ATLFF: Defining Atlanta through film

Known as one of the longest-running festivals in the country, The Atlanta Film Festival celebrates its 41st Anniversary this weekend. Screening 200 films from over 120 countries, this year’s festival has worked hard to rebrand itself as a prominent player among other Oscar-qualifying festivals around the world. And this rebranding effort has already paid off for Atlantans and for the city as a whole.

This year’s line up includes a curated list of every type of visual medium – from big-budget cinematic feats to puppet shows to VR films. And Wednesday’s lineup certainly showcased the wide creative breadth the Festival has to offer. Wednesday night gave audience members the chance to watch the upcoming Focus Features’ ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife,’ explore the Ferguson protests with ‘Whose Streets?‘, and even take in an eighty-minute block of new music videos. But it was the hometown documentaries that really captured the essence of the film festival as a whole.

The ‘Ah, My Hometown’ segment of short films explored everything from Atlanta’s place within the American South, our city’s role in changing journalism and the ethics of our state’s organ transplant system. ‘American Moderate‘, ‘7 Days’ and ‘Digital Edition‘ put a unique lens on how Atlantans and Georgians are front and center of some of our greatest national conversations.

These are the type of films that make us think about what the future of Atlanta Proper should be. If we want to be a World Class City for everything from medicine to art, we must be willing to explore our shortcomings as well as our potential and our achievements. And film is one of the most important mediums for capturing the changing story of Atlanta. Atlanta’s festival is particularly known around the country for celebrating LGBT films and filmmakers with the Pink Peach distinction, as well as focusing on films with female leads and directors with New Mavericks.

As Atlanta Proper grows as a production capital for the US, our Film Festival will continue to play an important role in the city’s growing film and entertainment industries. Tax credits signed by Gov. Nathan Deal have spurred close to 200 films and TV shows being shot in the Atlanta area, with an estimated economic impact of $7 billion.

While the Festival wraps up this weekend, there are still a few opportunities to see Georgia talent on the screen. An encore presentation of the ‘Ah, My Hometown‘ short films will screen on Sunday at 7 Stages Theatre and students at The Art Institute of Atlanta will showcase their work on Thursday night.

Watch some of the ‘Ah, My Hometown’ Short Films from Wednesday night:

Watch ‘Nadia’ – a 3 minute film following Atlanta Ballet’s Nadia Mara.

– Trailer for ‘American Moderate’

– 26 minute ‘Digital Edition’ by James Kicklighter

Additional resources:

-History of the Atlanta Film Society and the Atlanta Film Festival

Homegrown talent featured at the 2017 Atlanta Film Festival