2017 Macon Film Festival July 20-23

It’s time for one of the coolest and friendliest film festivals out there, the  12th Annual Macon Film Festival, from Thursday, July 20th to Sunday, July 23rd. The festival teams up once again this year with the Bragg Jam Music, Arts and Kids Festival, which is July 28th and 29th, to offer special “FestieBesties” VIP tickets to attend both events.

Surrounded by a rich musical and southern culture, the Macon Film Festival celebrates independent films while promoting filmmaking for entertainment, inspiration, education, and economic development.

Macon Film Festival

Photo courtesy of Mike McKinney

Besides feature length films, the Festival also celebrates shorts, with particular emphasis on films made in Georgia, including animated shorts, documentaries, and music videos. The festival also features a series of LGBT short films.

The great thing about the Macon Film Festival is that almost all of the festival takes place in downtown Macon, with all theaters including Cox Capitol Theatre and the historic Douglass Theatre within easy walking distance from each other.

 

Highlights of the Festival include:

Opening Night:  Macon Film Festival attendees will enjoy an unprecedented experience for the city at the festival’s kickoff event this year with the screening of a new full-dome film, Stardancer’s Waltz, at the Museum of Arts and Sciences’ Mark Smith Planetarium on Thursday evening, July 20, at7:45 p.m. Stardancer’s Waltz will be shown multiple times throughout the evening with a reception throughout to accommodate an expected large audience and will be followed by the festival’s ever-popular after-party, also taking place at the Museum.  Thursday, July 20th at 7:45 pm

Brave New Jersey  (2016)   Brave New Jersey is a comedy about a small town on the night of Orson Welles’ legendary 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast— the hoax that terrified millions into believing Martians were invading America. As the citizens of one New Jersey town are faced with what they believe is their last night on Earth, their lives will change forever. An alien invasion movie where the aliens never show up. The cast includes Tony Hale, Heather Burns, Anna Camp, Sam Jaeger, and Raymond J. Barry. A Q&A with director Jody Jambert will follow the screening.  Friday, July 21 at 7:15 pm

Macon Film Festival

Photo courtesy of Mike McKinney

Basically Frightened: The Musical Madness of Colonel Bruce Hampton  (2012)  Encore of the 2012 film about the late Colonel Bruce Hampton. Bruce began his career with an unprecedented record deal in 1970, but the Hampton Grease Band’s first album went on to be the worst selling album in the history of Columbia Records. Bruce then made a brave decision and continued his musical career, devoting himself to creating pure art rather than attempt any commercial success. The result has been an incredible and influential 50-year catalog of music and philosophy. Dubbed the father of Jam Band, he is a guru to many a celeb.   Saturday, July 22nd at 12:00 pm

Swim Team  (2016)  What would you do if your community gave up on your child? In New Jersey, the parents of a boy on the autism spectrum take matters into their own hands. They form a competitive swim team, recruiting diverse teens on the spectrum and training them with high expectations and zero pity. What happens next alters the course of the boys’ lives. Swim Team chronicles the extraordinary rise of the Jersey Hammerheads, capturing a moving quest for inclusion, independence and a life that feels winning.  Saturday, July 22 at 1:45 pm

Lucky  (2017)  Lucky follows the spiritual journey of a 90-year-old atheist and the quirky characters that inhabit his off the map desert town. Having out-lived and out-smoked all of his contemporaries, the fiercely independent Lucky finds himself at the precipice of life, thrust into a journey of self-exploration, leading towards that which is so often unattainable: enlightenment. Acclaimed character actor John Carroll Lynch’s directorial debut, Lucky, is at once a love letter to the life and career of Harry Dean Stanton as well as a meditation on mortality, loneliness, spirituality, and human connection. The cast includes Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Ron Livington, Ed Bedley Jr., Tom Skerritt, and Beth Grant.   Saturday, July 22 at 7:15 pm

Macon Film Festival

Photo courtesy of Mike McKinney

Rumble:  Indians Who Rocked the World  (2017)  Rumble tells the story of a profound, essential, and, until now, missing chapter in the history of American music: the indigenous influence. Featuring music icons Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Jesse Ed Davis, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robbie Robertson, Randy Castillo, and others, Rumble shows us how these talented Native musicians helped shape the soundtracks of our lives.   Sunday, July 23 at 11:45 am

Whose Streets? (2017)  Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, Whose Streets? is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. When unarmed Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of St. Louis, Missouri. Grief, longstanding racial tensions, and renewed anger bring residents together to hold vigil and protest. Empowered parents, artists, and teachers come together as freedom fighters. As the National Guard descends on Ferguson, these community members become the torchbearers of a new resistance. Filmmakers Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis know this story because they are the story. Whose Streets? is a powerful battle cry from a generation fighting, not for their civil rights, but for the right to live.  Sunday, July 23 at 3:00 pm

Please Call Home  (2017)  This is a story about home, family, and brotherhood. Between 1970 and 1972 a band of brothers used a Southern home as their base of operations. They called it the Big House. It became a refuge that nurtured the creativity of a community. As the characters within the Big House shared the darkness and light that is life, a mystical bond was established. In the midst of a magical era of musical, cultural, and political change, the Big House became a greenhouse in which a unique strain of music grew. For just a little while it’s time to remember the music that ignored barriers, to recapture the good energy, and to celebrate brotherhood. Film courtesy of The Big House Foundation. A Q&A with director Kirk West and friends will follow the film.  Sunday, July 23 at 5:45 pm

The Macon Film Fest runs Thursday, July 20th through Sunday, July 23rd.

For more information and tickets go to www.maconfilmfestival.com

For more of Mike’s reviews and interviews click here 

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