The 2014 Atlanta Film Festival opens tonight and runs through Tuesday, April 8. Follow BURNAWAY on Twitter for daily tweets on films and events by Stephanie Dowda and Scott Daughtridge, and come back next week for information on Creative Conference workshops and a festival wrap-up.
Starting at 5:00 PM this evening at the Plaza Theatre is a Documentary Short Block, which features films that seek to shake up the typical documentary format. ATLFF Shorts Programmer, Christina Humphrey says that this year’s “block features two local and two festival alumni filmmakers. We curated the block to focus on challenging, novel, risky and raw films that approach the genre in new ways. Two highlights of the block are newcomer Cali Berry with her bold short Empathia and festival alumni Nathan Holland with his new film Thomas Bennett, which looks at peoples’ relationships with strangers.”
Tonight’s main event is Joe, directed by David Gordon Green and starring Nicolas Cage. Set in the contemporary South, the film is based on a novel by Larry Brown, a former Mississippi firefighter, which tells the story of an ex-con and a 15-year-old kid in need of a protector. It premiered last year at the Venice Film Festival.
Saturday’s highlights include a misguided romantic comedy, Obvious Child, by filmmaker Gillian Robespierre, and Mayan Blue, directed by Rafael Garcia. Expansive cinematography explores the underwater city of Samabaj, bringing to the surface questions about the Mayans’ religious beliefs.
Sunday rounds out the weekend with another short block, “Other Worlds,” exploring horror and sci-fi flicks. Programmer of Features Kristy Breneman highlights the narrative feature Nothing Bad Can Happen by filmmaker Katrin Gebbe. Breneman warns, “Nothing Bad Can Happen is deceiving, but the slow pace pulls you helplessly through the out-of-control plot, well worth it!”
Atlanta Film Festival Weekend Critics’ Picks
(unless otherwise noted, all screenings at the Plaza Theatre)
Click here for the complete schedule.
2:15pm Food on Film block
3:30pm-Food on Film Party @ Highland Ballroom
3:45pm Obvious Child, a 27-year-old Brooklyn comedian gets dumped and then knocked up.
4pm Mayan Blue
7pm Beside Still Waters, a young man’s parents die, his friends skip the funeral, and he’s losing the house, so he decides to throw a celebratory memorial.
11:30am: A Fragile Trust, about the Jayson Blair plagiarism scandal that rocked the New York Times.
12:30pm: Other World Shorts block
6:30pm: Nothing Bad Can Happen, a German film about a Christian punk whose faith is tested by a new friend.