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Showing posts from March, 2014

Georgia filmmakers stray from home in Atlanta Film Festival documentaries: "Limo Ride" (****), "Mayan Blue" (****)

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Georgia filmmakers travel near and far for these ATLFF selected documentaries; “Mayan Blue” (top) filmed in Guatemala, “Limo Ride” (bottom) filmed in Alabama. As is usually the case with the Atlanta Film Festival, Georgia independent film is featured with an especially high visibility. This year, there are two documentary features, two narrative features and a host of short films from Georgia filmmakers. To go beyond that, several films are ‘Georgia connected,’ meaning they come from a filmmaker that grew up in Georgia, have a producer from here or some other connection that makes them slightly less of a Georgia production—but still something we can claim as our own. This year’s two local documentary features—”Limo Ride” and “Mayan Blue”—are anything but ‘local.’ “Limo Ride” comes from Atlanta filmmakers and ATLFF alumni Gideon C. Kennedy and Marcus Rosentrater (also a Senior Animator on the excellent Georgia-made television show “Archer”), but was set and shot in Alabama. The film tel

Macon Review: "Muscle Shoals" (****)

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Keith Richards is featured in “Muscle Shoals” Recent scientific research has shown that it is impossible to keep still during the first ten minutes of “Muscle Shoals.” Moments after Bono’s opening lines echo across the stunning colors and textures of northwestern Alabama’s verdant riverbanks, Wilson Pickett’s “Land of 1,000 Dances” kicks in and you can’t help but shake loose. It is immediately clear just how much soul this film possesses, having gleaned character and zeal from its many revered subjects. “Deep down in your stomach, coming out of your gut. That’s that Muscle Shoals sound.”  —Candi Staton Having first seen “Muscle Shoals” at the Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham last summer—appropriately showcased at the Alabama Theatre—I was excited to hear that the film was also the opening night selection for the 2014 Macon Film Festival. Macon—although much larger of a city and with a less musically synonymous name than Muscle Shoals—has a rich and diverse musical history, even cla

Complete lineup of the 2014 Atlanta Film Festival

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Less than two weeks away, the 38th edition of the Atlanta Film Festival is surely the most exciting yet. The lineup is striking—composed of previous festival hits and world premieres, international narratives and documentaries on a myriad of subjects. Cannes, Sundance, SXSW and Toronto all send their greatest hits of the past few months, but plenty of new local fare and standout docs from the Savannah Film Festival and Macon Film Festival (“Mayan Blue” [Savannah], “Brothers Hypnotic” [Savannah & Macon], “A Fragile Trust” [Macon]) dot the lineup as well. Local feature titles include narratives “A is for Alex” and “The Unwanted” as well as documentaries “Limo Ride” and “Mayan Blue.” Georgia-connected filmmakers share films like “Beside Still Waters” and “Bayou Maharajah” and a host of Georgia set, shot and connected short films feature in several different blocks. The Atlanta Film Festival has worked very hard in recent years to clarify its voice and put on an organized, polished pre

Homespun: A Q&A with Brantly Watts

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“ Homespun is a series of short character films profiling unique individuals around the metro Atlanta area. Partnered by the Atlanta Film Festival, the series allows local filmmakers to collaborate with metro-area musicians, artists and other local talent while featuring the local characters and neighborhoods that give Atlanta its distinctive culture. Through these individual character studies, Atlanta will be revealed as the Homespun phenomenon it has become.” This is how  Homespun , Brantly Watts’ brainchild, defines itself. Brantly and her husband, Jon Watts, co-founded Half Pint Productions  to provide a platform on which they further their storytelling and love of Atlanta. We asked Brantly a few questions about the Homespun series to get a better idea about its purpose and their dreams for its growth. –How has the response been to the first Homespun series? Many locals we’ve spoken to about the series seem to feel that a project like Homespun is desperately needed in the Atlanta c

2014 Georgia Independent Film Survey Results

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Editor’s Note: Credit for this exceptional piece must go to our partner Charles Judson at CinemATL. If anyone has their finger on the pulse of Georgia’s independent film scene, it’s this guy. We look forward to continuing and further developing our partnership with CinemATL in the future. -CM The results of CinemATL and Reel Georgia’s first survey of the Georgia Film Scene are in. All submitted survey responses can be found at the end of this post. We asked 9 questions: How do you define an Independent Film? What are the benefits when a film is identified being an indie/independent? What are the negatives when a film is identified as being an indie/independent film? How seriously–how much respect–does the community/industry at large treat the indie films on your resume? How confident are you about the future of Georgia’s Independent Film Scene? Of the independent films you’ve worked on in Georgia, how you would rate your experience? How aware is the rest of the country of Atlanta an

Vote for "The House at the Edge of the Galaxy" in the Krakow Film Festival trailer competition!

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Last year, Gleb Osatinski’s “The House at the Edge of the Galaxy” was one of my favorite films at the Atlanta Film Festival . As he continues his festival run (next month, he’ll be in Sarasota), he is also expanding his horizons. The prestigious Krakow Film Festival is currently running a trailer contest . Out of the myriad entries, the film that receives the most votes will go on to be featured in the festival! It only takes two clicks! Vote here! Let’s reward this talented and hardworking Atlanta Film Festival alumnus!