The line-up for this year’s 2012 Atlanta Film Festival has been announced. The festival will open with the comedy L!fe Happens starring Krysten Ritter, Kate Bosworth, and Rachel Bilson. I don’t know about the opener (I love Ritter), but ATLFF will have a popular closer with Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s The Cabin in the Woods finishing out the festival. In between there’s some must-see stuff like Compliance (one of the best films I saw at Sundance), God Bless America (I didn’t care for it, but I was in the minority when I saw it at TIFF), the charming and Oscar-nominated Monsieur Lazhar, the horror anthology V/H/S, and the drama The Woman in the Fifth starring Ethan Hawke and Kristen Scott Thomas. Also, ATLFF has wisely recognized the cinematic quality of Game of Thrones and so in partnership with HBO and Xfinity, the festival will be showing the premiere of Season 2 at the Rialto Center for the Arts.
Hit the jump for the press release, which includes the full line-up. The 2012 Atlanta Film Festival runs from March 23 – April 1st.
ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2012 LINEUP
ATLANTA, GA —The Atlanta Film Festival (ATLFF) proudly announces its 2012 lineup of narrative and documentary features and short films for this year’s festival, March 23-April 1 in Atlanta, GA. Over the course of ten days, the ATLFF will screen more than 125 films curated from over 1,500 submissions, and with many participating filmmakers and industry professionals.
The Atlanta Film Festival will open with the feature film L!fe Happens, a film by director Kat Coiro. L!fe Happens is a comedy about three Los Angelenos and what happens when a one-night-stands results in an unexpected pregnancy, Co-writer Krysten Ritter (“Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23”, She’s Out of My League) stars in the film along with Kate Bosworth and Rachel Bilson. Director Kat Coiro and Krysten Ritter will be in attendance on opening night. The Atlanta Film Festival closing night will take place on Saturday, March 31 and will feature The Cabin in the Woods, the highly anticipated horror film starring Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Kristen Connolly (The Happening, Revolutionary Road). The final day of the festival, April 1 will be dedicated to encore presentations of fan favorites and critics’ choices.
The program consists of 29 Narrative Features, 26 Documentary Features and 9 Short Program Presentations with over 50 features/shorts with ties to Georgia. The festival’s main competition consists of 7 Narrative Features, 3 Pink Peach (LGBT) Features, and 8 Documentary Features battling for their category’s Grand Jury Prize. This year’s festival will also mark the introduction of the Atlanta Gem series which highlights venues around the city. Each Gem Series presentation is paired with a film to help highlight that location’s unique place within our city’s culture. Additional information about the Atlanta Gems series and other specialized programming will be announced over the coming days.
“We are excited to announce this year’s lineup. With over fifty films that have Georgia connections, this year’s festival truly is a tribute to the talent from our state,” said Atlanta Film Festival Board President Walker Anderson. “We are also happy to be highlighting venues across this city and to bring the festival to many different neighborhoods and communities. We are grateful to the film-lovers and arts supporters who turn out each year for the festival and are thrilled by the selections we have to offer them this year.”
The Narrative Feature Competition includes: A Little Bit Zombie, directed by Casey Walker; OK, Good directed by Daniel Martinico, That’s What She Said directed by Carrie Preston, and Welcome to Pine Hill, directed by Keith Miller. The Pink Peach Feature Competition includes: Glitterboys and Ganglands, directed by Lauren Beukes; The Grove, directed by Andy Abrahams Wilson; and Varla Jean and the Mushroomheads, directed by Michael Schiralli. The Documentary Feature Competition includes Brooklyn Castle, directed by Katie Dellamaggiore; Coal Rush, directed by Lorena Luciano and Filippo Piscopa; Code 2600, directed by Jeremy Zerechak; Danland, directed by Alexandra Berger; Her Master’s Voice directed by Nina Conti; I Want My Name Back, directed by Roger Paradiso and Trash Dance, directed by Andrew Garrison.
ATLFF invites Atlantans and cinephiles from around the Southeast to enjoy an eclectic mix of international films, narrative features and shorts, documentary features and shorts, and many special presentations. For more information, please visit www.AtlantaFilmFestival.com.
The 2012 Atlanta Film Festival will feature:
OPENING AND CLOSING NIGHT
L!fe Happens (USA)
Director: Kat Coiro
From director Kat Coiro comes L!FE HAPPENS, a comedy centered on three young women – Kim (Krysten Ritter), Deena (Kate Bosworth) and Laura (Rachel Bilson) – who all live under the same roof in Los Angeles. When one of Kim’s one-night-stands results in an unexpected pregnancy, things take a sudden turn for the trio. With the help of her girlfriends, Kim must cope with single motherhood as she jumps back into the dating scene amid the fear that toting around a tot can be a dating ‘buzz-kill.’ Also featuring Jason Biggs, Seymour Cassel, Rhys Coiro, Justin Kirk, Kristen Johnston, Andrea Savage, Geoff Stults and Fallon Goodson, L!FE HAPPENS takes a look at single living, friendship and the joys of life’s curveballs.
