The Savannah Film Alliance Honors Gala, presented by I.A.T.S.E. Local 491, honored eight creative individuals on Friday evening, November 17, 2023, for their contributions to the growth of the local film and television industry. The Gala was hosted by Steven Michael Quezada, who is best known for portraying DEA Agent Steven “Gomie” Gomez on the TV series “Breaking Bad.”
Honorees for the 2023 Gala were:
Reva Grantham: A nationally known figure in the craft industry, Reva has worked with the film industry for years, beginning shortly after her graduation from high school and including early years at a commissary at the new DeLaurentis Film Studio in Wilmington, North Carolina. Crediting her mentor, Justine Ferreri, for much of her success, she joined I.A.T.S.E in 1995 and began active craft service work. Arriving in Savannah in 2015 to work on a film, she never left and continues to provide essential craft services to film productions and crews in our region.
Nikalia Hill: Nikalia graduated from SCAD in 2022 with honors. Since 2021, Nikalia has worked on productions such as The Menu, Halloween, The Summer I Turned Pretty, Exorcist, Fear the Walking Dead, and others. Starting as an electrician, she leaned heavily into the grip world, loving rigging, dolly work, and shaping light. When she is not working long hours on productions, she continues to further her award-winning documentary work, such as her work in the ongoing docuseries entitled “STARLAND” for which she earned a Pabst Blue Ribbon Open Door Grant.
Megan Lombardo: Megan is a Directors Guild of America member and has worked in film and television production for nearly 25 years. Her production body of work is vast, with roles ranging from assistant director, location manager, UPM, line producer, and producer. She has experience in feature film, cable and network television, commercials, music videos, promos, web series, and branded content. She brings her industry experience into the classroom as a part-time SCAD professor in the Film and Acting, and Dramatic Writing departments. She also teaches part-time for Brooklyn College’s Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema.
Kareem McMichael: Karee is an award-winning filmmaker and documentarian. He has produced short films in various genres and documentaries with social justice themes. He received his B.A. from Savannah State University in broadcast journalism and a certification in production from the Georgia Film Academy. Kareem has worked for the ABC, Fox, and CBS news affiliates in Savannah. Currently, Kareem is the online content manager and advisor of the Tiger’s Roar student newspaper in the journalism and mass communications department at Savannah State University. He also serves as the Director of the Southern Regional Press Institute, a two-day media conference. Active in regional organizations, he also has been recognized statewide for his documentary work.
Judith More: After graduating from the University of South Carolina with a BA in Philosophy, Judith traveled the world working in the film industry. Ater years of travel, Judith made Savannah her home and continued to work in the film industry. Recognizing she needed to raise the profile of filming in Savannah, she co-founded Savannah Women in Film and Television ten years ago. During her tenure as President, SWIFT focused on mentoring young women new to the business and giving back to the community by sponsoring Parker House for single homeless women in Savannah.
Mike Neal: Mike, a local Savannahian, is a renowned Marine and Water Safety Coordinator in film and television productions in the Savannah area and nationwide. Known for his ability to scout water locations, prepare budgets, assemble a marine crew, find picture boats, camera boats, support vessels, make safety plans, and permit the work, Mike has rapidly become one of the industry’s most sought-after Marine and Water Safety Coordinators.
Mark Nguyen: Mark is an Emmy Award-winning Savannah native who graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Visual Effects and Broadcast Media and Motion Graphics. He also founded his own media production company, Alienworx, which focuses on both production and post-production and specializes in drones, car rigs, and media production content. He is currently a member of I.A.T.S.E. Local 600 and works as a Creative Director, Director of Photography, and a drone pilot.
Beth Nelson: Beth is a native of Savannah, an AFCI Certified Film Commissioner, and founding Executive Director of the Savannah Regional Film Commission where she served in that role from 2016 through 2022. Beth is also a Founding Member of the Savannah Film Alliance as well as a co-founder of Savannah Women in Film and Television (SWIFT). As Savannah Film Commissioner, Beth promoted the Savannah region to the entertainment industry, liaised between film companies and the local community, assisted production companies filming in the area, and supported local crew and businesses. Under her leadership, Savannah saw exponential growth in the entertainment industry, which resulted in a tremendous economic benefit to the region. Beth currently works with I.A.T.S.E. Local 491 as the Savannah Field Steward.
ABOUT THE SAVANNAH FILM ALLIANCE
The Savannah Film Alliance is a grassroots organization founded in 2015 dedicated to the support and growth of the film and television industry in the Coastal Empire. The Savannah Film Alliance was founded by attorney Charles “Bo” Bowen with the support of the late Howard Morrison, Savannah Technical College, SEDA, Savannah Filmmakers, the Savannah Regional Film Commission, and numerous other industry leaders. Since its founding in 2015, the Savannah Film Alliances membership has grown to over 500 filmmakers, crew, government officials, producers, actors, service providers, and many other entertainment industry supporters. The Savannah Film Alliance offers a unique mutual support system through which its members meet four times a year to ensure Savannah’s continued status as one of the world’s premier filming destinations. The Savannah Film Alliance welcomes everyone with interest in the local entertainment industry. For more information or to join the Savannah Film Alliance, please visit our website at https://savannahfilmalliance.org/.
ABOUT I.A.T.S.E LOCAL 491
I.A.T.S.E. Local 491 represents film and television production technicians in Savannah and the Carolinas. They are part of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists, and Allied Crafts of the United States. They are generously contributing $10,000.00 to support the Savannah Film Alliance. For more about them, visithttps://www.legacy.iatse.net/directory/local-491.