Atlanta Film Festival announces Sept. events, new format

"Once Upon A Time in Venezuela" traces the decline of a tiny village on Lake Maracaibo. Contributed.
"Once Upon A Time in Venezuela" traces the decline of a tiny village on Lake Maracaibo. Contributed.

Credit: Atlanta Film Festival

Credit: Atlanta Film Festival

Drive-in screenings, online presentations, mark new version of festival

The Atlanta Film Festival, now in its 44th iteration, veers off in a new direction this year, as it adjusts to the pandemic world.

Originally scheduled to take place last spring, but postponed because of COVID-19, the organizers announced Thursday that the festival will run from Sept. 17-27, and movies will be streamed online and in “drive-in” presentations.

Drive-in screenings will primarily take place at the Plaza Theatre (1049 Ponce de Leon Ave.) and Dad’s Garage (569 Ezzard St.), with additional venues to be announced later. According to the festival website, “Health protocols and social distancing will be followed to ensure safe and comfortable events for all attendees.”

It’s the first time that the festival, which is presented by the Atlanta Film Society, has streamed movies online.

The festival lineup announced last spring consists of 38 feature-length films, 86 short films and 24 examples of “creative media,” including music videos.

Spokesperson Lindsay Corley said the festival hopes to keep the same lineup announced in March but added that they are still talking with filmmakers and developing agreements about the new digital/drive-in format for the festival.

The festival organizers “expect that majority of the selected lineup will still play,” Corley said in an email.

"15 Things You Didn't Know About Bigfoot" follows a shallow reporter into the wilds of Appalachia and asks the question "is a good story worth dying for?"
"15 Things You Didn't Know About Bigfoot" follows a shallow reporter into the wilds of Appalachia and asks the question "is a good story worth dying for?"

Credit: Atlanta Film Festival

Credit: Atlanta Film Festival

Among the films that have been confirmed is the paranormal comedy “15 Things You Didn’t Know About Bigfoot,” and the documentary “Once Upon a Time in Venezuela,” which follows the decay of a small village, Congo Mirador, and traces the parallel decline of the country itself.

Moving from an in-person group of events to the digital world is the Creative Conference, a five-day series of more than 40 educational events, featuring professionals in the entertainment industry. The list of presenters will be announced in September. Past presenters have included William H. Macy, James Franco, Jason Reitman, Tom Luse and Shuler Hensley.

Women and filmmakers of color are behind more than half the films in this year’s festival, and the festival features specialty tracks highlighting the work of women, LGBT issues and Latin filmmakers.

According to the festival, tickets for individual drive-in screenings are $15-$50, depending on the number of people in each car.

Tickets for individual digital screenings or events are $9.99 per feature, shorts block or virtual conference session. Unlimited digital access will be available for $50 for either film or the Creative Conference – or for $75 for unlimited access to both.

For more information, visit atlantafilmfestival.com.

FESTIVAL PREVIEW

Atlanta Film Festival

Sept. 17-27

$15-$50 drive-in screenings

$9.99 per feature, shorts block or virtual conference session for individual digital screenings or events

$50 unlimited digital access for either film or the Creative Conference ($75 for unlimited access to both)

Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave., and Dad’s Garage, 569 Ezzard St., with other venues announced later.

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