ATLFF '15 Best Documentary Feature Winner "Stray Dog"—One of the Year's Most Lauded Films

The Documentary Feature Jury Award-Winning film from the 2015 Atlanta Film Festival was Debra Granik's "Stray Dog."

Harley-Davidson, leather, tattooed biceps: Ron "Stray Dog" Hall looks like an authentic tough guy. A Vietnam veteran, he runs a trailer park in rural Missouri with his wife, Alicia, who recently emigrated from Mexico. Gradually, a layered image comes into focus of a man struggling to come to terms with his combat experience. When Alicia's teenage sons arrive, the film reveals a tender portrait of an America outside the mainstream. "Stray Dog" is a powerful look at the veteran experience, a surprising love story, and a fresh exploration of what it takes to survive in the hardscrabble heartland. (official synopsis)

You probably recognize Granik's name as the Oscar-nominated writer-director of 2010's "Winter's Bone." Shortly after that film debuted at Sundance, it played ATLFF, earned several Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture) and went on to launch the career of America's currently reigning movie star queen, Jennifer Lawrence. It was on the set of "Winter's Bone" that Granik first met Ron Hall, one of the film's characters. The contrast of his gruff appearance with his truly gentle nature was so fascinating, Granik turned her camera to Hall for a documentary and "Stray Dog"—the film—was born.

As you can see, "Stray Dog" played dozens of festivals—many of them in competition—and went on to win a bevy of awards. It was nominated for Best Documentary at the 2015 Independent Spirit Awards, losing to eventual Oscar-winner "Citizenfour."

We are now accepting submissions for the Documentary Feature category and all other categories for the 2016 Atlanta Film Festival. The Earlybird Deadline is June 20, Regular Deadline is September 18.