a jazz song cycle. Written with Cy Coleman, "Portraits in Jazz: A Gallery of Songs" was performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., to widespread acclaim. The show is now titled "Up Close and Musical" and is being prepared for Broadway.

Following the Bergman's tribute, film festival attendees viewed "Happy-Go-Lucky," the story of an irrepressibly free-spirited schoolteacher who brings an infectious laugh and an unsinkable sense of optimism to every situation she encounters.

The weeklong Savannah Film Festival, scheduled for Oct. 25-Nov. 1, already has honored Variety vice president and editor-in-chief Peter Bart and actor Malcolm McDowell with Lifetime Achievement Awards. Entertainment entrepreneur Suzanne de Passe will be honored Saturday, Nov. 1.

The Savannah Film Festival is sponsored by the City of Savannah, Memorial Health, The Talking Phone Book and the Savannah Morning News.

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