Cast: Krysten Ritter, Kate Bosworth, Rachel Bilson, Justin Kirk
Director: Drew Goddard
Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen. If you think you know this story, think again. From fan favorites Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard comes THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, a mind blowing horror film that turns the genre inside out.
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchinson, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins Bradley Witford
ATLANTA GEM SERIES
Hurry Up and Wait (USA)
Screening at The Plaza Theatre
Director: Justin Malone
Hurry Up and Wait, a music documentary, reveals the journey of the Atlanta, Ga based Gringo Star and their 2009 European Tour.
Cast: Peter Furgiuele, Nicholas Furgiuele, Matthew McCalvin, Pete DeLorenzo, Christopher Kaufmann, Lior Spirer and Justin Malone
(Georgia on Our Minds Film Series)
John Portman: A life of Building (USA)
Screening at The Woodruff Arts Center
Director: Ben Loeterman
Synopsis: Once a maverick who was nearly run out of the American Institute of Architects, John Portman is now recognized as one of the most innovative and imitated architects ever. Over 45 years, Portman’s iconic urban statements and eye-popping interiors have risen in 60 cities on four continents to redefine cityscapes in America, and skylines in China and the rest of Asia. The film captures Portman’s approach in an intimate portrait that, by turn, assesses and appreciates Portman’s work. Dramatic time-lapse footage shows off Portman’s buildings at their best- often in moving sunlight that washes over his facades and spaces.
(Georgia on Our Minds Film Series)
Take Me Home (USA)
Screening at The Earth Smith Strand Theatre
Director: Sam Jaeger
Synopsis: Soon after Thom starts operating as an illegal taxi driver in New York City, Claire hires him to drive her to California after her estranged father suffers a heart attack.
Cast: Victor Garber, Sam Jaeger and Lin Shaye
(Passport Film Series)
Screening at The Rialto
Experimental Films Series
Screening at The Goat Farm
(Music Film Series)
Basically Frightened Bruce Hampton (USA)
Screening at The Plaza Theatre
Director: Michael Koepenick
Synopsis: Why is it that Billy Bob Thornton, Dave Matthews, Peter Buck, Derek Trucks, Phish, Widespread Panic, and Blues Traveler are all huge fans of Colonel Bruce Hampton, but you’ve never heard of him? Bruce began his career with an unprecedented six figure record deal in 1970. The Hampton Grease Band’s first album went on to be the worst selling album in the history of Columbia Records. He 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 amazing, influential 50 year catalog of music and philosophy. Dubbed the father of the Jam Band music scene, he is a guru to many a celeb. Why is he still a secret?
Boy (New Zealand)
Director: Taika Waititi
BOY is a dreamer who loves Michael Jackson. He lives with his brother ROCKY, a tribe of deserted cousins and his Nan. Boy’s other hero, his father, ALAMEIN, returns home from a 7-year prison sentence, and forces Boy to confront the reality of who his father is, and learn how to get along without the hero he had been hoping for.
Cast: James Rolleston, Te Aho Aho Eketone-Whitu, Taika Waititi
Director: Craig Zobel
When a prank caller convinces a fast food restaurant manager to interrogate an innocent young employee, no one is left unharmed.
Cast: Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker, Pat Healy, Bill Camp
Generation P (Russia)
Director: Victor Ginzburg
Based on Victor Pelevin’s 1999 novel, Generation P is a chronicle of the rise of the advertising industry in Post-Soviet Russia.
Cast: Vladimir Epifantsev, Mikhail Efremov, Andrey Fomin, Sergey Shnurov
Director: Bobcat Goldthwait
On a mission to rid society of its most repellent citizens, terminally ill Frank makes an unlikely accomplice in 16-year-old Roxy.
Cast: Joel Murray, Tara Lynne Barr, Mackenzie Brooke Smith
In The Hive (USA)
Director: Robert Townsend
Based on an actual school in North Carolina’s Bertie County, IN THE HIVE is a movie about the power of love and a gripping reminder that we can all make a difference in a child’s life, even the ones who’ve been relegated to the discarded heap for far too long.
Cast: Michael Clarke Duncan, Loretta Devine, Vivaca A. Fox and Ali Liebert
I Think It’s Raining (USA)
Director: Joshua Moore
Meet Renata, a twenty something creature of heartfelt idealism and neurotic angst, unexpectedly back in her native San Francisco after fleeing for reasons still unknown. A singer. A romantic. A cynic. A traipser, a trespasser, a miscreant, and a thief; Renata is a lovely contradiction… and a liar.
Cast: Alexandra Clayton, Andy Dulman, Beth Bemis, Zachary Culbertson
Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy (Canada)
Director: Rob Heydon
ECSTASY is a dark romantic comedy, based on the controversial book, “Ecstasy”, by Irvine Welsh. “Ecstasy”, was translated into 20 languages and was a number one bestseller in over 20 countries.
