Several featured marquee screenings have also recently been announced. “The Boss Baby” (March 25, Plaza Theatre) is DreamWorks’ latest computer-animated comedy about a ruthless baby who wears a suit and speaks with the voice of actor Alec Baldwin when the adults aren’t around. “The Zookeeper’s Wife” (March 29, Plaza Theatre) is based on American author Diane Ackerman’s bestselling 2007 non-fiction book. Directed by Niki Caro, the film is set in 1939 Poland, where Antonina Żabińska (Jessica Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh), use their positions running the Warsaw Zoo to try to help save lives in the Warsaw Ghetto after the German invasion.
Actor Sam Elliot stars as an aging Western icon whose staid life reliving his glory days is abruptly interrupted by a cancer diagnosis (March 28, Plaza Theatre) in director Brett Haley’s new feature “The Hero.” Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, Tom Holland and Charlie Hunnam star in director James Gray’s film version of David Grann’s nonfiction bestseller “The Lost City of Z” (March 30, Plaza Theatre) about Amazon explorer Percy Fawcett. Richard Gere stars in director Joseph Cedar’s “Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer” about an opportunist who finds himself at the center of a geopolitical drama after buying a pair of shoes for a low-level Israeli politician who is unexpectedly thrust into the position of Prime Minister (April 2, Plaza Theatre).
Georgia-made world premieres include “Born River Bye” directed by Tim Hall (March 30, 7 Stages). The film focuses on two childhood friend who reunite in their sleepy hometown as they experience difficult crossroads in their lives. Director Tamlin Hall’s Georgia-filmed feature “Holden On” (March 25, Plaza Theatre) tells the story of a small-town football player who succumbs to a secret battle with mental illness.
The festival also includes a local film series presented by Atlanta arts organization Wonderroot, seven world premiere feature films, a puppet slam, the chance to experience virtual reality shorts and a creative conference, the festival’s five-day educational programming track consisting of industry panels, talks and demos.
The annual festival will be held at venues across the metro Atlanta area including the Plaza Theatre, 7 Stages in Little Five Points, downtown’s Rialto Center for the Arts, Dad’s Garage. Avondale Towne Cinema and the Chattahoochee Hills development of Serenbe. Selected from more than 6,000 submissions from 120 countries, the festival’s 191 films includes 40 films with Georgia connections, representing both the festival’s interest in featuring films connected to the state and also the region’s recent development as a filmmaking hub.
The Atlanta Film Festival. March 24-April 2. $10 per screening, $50 on opening and closing nights. Festival badge $50-750. Multiple venues. 1-877-725-8849. atlantafilmfestival.com
Opening night. "Dave Made a Maze." 7 p.m., March 24. $50. Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave.
Closing night. "Menashe." 7:30 pm, April 1. $50. Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave.