The Savannah Film Festival will open this year's festival with Alexander Payne's "Nebraska" as its opening night screening. Academy Award-winner Payne will be presented with an Outstanding Achievement in Cinema award by the film's star, Academy Award-nominee and 2006 Savannah Film Festival honoree Bruce Dern. This year's festival runs Oct. 26 - Nov. 2. The full festival schedule will be unveiled Oct. 1, when tickets go on sale to the public.  Shot in black and white across four states, "Nebraska" tells the stories of family life in the heartland of America. After receiving a sweepstakes letter in the mail, a cantankerous father (Dern) thinks he's struck it rich, and wrangles his son (Will Forte) into taking a road trip to claim the fortune.  Payne's first two feature films were the comedies "Citizen Ruth" (1996) and "Election" (1999). "About Schmidt" premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002. Both "Sideways" (2004) and "The Descendants"(2011) won Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay and were nominated for four others, including Best Picture and Best Director. Four of his six feature films were shot in Nebraska. Both Dern and Payne will host separate master classes with SCAD students while they attend the festival. For more information on the Savannah Film Festival, please visit or follow it on Facebook and Twitter at @savfilmfest