Cast: Adam Sinclair, Kristin Kreuk, Billy Boyd, Carlo Rota
Lucky (South Africa)
Director: Avie Luthra
Lucky, an AIDS orphan is forced to leave his native village to live with his uncle in Durban. He learns about life the hard way, but forges an unlikely bond with an elderly Indian neighbor in spite of racial prejudice and language barriers. Together they go on a journey to find him a new life and family.
Cast: Brenda Ngxoli, James Ngcobo, Jayashree Basavaraj
Director: Phiilippe Falardeau
Bachir Lazhar, an Algerian immigrant, is hired to replace an elementary school teacher who died tragically. While the class goes through a long healing process, nobody in the school is aware of Bachir’s painful former life; nor that he is at risk of being deported at any moment.
Cast: Mohamed Fellag, Sophie Nélisse, Émilien Néron
Musical Chairs (USA)
Director: Susan Seidelman
Musical Chairs is a romantic tale of two New Yorkers, Armando from the Bronx, and Mia from the Upper East Side, who come together through their love of ballroom dancing. When a tragic accident puts Mia in a wheelchair, Armando, aided by a group of colorful misfits at the rehab center, dedicates himself to helping Mia dance once more by introducing her to the world of competitive wheelchair ballroom dancing
Cast: Leah Pipes, E.J. Bonilla, Priscilla Lopez
My Last Day Without You (USA)
Director: Stefan Schaefer
On a one-day business trip to New York, a German business executive (Ken Duken) falls in love with a singer-songwriter (Nicole Beharie) who exposes him to her Brooklyn world and emotions he’s never experienced before.
Cast: Ken Duken, Nicole Beharie, Reg E. Cathey, Marlene Forte, Laith Nakli
Director: Henry Barrial
A man wakes up alone in the middle of the desert with a black hood on his head and his hands tied behind his back. At death’s door, he is discovered by a woman living alone in the desert and is nursed back to health. Upon regaining consciousness, the man realizes he has amnesia, and has no idea who he is.
Cast: Patrick Fabian, Rudolf Martin, Sarah Danielle Madison, Pamela Salem
Director: Diego Rougier
A film director obsessed with making a western decides to go to Northern Chile in search of a story for his screenplay.
Cast: Fele Martînez, Gonzala Valenzuela, Patricio Contreras
See Girl Run (USA)
Director: Nate Meyer
See Girl Run is what happens when a 30-something woman allows life’s ‘what ifs’ to overwhelm her appreciation for what life actually is. Disregarding her current obligations, she digs into her romantic past in hopes of invigorating her present
Cast: Robin Tunney, Adam Scott, Josh Hamilton, William Sadler
Director: Kurt Kuenne
‘Shuffle’ is the tale of a man who begins experiencing his life out of order; every day he wakes up at a different age, on a different day of his life, never knowing where or when he’s going to be once he falls asleep. He’s terrified and wants it to stop – until he notices a pattern in his experience and works to uncover why this is happening to him – and what or who is behind it.
Cast: TJ Thyne, Paula Rhodes, Chris Stone, Meeghan Holaway
Small, Beautifully Moving Parts (USA)
Director: Annie Howell
A comic and poignant look at one woman’s coming-of-parenthood in the age of technology. Sarah Sparks is pregnant and feeling wholly ambivalent, despite her boyfriend’s pure enthusiasm. A committed tech-geek, she fears she is more interested in ultrasound technology than in what’s being ultra-sounded.
Cast: Rich Hoag, Andre Holland, Anna Margaret Hollyman, Timoth McCracken
Slumber Party Slaughter (USA)
Director: Rebkah Chaney
Academy award actor and movie star Tom Kingsford (Tom Sizemore) hires a group of sexy strippers from a bizarre strip club owned by a sadistic voyeur, William O’Toole, (Ryan O’Neal).Tom pays the girls to leave the club and accompany him to a party. A psychotic club patron, Dave (Robert Carradine), follows Tom’s limo through a haunted cemetery, placing the group in the middle of a crime scene. Panic and fear escalates and tragedy befalls Tom when he is accidentally murdered and buried in a haunted grave. The girls make a pact of silence and begin their news lives. One year later, the girls reunite at a slumber party while being secretly observed by William (Ryan) as vengeance screams for justice, Death commences a slaughter.
Cast: Tom Sizemore, Ryan O’Neal, Robert Carradine, Rebekah Chaney, Stephanie Romanov, Tyler Jacob Moore, Michael Bowen
Sweet Old World (USA)
Director: David Zeigler
A father and son, whose relationship has become cold and strained in the years since the son’s brother was killed in an accident, find themselves on the brink of disaster and the potential for a new life when the brother’s best friend returns.
Cast: Jacques Colimon, John Nielsen, Gwendolyn Oliver, Eric Peter-Kaiser, Julia Rose
Director: Adam Wingard, Glenn McQuaid, Radio Silence, David Bruckner, Joe Swanberg, Ti West
When a group of misfits is hired by an unknown third party to burglarize a desolate house and acquire a rare VHS tape, they discover more found footage than they bargained for.
Cast: Calvin Reeder, Lane Hughes, Adam Wingard, Hannah Fierman
Director: Ellen Perry
An orphan journeys across Europe to the 2005 Champions League Final in Istanbul.
Cast: Damien Lewis, Bob Hoskins, Alice Krige, Jane March, Rebekah Staton
The Woman in the Fifth (Poland)
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
American writer Tom Ricks comes to Paris desperate to put his life together again and win back the love of his estranged wife and daughter.
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Kristen Scott Thomas, Joanna Kulig, Samir Guesmi
A Little Bit Zombie (Canada)
Director: Casey Walker
A Little Bit Zombie follows the adventures of Steve, a mild-mannered HR manager (Kristopher Turner) who becomes infected with a virus during a weekend get-away with his sister, Sarah (Kristen Hager) his best friend, Craig (Shawn Roberts), and his fiancée, Tina (Crystal Lowe). While he attempts to fulfill his overwhelming desire for brains he must elude Max (Stephen McHattie), the obsessed zombie hunter hot on his trail, and avoid the wrath of his bridezilla. He tries to keep it together but his fiancée will do anything to make sure the wedding takes place, even when her husband-to-be is a little bit zombie.
Cast: Kristopher Turner, Crystal Lowe, Shawn Roberts, Kristen Hager, Emilie Ullerup, Stephen McHattie and Robert Maillet
The Last Fall (USA)
Director: Matthew Cherry
After several years in the playing professional football, Kyle Bishop is released from his fourth team in three years and returns to his home town, broke and at a complete loss about what he will do for a living.
Cast: Lance Gross, Nicole Beharie, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Harry Lennix, Keith David
OK, Good (USA)
Director: Daniel Martinico
A series of demoralizing auditions and an intense movement workshop push a struggling actor towards the edge.
Cast: Hugo Armstrong, Carolyn Almos, Ronnie Clark, Alana Dietze, Jessica Hanna, Cody Henderson and Jacqueline Wright
That’s What She Said (USA)
Director: Carrie Preston
Bebe is getting ready for a big date with a new guy, and her best friend Dee Dee is shotgun. But nothing is going right, starting with an intrusion by a boy crazy oddball. Armed with nothing but their addictions, these women do hilarious battle with New York City, themselves and the true nature of friendship. ‘That’s What She Said’ is a comedy that takes the chick flick genre, mashes it with the balls-to-the-walls outrageousness of a good bro-mance and lets the girls come out on top!
Cast: Anne Heche, Marcia DeBonis Alia Shawkat, Kellie Overbey and Kate Rigg.
(Georgia on Our Minds Film Series)
Welcome to Pine Hill (USA)
Director: Keith Miller
What began as a real argument between strangers over a lost dog became a once in a lifetime collaboration between friends. Bleeding reality into fiction, Director Keith Miller captures Shannon Harper in a breakthrough performance as himself: a recently-reformed, Caribbean-American drug dealer on an odyssey from the crack house backyards of Brooklyn through the Catskill Mountains, seeking transformation, transcendence, and freedom. Shannon is a claims adjuster by day and bouncer by night when earth-shattering news compels him to return to make peace with his past and experience a world beyond the concrete. Forging through urban and rural landscapes, WELCOME TO PINE HILL is an intimate and meditative hybrid featuring an extraordinarily natural debut performance by the real-life Harper and a supporting cast of non-actors.
Cast: Shannon Harper
PINK PEACH DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
Glitterboys & Ganglands (South Africa)
Director: Lauren Beukes
We follow three contestants through the prelim rounds, into the back-stories of their lives, all the way to the outrageous spectacle of the night. The Princess Glamour girl Kat and her long-term partner Errol are being hailed as the Posh Beckham of the gay scene. As a cabaret star, Kat is all about the bling, but she’s barely holding it together after a string of tragedies, including the death of her father two weeks before the grand finale. Errol’s pushing her to finish, but she’s seriously considering dropping out. The MechanicEva is the ambitious newbie on the ramp; she’s a motor mechanic by day who overcame homophobia in her workplace with jokes and charm. But will breaking out her ballroom dancing moves be enough to carry her through to the finals when it’s her first time in the spotlight? The Pre-Op Cirque Du Soleil contortionist Kayden is the seasoned pageant pro who has won 59 titles already. But the other contestants claim she has “an unfair advantage” as a pre-op transsexual on female hormones, she has real boobs. It’s the last time she’ll be able to enter this pageant before she goes for the operation, so the stakes are high. The film is both gritty and glamorous, capturing the humor, the drama, tears and triumphs of the girls who step out from the Cape Flats and onto the ramp to vie for the tiara â€“ and the chance to prove themselves.
The Grove (USA)
Director: Andy Abrahams Wilson
More Americans have been lost to AIDS than in all the U.S. wars since 1900. And the pandemic has killed 22 million people worldwide. But few know about the existence of the National AIDS Memorial, a seven-acre grove and sanctuary hidden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. THE GROVE chronicles this garden’s transformation from a neglected eyesore to landscaped sanctuary to national memorial. The film shows how a community in crisis found healing and remembrance, and how the seeds of a few visionary environmentalists blossomed into something larger than they could have imagined. But as the Grove’s stakeholders seek broader public recognition through an international design competition, a debate emerges about what constitutes an appropriate memorial for the AIDS pandemic. How do we mark a time of unimaginable loss? How do we remember those that could be forgotten?
Varla Jean and the Mushroomheads (USA)
Director: Michael Schiralli
After years of performing in New Orleans’ best dive bars before sagging audiences, semi-celebrity and cabaret chanteuse Varla Jean Merman (Jeffery Roberson) decides to go after a younger crowd – kids! This mockumentary captures her comically ill-conceived, campy and hilariously inappropriate effort to create a local children’s television show.
Cast: Varla Jean Merman, Seth Rudetsky, Ricky Graham, Brian Peterson, Donna Drake, Tom Judson, Colleen Ballinger aka Miranda Sings, Adam Berry and Ben Griessmeyer
AKA Blondie (USA)
Director: Jon Watts
Legendary exotic dancer, Blondie Strange, reveals everything from poetry to prostitution, cocaine to country music all while approaching the gap between stripping and social security.
(Georgia on Our Minds Film Series)
All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert (USA)
Director: Vivian Ducat
Cast: Winfred Rembert, Patsy Rembert, Lilian Rembert, Winfred Rembert, Jr, Phil McBlain, Jan Adelson, Robert Chase, Sam Mahone, Eddie Howard, Anna Joineer, Nancy Lewis and Micky Pratt
(Georgia on Our Minds Film Series)
A People Uncounted (Canada)
Director: Aaron Yeger
A People Uncounted is the true story of a romanticized and ostracized people, the Roma, whose genocide during the Holocaust has left them struggling to overcome their past, even as they face a frightening resurgence of racism and persecution in present-day Europe.
Beauty Is Embarrassing (USA)
Director: Neil Berkeley
Beauty Is Embarrassing is the funny, irreverent and inspiring story of one of America’s most important artists, Wayne White. Raised in Tennessee, Mr. White has spent the last 30 years making his indelible mark on pop culture. From his humble roots as a puppeteer in Nashville to his work as one of the creators of the Pee-wee’s Playhouse TV show to his current life as a darling in the fine art world, Wayne White has inspired millions of people across the country. The film chronicles the vaulted highs and the crushing lows of an artist focused on making every day a chance to create.
Cast: Wayne White, Mimi Pond and Woodrow White
Bonsai People -The Vision of Muhammad Yunus (USA, Bangladesh)
Director: Holly Mosher
Bonsai People -The Vision of Muhammad Yunus from micro-credit to social business. What if you could harness the power of the free market to solve the problems of poverty, hunger, and inequality? To some, it sounds impossible. But Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus is doing exactly that. Yunus did his part to fight poverty by micro-lending $27 to 42 people, an effort which has now grown to 8 million women and 8 billion dollars. But he didn’t stop there; whenever he sees a problem he starts a social business – showing the world that complex problems sometimes do have simple answers. It’s not about handouts, it’s about a hand up.
Cast: Muhammad Yunus
THE CO(TE)LETTE FILM (Belgium, United Kingdom, Netherlands)
Director: Mike Figgis
THE CO(TE)LETTE FILM is Mike Figgis’ cinematographic adaptation of thedance performance by Ann Van den Broek. Women and flesh, beauty and perishableness, raw and fragile. There is no confrontation, nor rivalry. No story-telling, no solution and no ending. Co(te)lette’s story isrestless and… empty.
Cast: Cecilia Moisio, Judit Ruiz Onandi and Frauke Marien
Diary Of A Decade: The Story Of A Movement (USA)
Director: Jason Orr
This film is the story of a cultural legend as told by the innovators of an important, and sometimes overlooked, era in Black culture. Spanning the late 19880′s through the early 2000′s, this story goes deep into the fabric of soul music, it’s definitions, it’s pioneers, it’s offspring, it’s movements, the challenges with the commercial music industry and the evolution of the Funk Jazz Kafe, a music and arts movement /festival born out of Atlanta’s diverse musical heritage. The film covers the decade when Atlanta’s underground music scene became established on the world stage and a new generation of soul singers and musicians emerged.
