What a weekend! The 37th Atlanta Film Festival kicked off this weekend, debuting a brand new look and feel at the newly re-modeled Plaza Theatre. Beginning with THIS IS ATLANTA documentary shorts block, featuring local films CHANGE IN THE GAME, THE GIRL WITH THE TUBA, GUIDESTONES, OUT OF STONE, SPEAKEASY SUPPER-CLUB, and WHEN THE ZOMBIES COME, festival guests were treated to a proper introduction to the city we love so much.
Continuing with the southern theme of the night, Jeff Nichols' MUD was the showcased attraction of the evening. Oscar winning director Ray McKinnon, who appears in the film, joined us for the screening. McKinnon gave a brief introduction of the film and with that the 2013 Atlanta Film Festival was off to a fantastic start.
The opening night festivities continued with a party at Paris on Ponce where attendees were treated to homemade pecan pralines (made fresh on the spot by Epting Events, official sponsor of ATLFF), Frozen Pints beer ice cream, Sugar Moon Bake Shop cupcakes, and a moonshine sampling from Dawnsonville Moonshine Distillery.
Not to be outdone, Saturday provided even more incredible memories with our Saturday Morning Animation program at 7 Stages. Kids of all ages filled the Black Box to enjoy a program created just for them and they were offered the opportunity to meet the filmmakers in attendance. Over at the Plaza Theatre, LA SOURCE and THE SUICIDE KID headed up our lineup, followed by a great turnout for Ben Popik's EXQUISITE CORPSE PROJECT, which is sure to become one of the most talked about films of the festival.
Ray McKinnon made a second appearance on Saturday night, this time bringing the entire cast of his new show RECTIFY . The special sneak preview of the Georgia-lensed project was well received and is scheduled to premiere on the Sundance Channel on Monday, April 22 at 9:00PM. Additional events for the evening included SXSW favorites WHITE REINDEER, GOOD OL' FREDA, and a crowd-pleasing live performance from IFC's THE WHITEST KIDS YOU KNOW. The night wrapped with a party at the Venetian Room and the premiere of NuvoTV's STANDUP & DELIVER, featuring co-host Julissa Bermudez and comedian Chaunte Wayans.
On Sunday the momentum was in full swing with the world premiere of Matt Reynold's GREAT CHICKEN WING HUNT and a St. Paddy's Day wing party at the The Highland Ballroom Lounge. Later in the evening, the locals proved why Atlanta is Hollywood South with an exceptional turnout for Georgia films A BAND OF ROGUES and CONGRATULATIONS!, both of which will receive encore screenings on Sunday, March 24. Over at 7 Stages, Vampire Diaries star Joseph Morgan, debuted his short film REVELATION, starring Perisa White. The film running a little over 9 minutes, was part of the OTHER WORLDS block, which also featured ADVANTAGEOUS, SCI-FLY, SOL, THE OTHER SIDE, GAME, RECORD/PLAY, and THE DARK. If you missed this amazing block be sure to catch the encore this Sunday.
The weekend fittingly came to a close with a LOST IN THE LETTERS reading, in support of our 2013 CINformation Seminar Series, and a kick-back at Young Blood Boutique & MINT Gallery. And with that opening weekend at the 2013 Atlanta Film Festival was in the books!
On deck for Day 4: Screenwriting and Animation workshops at 7 Stages during the day followed by the ANIMATION SHORT BLOCK (6:45PM), CONCUSSION (7:00PM), I USED TO BE DARKER (9:15PM) and the EXPERIMENTAL SHORT BLOCK (9:30PM). At The Plaza, festival circuit favorites BETWEEN US (7:00PM), A SECRET WORLD (7:15PM), TUTTI GIU (9:15PM) and WOLF (9:30PM) will provide the perfect start for an amazing festival week.
Tickets are on sale online and at the Plaza Theatre & 7 Stages box office. Be sure to check our Facebook & Twitter for continuous updates and photos.