You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Back to IndieWire

First Trailer For Slave-themed Drama ‘Savannah’ (Co-Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor) Arrives

First Trailer For Slave-themed Drama 'Savannah' (Co-Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor) Arrives

Based on what’s presented in the trailer below, this is not what I expected. I thought it would be something more akin to an interracial buddy drama, which told both of their stories equally. This instead looks like it’s entirely one-sided, favoring the white man

One of seven 2013 slave-themed films that made my January list, Ketchup Entertainment acquired distribution rights to Savannah, the drama starring Jim Caviezel and Chiwetel Ejiofor, to release theatrically on August 23, and on DVD/VOD on September 24.

It could be quite a year for Chiwetel Ejiofor, thanks to the 3 feature films he stars in, scheduled for release in the next 7 to 8 months: 12 Years A Slave, Half Of A Yellow Sun (although a release date hasn’t been announced yet) and Savannah, in which he also plays a slave, like in the aforementioned 12 Years A Slave.

Like the other 2 films, Savannah is also a work of historical fiction, based on real events, set during post-Civil War days, in which Caviezel stars as the real-life, “well-educated, eccentric, larger-than-life hunter” named Ward Allen, who develops a unique friendship with a freed slave named Christmas Moultrie, played by Ejiofor. 

The film is loosely based on a book by John Eugene Cay, Jr., titled, Ducks, Dogs and Friends, which tells the story of Christmas Moultrie (the last slave born on the historical Mulberry Grove Plantation, where the Cotton Gin was invented), who hunted on the Savannah River, together with Ward Allen, and his Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. 

This looks like it’s instead more Ward Allen’s story than Moultrie’s. Although I should note that I haven’t read the book, so it could be all about Moultrie anyway.

Annette Haywood-Carter directed from a screenplay she co-wrote with Kenneth F. Carter Jr.

Jaimie Alexander, Hal Holbrook, Sam Shepard, Bradley Whitford and Jack McBrayer round out the cast.

Here’s the first trailer which just surfaced:

This Article is related to: News and tagged



Oops….totally jumped to conclusions in my haste to watch the trailer without reading the article. Thought it was 12 Years. Thank God!


"Savannah" is not a movie about slavery. Chiwetel's character was a real guy named Christmas Moultrie who was, in fact, a freed slave, which made the relationship with Caviezel's character unique. The filmmakers made a point of not hitting the slave note very hard. It's a fact of the character's life. It is a realistic portrayal of a real relationship. The movie is about a man (Ward Allen) fighting to preserve a cherished way of life that is disappearing out from under him. Christmas Moultrie (Chiwetel) is his loyal friend. The cinematography and score are epic, reminiscent of "A River Runs Through It." "12 Years a Slave" IS a movie about slavery. Given Chiwetel's talent and discriminating taste, it is probably well worth seeing.


I believe 12 Years a Slave will be the better choice, if we're choosing, this year.


Annnnnd, I won't be watching this. SMH!!

Lol @ the trailer resembling a Hallmark movie. It's so true, it does look like a hallmark movie.


It seems as though "Ducks Dogs and Friends" (1979) was formerly published as "Ward Allen Savannah River Market Hunter" which was published in 1959.

The Detroit Mixtape

What is this…the year of the slave? Why the sudden interest? Sigh. I won't complain. But if Hollywood is finally (decades late, but whatever) going to start examining the institution of slavery and the many human stories to be found there, they will have to do better than this.


not one word in the trailer… or gesture of individual significance… why was this even reviewed here?


I can not find the words to describe how unbelievably boring this looks.


I was not expecting this. I thought Chiwetel was going to play a more prominent role. Disappointing trailer. At first, I thought the wrong trailer was playing.


I'll pass .


I am in awe of Chiwetel so I'm a bit puzzled by this film choice. The trailer certainly comes off Hallmark Channel-ish. And I'm mad they couldn't give the brotha a proper moustache.


What in the blue blazes did I just watch. For a minute there I thought it was a YouTube spoof or something but now I realize its a Hallmark movie, isn't it?


I have zero interest in seeing this. I'm going to see 12 years a slave because it is historical, but I am not a fan of this trend to make these "remember when white people had their foot on black necks" movies.


Looks like a tv film.


this looks like a Hallmark Channel movie…


Looks good… I'll give it a shot when it is released .

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *