Atlanta Film Festival Thursday – Sunday Highlights
Mike's ProfileMike has a degree in Film from The University of Texas at Austin. He has worked in the entertainment industry for the past 25 years and sees two to four new movies in the theatre a week. Mike has a weekly movie blog where he reviews films both present and past at: lastonetoleavethetheatre.blogspot.com He can be followed on Twitter @lastonetoleave
The Atlanta Film Festival continues through Sunday, April 6th. Here are my highlights for each day
Thursday April 3rd
Conversation with Atlanta Documentarians Jon Watts and Brantly Jackson
The creators of “AKA Blondie” (ATLFF 2012) relate the inspiration and execution of their new documentary series of curated shorts, Homespun. The anthology series showcases Atlanta personalities created by local filmmakers.
The Goat Farm Arts Center – Foster St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
The Goat Farm Arts Center Presents: SOUND + VISION
The Atlanta Film Festival SOUND + VISION is now in it’s third year. Featuring a deeply pondered list of Atlanta bands, experimental films that will test your mettle, music videos that are worth your time, other bizarreness & food trucks to satiate — this event is a true festival highlight!
“Bayou Maharajah: The Tragic Genius of James Booker” (2013)
A documentary on a man decscribed by Dr. John as ‘the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced.’ James Booker was an unparalleled musician whose eccentricities and showmanship belied a life of struggle and isolation. Triply-marginalized by his race, sexuality and physical disability, he still managed to excel as a musician in New Orleans and Europe in the turbulent 1960-70s, fusing secular, sacred, pop and classical traditions in breathtaking new ways. A brilliant stylist of soaring imagination, Booker personified the agony of genius in a time of paradigmatic change. Producer Nate Kohn will be in attendance.
Friday April 4th
7 Stages Theatre
Music Video Panel, presented by Y’allywood
Attend this free event for a panel discussion with filmmakers from this years Atlanta Film Festival Music Video Competition. We will screen the selected music videos of panelists and have a open discussion regarding collaboration with musicians and strategies for distribution.
Panelists Include: Video Rahim & Ashley Simpson “Hallucination Generation -The Biters”, Josh Yoder “Go Softly –Jungol”, John Henderson “Plans -Dead! Wait?”, Tomasz Wlazinski “Melt -KAMP!”, Brady Bigalke “Switzerland -The Dewars”, Josh Mckie “His Eyes Are Closed -Kathleen Mary Lee”.
“We Gotta Get Out of this Place” (2013)
With only three weeks left until his two best friends leave for college, Billy Joe (Logan Huffman) robs his cotton farmer boss, Giff (Mark Pellegrino), in order to pay for one last blow-out weekend in Corpus Christi, Texas. Arriving home from the weekend, the teens find the consequences of Billy Joe’s actions brutal. Now Billy Joe, Bobby (Jeremy Allen White) and Sue (Mackenzie Davis) will be taken on a ride that will test love, heartbreak, trust and crossing that permanent line from adolescence into adulthood. Directors of the film, Simon Hawkins and Zeke Hawkins will be in attendance.
Hera Karlsdottir is born on the cowshed floor at her parents farm in rural Iceland in 1970, right as Black Sabbath record their first album and signal the start of heavy metal. Years later, Hera finds solace in the music after her older brother’s tragic death. Rebellious and dreaming of a rock-star future, she is forced to grow up and make some tough choices when her childhood friend returns intent on marrying her and a young priest moves into the quiet farming community. Director Ragnar Bragason will be in attendance.
Saturday April 5th
“I Believe in Unicorns” (2014)
Davina (Natalia Dyer) is an imaginative and strong-willed teenage girl who escapes often into a beautifully twisted fantasy life. Having grown up quickly as the sole caretaker of her disabled mother, she looks for salvation in a new relationship with an older boy. She is swept into a whirlwind of romance and adventure, until the volatile side of his personality begins to emerge. “I Believe in Unicorns” takes us on a road trip through the stunning and complex landscape of troubled young love. Director Leah Meyerhoff will be in attendance.
7 Stages Theatre
“The Winding Stream” (2014)
“The Winding Stream” is a documentary that tells the story of the American roots music dynasty at the very heart of country music. Starting with the original Carter Family—A.P., Sara and Maybelle—the film traces the ebb and flow of their influence as three of the earliest stars of country music. No one has yet pulled together all the elements of this rich history in one documentary. Honoring this multi-generational family, from the early days, on through the rise of Johnny and June Carter Cash and to where it stands now—“The Winding Stream” starts at the headwaters of American roots music. Co-Producer Tara Johnson Medinger will be in attendance.
“The Double” (2013)
Simon James is a ghost. Friends, family, and coworkers meet his every action with complete indifference. He grimly goes through the motions, hoping for recognition that never comes. All of this changes when James Simon arrives. Physically, James and Simon are dead ringers. Yet in temperament, James is everything Simon is not: personable, spontaneous, assertive and desirable. When James begins to take over Simon’s life, he is forced to act. Jesse Eisenberg’s fantastic double performance is bolstered by a cast of seasoned character actors who bring Simon James’s gloomy retro world to life. Directed with a deftly comic hand and assured visual technique by Richard Ayoade. Ticket holders will also be able to attend the closing night party at The Highland Inn Ballrooom.
“Raid 2″ (2013)
Immediately following the events of the original, “The Raid 2” tracks Officer Rama as he is pressured to join an anti-corruption task force to guarantee protection for his wife and child. His mission is to get close to a new mob boss, Bangun, by befriending his incarcerated son, Uco. Rama must hunt for information linking Bangun with corruption in the Jakarta Police Department while pursuing a dangerous and personal vendetta that threatens to consume him and bring his mission — and the organized crime syndicate — down around him.
Sunday April 6th
7 Stages Theater
“B for Boy” (2013)
Thirty-nine-year-old Amaka has the best of all worlds in modern Nigeria, with a loving husband, fulfilling job, bright daughter and another child on the way. Her husband’s mother, Mama, is determined that the child will be a boy and carry on the family name. If she doesn’t deliver, Mama is not beyond having her replaced with a second, younger wife. Fate is only about to increase the pressure on Amaka, with tragic developments that change everything. How far is she willing to go to protect her family?
“Beside Still Waters” Encore Screening
When Daniel Thatcher’s parents died in a car accident, none of his friends came to the funeral. Now he’s losing the family home. The weekend before he has to move out, Daniel hosts a memorial celebration and insists that his friends attend. Daniel also invites his ex-girlfriend, Olivia, to the house, with the hopes of rekindling their old romance.
“Dear White People” (2014)
At prestigious Winchester University, biracial student Samantha White (Tessa Thompson) begins her radio show, “Dear White People, the amount of black friends required not to seem racist has just been raised to two. Sorry, your weed man, Tyrone, doesn’t count.” Sam becomes president of the all-black residential hall Parker/Armstrong, whose existence is facing extinction in the name of diversification. TV reality show Black Face/White Place smells gold in Sam’s story and decides to follow it, rejecting the proposal of fellow black student Coco Conners(Teyonah Parris), who pitched her show Doing Time at an Ivy League. The clamor over Sam’s rise also becomes a career-defining opportunity for black misfit Lionel Higgins (Tyler James Williams) when he is asked to join the school’s lily-white newspaper staff to cover the controversy, even though he secretly knows little about black culture.
Information and passes/tickets at the Atlanta Film Festival website