YEAR: 2012

ROLE:  Mr. Stubbs

DIRECTOR:  Annette Hayward-Carter

US PREMIERE:  Sedona Film Festival - February 27, 2013

Plot Summary

Set in the post-civil war era, Savannah is the true story of the legendary Ward Allen, an aristocrat-turned-duck hunter and his relationships with a freed slave named Christmas Moultrie, and the love of his life, free-spirited Lucy Stubbs. When Lucy defies her father's wishes to marry the handsome and bombastic Allen she finds that living with him can be a bigger challenge than catching him. As the changing times force the brilliant but troubled Ward to challenge the government, he fights to preserve his cherished way of life on the Savannah river and to keep the woman he loves.

Film Details
James CAVIEZEL....................Ward Allen
Chiwetel EJIOFOR.......Christmas Moultrie
Hal HOLBROOK.................Judge Harden
Jaimie ALEXANDER.............Lucy Stubbs
Bradley WHITFORD...................Jack Cay

Written by..............Ken Carter and Annette Hayward-Carter

DVD Release
September 24, 2013
Production Notes:

Film production began on February 14, 2011, in Savannah , GA and concluded on March 20th. Director/writer Annette Hayward Carter: "This is a great story steeped in the lore of Savannah, Georgia. Being a Southerner born and bred, it has been a passion of mine to tell great stories from our unique and particular socio-geographic tapestry."

Publicity Stills
Private screening - Trustees Theatre, Savannah, GA - March 19, 2012
Sedona Film Festival - Sedona, AZ - February 27, 2013
Charleston Film Festival - Charleston, SC - March 7, 2013

New York Daily News: "This amateurish work has the look and feel of a student film... This is a movie that's too square for some and too dull for all. The whole thing feels like a video you watch at a historical re-creation park before going to the gift shop."

Slant magazine: "The film, adapted from Cay's memoir, is impossible to take seriously as a commemoration of Moultrie's life or Allen's prolific status because of its plethora of contrivances, from the film score that's so sentimental it almost suggests an intentional satire of middlebrow historical dramas, to the cloying script that has Allen's charming little pleasantries treated by everyone who lives in the film's Mayberry-as-Savannah as uproarious quips."

Village Voice: "Annette Haywood-Carter's Hallmark Channel–ish film celebrates his rabble-rousing and fiercely independent streak with a suffocating earnestness. Drenched in dewy-eyed nostalgia, tinged with sorrow for the way changing tides made Ward an outcast, the story overflows with reverence but is drastically short on passion or suspense, and the framing device - in which an aged Christmas (Ejiofor, in awful old-man make-up) remembers his exploits with Ward to a friend (Bradley Whitford) - is as awkward and messy as the action proper is inert."

IndieWire: "Problems with the movie arise from the very first moment, where we're introduced to the rather confused structure that the movie will utilize to tell its tale. Based on the memoir, 'Ward Allen: Savannah River Market Hunter,'  the first misstep is in establishing a flashback structure whereby we see a 95-year-old Christmas (Chiwetel Ejiofor in some truly awful old age make-up) relate the stories of Ward to lawyer/friend Jack Cay (Bradley Whitford), who wrote the book the movie is based on. It's not clear why this format is used other than to include the author as a character in the adaptation of his own work. But this already speaks to the level of ambition (or lack of it) that the filmmakers have in regards to the material. There doesn't seem to be any effort at all to move beyond the memoir or use it as a starting off point - the picture seems to be merely a collection of anecdotes about Ward strung together into a two hour running time.

Timeout: "Like Allen’s bagged prey, the movie’s story is limp, its romances are flightless and, despite the talented cast, its performances are toothless."

NY Post: "An aristocratic, renegade white man goes hunting with a freed slave in the Old South: It sounds like 'Django Unchained.' But in the stately, persistently uninteresting 'Savannah,' the duo shoots ducks, not racists and criminals, and Jim Caviezel, as the real-life duck hunter Ward Allen, is no Christoph Waltz. Allen swaggers up and down the river like an overgrown Huck Finn, accompanied by Christmas Moultrie (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Allen spouts ornate dialogue and refuses to abide by society’s norms. But he never comes across as much more than a gasbag drunk, and his romance with a rebellious society girl (Jaimie Alexander) lacks the impact of either passion or tragedy."

NY Times: "The story becomes one of personal loss rather than epic adventure. We also don’t learn much about how the bond between Allen and his black friend was formed or see it evolve. So the film’s tale ends up being less rich than its lovely Georgia settings."

Variety: "Despite an effective Jim Caviezel, this anecdotal drama never rises above the level of lightly likable."

Hollywood Reporter: "Like its central character, 'Savannah' seems displaced in time, its resolutely old-fashioned storytelling style feeling woefully out of place in the modern multiplex."