Savannah's own Oscar viewing party celebrated more than the silver screen this year. Savannah Filmmakers gathered at B&D Burgers on Congress Street to celebrate a life.
"I basically cried," says Claire Weinstein.
Although the Savannah group began planning the special party weeks ago, an unfortunate accident changed everything.
"The events on the railroad changed everything for everybody," Judith More says.
Sarah Jones, 27, was the camera assistant who was on the scene of filming 'Midnight Rider' in Jesup, when she was hit by a train and killed. Seven others were injured, too.
"The Savannah film community's standing strong and holding hands, and we're ready to move on with healing and making sure this never happens again," More says.
That's the message she wanted to send throughout the Oscar party Sunday night.
"The filming society of Savannah is so terribly sorry for what happened," she says.
The accident hit close to home for More.
"For me it was especially frightening, because I have two sons in the film business, and I was so aware that I could have been the mother taking that phone call," she says.
Others recall their feelings when they learned of the sad news.
"I was praying for peace for her family, praying for those who were injured. It was just awful," Weinstein says.
Some even signed the petition to include Sarah Jones in The Oscars In Memoriam moments.
"Fifty-seven thousand people signed a petition," More says.
She was one of them.
"I feel so strongly that the industry needs to recognize a very brave young lady whose life was filmmaking. She loved it," More says.
The group gathered for a photo with slates with Jones' name written on them, to send to the FaceBook page 'Slates for Sarah.'
"She was doing what she loved, and what she was trying to follow," Weinstein says. "I hope to smile for her."
Although Sarah Jones was not featured In Memoriam in The Oscars, there was a banner at the end with her name and picture listed.
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