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Showing posts from July, 2015

Macon Film Festival: 2015 Award Winners

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Sara Casasnovas and Jesús Lloveras star in “Day Release (Tercer Grado),” winner of Best Narrative Feature and Excellence in Directing awards. The tenth anniversary of the Macon Film Festival saw its most high profile guest yet (Burt Reynolds), its highest attendance yet and—in the honest opinion of this annual attendee and film critic—its best programming yet. While special screenings of “Deliverance,” “Sharky’s Machine,” “Slow West” and opening night presentation “Mavis!” have garnered the most attention, the entire lineup is glittered with exceptional films across the board. Several selections won two awards—”Jinxy Jenkins, Lucky Lou” took home the Best Animated Short and Excellence in Editing awards, “Forced Contact” was awarded both Best LGBT Short and Excellence in Cinematography honors, and “Day Release (Tercer Grado)” received awards for Best Narrative Feature and Excellence in Directing. The festival wraps up today and Audience Award winners will be announced tonight. Check out

Review: "Cartel Land" (***½)

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Meth lab in Michoacán, Mexico “Breaking Bad” meets “The Hurt Locker” in “Cartel Land,” Director Matthew Heineman’s investigative documentary about two vigilante forces and their common enemy: the Mexican drug cartels. Stateside we have Tim “Nailer” Foley, head of the Arizona Border Recon, armed and ready to stop the drug war from crossing the border into Altar Valley. In Michoacán, Mexico, Dr. Jose “El Doctor” Mireles leads the Autodefensas—a citizen militia determined to dethrone the Knight Templars, a ruthless cartel that terrorizes the community. Autodefensas in Michoacán Heineman directed, produced, edited, and filmed “Cartel Land.” He embedded himself with Foley and Mireles for over a year to gain the trust needed to access the remarkable transparency his exposé achieves. Kathryn Bigelow, Oscar-winning Director of “The Hurt Locker” itself, is Executive Producer. Her involvement is top-billed, understandably, but it’s Heineman’s Emmy nomination that waits to greet you. Produced by

Georgia Icon Burt Reynolds Leads a Pack of Filmmakers Heading to 2015 Macon Film Festival

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Burt Reynolds in his Academy Award-nominated role in “Boogie Nights.” Georgia-born film legend Burt Reynolds has been announced as a special guest of the 10th annual Macon Film Festival, taking place Thursday July 16 through Sunday July 19. Despite being born in Waycross, Reynolds was raised mostly in Michigan, Missouri and Florida. One of the biggest box office draws of the 1970s and 80s, Reynolds made it a point to return to his home state to film several of his hit films, including “The Cannonball Run,” “Deliverance,” “Gator,” “The Longest Yard,” “Sharky’s Machine,” “Six Pack,” “Smokey and the Bandit,” “Smokey and the Bandit II” and “Stroker Ace.” Reynolds both directed and starred in several films, the Georgia-lensed “Sharky’s Machine” and “Gator” among them. In the early 1990s, Reynolds appeared for four seasons in the hit sitcom “Evening Shade” and went on to garner his first ever Academy Award nomination in 1998 for Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Boogie Nights.” The commercially succes

2015 Macon Film Festival Complete Lineup Revealed

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This year’s Macon Film Festival is bound to be the biggest event yet. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Macon announced last year that it would move the four-day event from February to July, coinciding with the city’s annual Bragg-Jam Music Festival—creating a ten-day mega event in downtown Macon. Kicking off our annual coverage of middle Georgia’s premiere film event, we are pleased to showcase the entire lineup! Several great films are to be showcased this year, including many Georgia features and shorts, several films that also played the 2015 Atlanta Film Festival (“Divided Time,” “Frame by Frame,” “Old South,” “Wildlike”) and some very special presentations to be attended by #GAfilm icon Burt Reynolds. OPENING NIGHT: MAVIS! USA (Director: Jessica Edwards) – Mavis Staples of the Staple Singers inspired millions and helped propel the civil rights movement with their music. After 60 years of performing, legendary singer Mavis Staples’ message of love and equality is needed now more t