Cast: Cornell West, Dick Gregory, Dallas Austin, Erykah Badu, Caron Wheeler, Larry Mizell, Joi Gilliam, George Clinton, Cee-Lo Green, Jill Scott, Roy Ayers, Jamie Foxx, Raphael Saadiq, Lil’John Roberts, The Chornicle, Goodie Mob, Doug E. Fresh, Janelle Monae, Meshell Ndegeocello, Chuck D, Profesor Griff, Omar L ye-Fook, MC Lyte, Talib Kweli, Common, Jamal Ahmad, Anthony David, Ray Murray, Andre 300, N’dea Davenport, Algebra, Leronda Williams, Kevin Powell, Loose Ends, Bilal, Dionne Farris, Van Hunt, Eric Roberson, Donnie, Lady Alma, Bone Crusher, Sticman of Dead Prez, DJ Kermit and Speech
(Georgia on Our Minds Film Series)
Family of the Wa’a (USA)
An ‘Ohana’ – or family – of unrelated men and women paddle a Hawaiian outrigger canoe 1750 miles across the length of the Hawaiian archipelago to honor a sacred promise, or Kuleana given to their leader, Kimokeo, by his deceased uncle. Part obligation, part oath, in traditional Hawaiian culture a Kuleana binds a person to their culture and to their ancestors. This unprecedented voyage across vast expanses of open water mirrors Kimokeo’s personal and spiritual transformation from a troubled youth known as ‘Bully’ to a man worthy of the respect of his people. While the journey is ultimately Kimokeo’s, each member of this ohana dedicates their life to the journey and in the process realizes their own sacred promise has been fulfilled.
Flat Daddy (USA)
Director: Nara Garber and Betsy Nagler
Only 1% of Americans serve in the U.S. Military, and their families have borne the disproportionate burden of more than a decade at war. Many have turned to ‘Flat Daddies’ and ‘Heroes on a Stick,’ life-sized cardboard cutouts of their husbands, wives, parents and children serving overseas, to ease the pain of repeated deployments. Using these two-dimensional surrogates as a connecting thread, FLAT DADDY follows four such families, from suburban Minnesota, the Bronx, Las Vegas and rural Maine, as they unfold over the course of a year. Each family represents a unique perspective on the war effort and the difficulties of deployment; together, they weave a nuanced narrative of how military families are coping in post-9/11 America.
Cast: Andrew Bugbee, Andrew Cole, Jelissa Roman-Stephens, William Stephens, Marina Vance, DonnaWinter, Lowell Winter, Christina Winter and Michael Winter
Jobriath A.D. (USA)
Director: Kieran Turner
The American Bowie,’ ‘The True Fairy of Rock & Roll,’ ‘Hype of the Year.’ Known as the first openly gay rock star, Jobriath’s legacy delves deeper than the labels hung upon him. His reign was brief- two albums in two years. Sabotaged by a publicity machine run amok, shunned by the gay community and dismissed by critics, Jobriath was excommunicated from the music business and became an early casualty of AIDS. Now new generations of fans have discovered him and acts like Pet Shop Boys, Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, Siouxsie Sioux and Morrissey all cite Jobriath as a groundbreaking influence. Through interviews, archival material, animation and new music performances, we’ll tell the heartbreaking, unbelievable story of the one, the only…Jobriath.
Not Yet Begun To Fight (USA)
Director: Sabrina Lee and Shasta Grenier
In the space between war and a new battle, Not Yet Begun to Fight unfolds. A retired Marine Colonel reaches out to five men, a new generation returning from combat. He brings them to the river. He puts a fly rod into their hand, teaches them to cast, and shares his secret: there are places where you can still be consumed by a simple act, find joy in a fight, and be redeemed as you gently release another creature, unharmed, into quiet waters.
Roadmap to Apartheid (USA)
Director: Ana Nogueria and Eron Davidson
Ana Nogueira is a white South African and Eron Davidson a Jewish Israeli. Drawing on their first-hand knowledge of the issues, the producers take a close look at the apartheid comparison often used to describe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Their film breaks down the rhetorical analogy into a fact-based comparison, noting where the analogy is useful and appropriate, and where it is not. There are many lessons to draw from the South African experience relevant to conflicts all over the world. This film is as much a historical document of the rise and fall of apartheid, as it is a film about why many Palestinians feel they are living in an apartheid system today, and why an increasing number of people around the world agree with them.
Cast: Narrated by Alice Walker
Scenes of a Crime (USA)
Director: Grover Babcock and Blue Hadaegh
Through one vivid example, Scenes of a Crime explores whether interrogation room tactics can cause an innocent person to confess falsely. When Adrian Thomas entered the Troy, New York police station, he didn’t know he was being video-recorded. A hospital doctor had told detectives that Thomas’s dying son was beaten savagely, and police quickly focused on Thomas. Police used lies, trickery and other legally permissible tactics to overcome their suspect’s repeated denials. At the end of 10 hours of interrogation, Thomas confessed, then quickly recanted. Experts later undermined the ‘shaken baby’ diagnosis, discovering that the doctor who contacted police had misdiagnosed the child. Detectives, prosecutors, witnesses, jurors and the accused himself offer conflicting accounts of exactly what happened in this mysterious and disturbing true-crime documentary.
Sixty in 60 (USA)
Director: Ronnie Cramer
Sixty in 60 is an experimental art film featuring sixty one-minute works of many types. Genres represented include abstract, animation, documentary, experimental, narrative, stop-motion, time-lapse and video art.
