Emory film festival features locally made movies

With so much filming activity happening in Atlanta and elsewhere in Georgia, it only made sense for the upcoming Emory Cinematheque film festival to feature locally made projects.

“You can’t drive very far in Atlanta, it seems, without seeing a sign directing you to a base camp or crew parking,” said series curator Eddy Von Mueller, a senior lecturer in film and media studies at Emory University. “We have numerous students and alumni who are involved in various aspects of film and television in the state. It would be kind of hard to walk onto a television set anywhere in Atlanta and not find at least one kid who’s had to sit through my class.”

The Emory Cinematheque is held each semester and features different themes, such as a particular genre or nationality. Rounding up selections with a local focus was a fun challenge, Von Mueller said.

“I’m not sure people are aware how long Georgia has been attracting film production,” he said. “There are so many fascinating films that were made partly in Georgia, and not just metro Atlanta. It is actually a series that will be full of surprises.”

The series kicks off with the Oscar-winning “Driving Miss Daisy” and includes a diverse range of titles, including “42,” “Glory” and “Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” The series will conclude with “Deliverance.”

While the projects span a wide range, they collectively represent the strength of Georgia’s film industry, not to mention opportunities for job-seeking students.

“When I first came to Georgia, there was remarkably little production work in town,” said Von Mueller, who arrived in 1995. “I remember working as a very low-budget filmmaker in the state. Jobs were incredibly scarce, production was very rare.

“Watching this eruption (of local film production), it’s sort of mind boggling,” he said. “We’ve gone from relatively few jobs to almost the exact opposite.”

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