Cast: Sherri Burdette, Jeanette Feher and Christine Fetzer
STREET DOGS OF SOUTH CENTRAL (USA)
Director: Bill Marin
A nature documentary on the stray dogs that survive the streets of South Central Los Angeles, ‘Street Dogs’ follows the story of Elsie– a mother struggling to raise her litter of puppies in a harsh urban environment.
Cast: Queen Latifah
The Booker (USA)
Director: Michael Perkins
One man’s quest to save the art of Pro Wrestling, one match at a time.
Cast: Steven Scarborough, Logan Mason, Tara Young and James Card
(Georgia on Our Minds Film Series)
THE GIRLS IN THE BAND (USA)
Director: Judy Chaikin
An inspiring story about the history of the all-girl bands and the incredibly talented women who endured sexism and racism and yet continued to persevere and elevate their talents in a field that seldom welcomed them. In jazz, women have long been marginalized as singers or piano players. Little has ever been documented about the enormously talented female trumpet players, saxophonist and drummers who struggled for recognition but were cut off from any meaningful employment because men didn’t want women on their bandstands. This film traces the history of the all-girl bands and brings us into the present day, where brilliantly gifted young women are going toe-to-toe with the finest jazz musicians of their day.
Cast: Marian McPartland, Herbie Hancock, Mary Lou Williams, Anat Cohen, Ingrid Jensen, Dr. Billy Taylor, Sherrie Maricle and The Diva Jazz Orchestra, Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington and Patrice Rushen
(Georgia on Our Minds Film Series)
This Ain’t California (Germany)
Director: Marten Persiel
This Ain’t California is a celebration of the lust for life, a contemporary documentary trip into the world of roller boarding in the German Democratic Republic. A coming-of-age tale of three teenagers and their passionate love for a sport on the crumbling tarmac of the streets in the German Democratic Republic, which was considered very ill-fitting. The punk fairy tale is a story of the subversive powers of fun in that part of Germany, which had lost touch with its citizens.The film follows its three heroes from their childhood in the seventies through their teenage rebellion in the eighties, ending in the last summer of their life in the German Democratic Republic in 1989, when their life changed forever. And follows them to 2011.
Cast: David Nathan
Up Heartbreak Hill (USA)
Director: Erica Scharf
Up Heartbreak Hill chronicles the lives of three high school seniors living on the Navajo Nation and struggling to shape their identities as both Native American and modern American. They must decide whether to stay in their community – a place inextricably woven into the fiber of their being – or leave in pursuit of educational and economic opportunities.
Cast: Thomas Martinez, Tamara Hardy and Gabby Nakai
Without A Net (USA)
Director: Kelly J. Richardson
Djeferson, Barbara, Rayana and Platini live in a drug controlled slum of Rio de Janeiro. Their families are struggling, their homes are physically unstable and everyone they know has dropped out of school.When a big-top circus tent suddenly appears in a nearby parking lot, they decide to take a chance. They learn trapeze, acrobatics, juggling and contortion, then audition for the end-of-year show, rehearse and prepare for the curtains to part on opening night. Along the way, ‘Without A Net’ explores the connections between risk, desire, poverty and circus, and celebrates the perseverance of youth in the face of tremendous odds.
Cast: Djeferson Mendes de Silva, Barbara Moura, Rayana Dias da Motta, Platini Queiroz
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
Brooklyn Castle (USA)
Director: Katie Dellamaggiore
A squat concrete building on an inner-city block, Intermediate School 318 in Brooklyn, New York may not impress from the outside, but in room 319, something special is happening. Here, hundreds of Ms. Vicary’s students have learned to play chess, one of the world’s oldest and most complex games. To date, I.S. 318′s powerhouse chess team has won 26 national chess competitions, and while some students seem well on their way to becoming the next Bobby Fischer, many have just begun learning how to move the pieces. BROOKLYN CASTLE follows five of these team members for one year, and documents their challenges and triumphs both on and off the chessboard. Justus is an extraordinarily talented 10-year-old who is trying to navigate the unfamiliar pressures that come with his new found success. 11-year-old Patrick struggles with ADHD, and uses chess to improve his concentration. At 12, Alexis already views chess as a means to attain a higher education and support his immigrant family. 13-year-old Rochelle strives to become the first African-American female to achieve the level of chess master. And the team’s emotional and outspoken leader, 12-year-old Pobo, rallies his fellow students against school budget cuts while running for school president. In each of these young teens we witness the profound effects of chess, a beautifully complex game offered as a unique learning experience in an underfunded urban school.
Coal Rush (USA)
Director: Lorena Luciano and Filippo Piscopa
Filmed over 4 years in southern West Virginia, a small Appalachian community comes to believe that the illness that almost killed them and the diseases affecting the entire county may not be an act of God but of environmental wrongdoing by the area’s main employer: Massey Energy.A major US coal company, Massey the plaintiffs say – contaminated local well water by injecting billions of gallons of coal slurry underground for decades. The film examines one of the worst yet least publicized US industrial contamination disasters from all angles â€“ including Massey Energy’s standpoint – while bringing an important story of human suffering into focus. Capturing œverite-style the daily life of the characters affected by the contamination, and recording the developments of the legal case, COAL RUSH is a revealing cinematic mosaic of a tight-knit Appalachian community that decides to take their future into their own hands.
Code 2600 (USA)
Director: Jeremy Zerechak
Code 2600′ documents the rise of the Information Technology Age as told through the events and people who helped build and manipulate it. The film explores the impact this new connectivity has on our ability to remain human while maintaining our personal privacy and security. As we struggle to comprehend the wide-spanning socio-technical fallout caused by data collection and social networks, our modern culture is caught in an undercurrent of cyber-attacks, identity theft and privacy invasion. Both enlightening and disturbing, â€˜Code 2600′ is a provocative wake-up call for a society caught in the grips of a global IT takeover.
Cast: Bruce Schneier. Jennifer Granick, Marcus Ranum, Lorrie Cranor, Gidien Lenkey and Phil Lapsley
Director: Alexandra Berger
Synopsis: Amateur porn producer Dan Leal, aka ‘Porno Dan’, searches for commitment and intimacy in spite of his industry and himself.
Her Master’s Voice (United Kingdom)
Director: Nina Conti
Internationally acclaimed ventriloquist Nina Conti, takes the bereaved puppets of her mentor and erstwhile lover Ken Campbell on a pilgrimage to ‘Venthaven’ the resting place for puppets of dead ventriloquists. She gets to know her latex and wooden travelling partners along the way, and with them deconstructs herself and her lost love in this ventriloquial docu-mocumentary requiem. Ken Campbell was a hugely respected maverick of the British Theatre, an eccentric genius who would snort out forgotten art forms. Nina was his prodigy in ventriloquism and has been said to have reinvented the art form. This film is truly unique in genre and style. No one has seen ventriloquism like this before Nina Conti funny, highly original and poignant documentary, takes us on two journeys. A personal journey, and a professional one, through the strange, surprising and often hilarious world of ventriloquism. When Nina was just another twenty-something wannabe actress, Ken presented her with a teach-yourself ventriloquism kit. This set her on a path to becoming a sell-out act in Britain and abroad, with a clutch of major awards. On the road, Nina brings all the puppets to life as struggles to meet the conflicting demands of her old acerbic partner Monkey, and the new characters she has been bequeathed. But one puppet remains silent. Ken’s doll of himself sits mournful and judgmental in the hotel bedroom. Nina can’t find her master’s voice and until she does, she won’t be able to lay her old life to rest.
Cast: Nina Conti and Ken Campbell
I Want My Name Back (USA)
Director: Roger Paradiso
Synopsis: Thirty years after recording “Rapper’s Delight,” Master Gee & Wonder Mike come back to reclaim their identities and rightful place in Hip Hop history.
Cast: Wonder Mike, Master Gee, Hendogg, DJ T, Dynasty, Treach and Vinnie of Naughty by Nature, Grandmaster CAZ, Bob Sinclair and Melle Mel
Trash Dance (USA)
Director: Andrew Garrison
Sometimes inspiration is found in unexpected places. Choreographer Allison Orr sees beauty and grace in garbage trucks — and in the men and women who pick up our trash. She joins city sanitation workers on their daily routes to listen, learn, and ultimately to try to convince them to collaborate in a unique dance performance. Hard working, often carrying a second job, their lives are already full with work, family and dreams of their own. But some step forward, and after months of rehearsal, two dozen trash collectors and their trucks perform an extraordinary spectacle. On an abandoned airport runway, thousands of people show up to see how in the world a garbage truck can ‘dance.’
Cast: Allison Orr, Virginia Alexander, Don Anderson, Tony Dudley, Chris Guerrero, Shiron Hill, Lee Houston, Ivory Jackson, Jr., Orange Jefferson, Anthony Phillips, Jason Smith and Gerald Watson
Known for its Short Film Programs, ATLFF has divided this year’s best into nine distinct programs:
Animation 1, 2 & 3
Comedy 1 & 2
Documentary 1 & 2
Drama 1, 2 & 3
Pink Peach Documentary
Pink Peach Narrative
Shorts Playing with Features
About the Atlanta Film Festival
The Atlanta Film Festival, now in its fourth decade, is one of the region’s largest and longest-running preeminent celebrations of cinema in the Southeast United States. Over 25,000 festival attendees enjoy independent, animated, documentary, and short films each year, selected from over 2,200 submissions. Atlanta Film Festival 365, the arts non-profit which produces the Atlanta Film Festival annually also schedules screenings, discussions, workshops and panels year-round to keep cinema top of mind and the art & culture community talking. Major funding for the Atlanta Film Festival is provided by the Turner Voices Foundation of Turner Broadcasting, XFINITY, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners under the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council and the Georgia Council for the Arts with appropriation from the Georgia General Assembly.