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Atlanta Film Festival 2014 - Opening Weekend

ATL film Fest 2014
Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Film Festival

2014 celebrates the 38th Annual Atlanta Film Festival, which starts this Friday, March 28th and runs through Sunday, April 6th. The main venue for the festival this year will be at the newly renovated Plaza Theatre (1049 Ponce De Leon Ave, Atlanta, GA 30306), with other films showing at 7 Stages Theatre (1105 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta, GA 30307).

This year's festival is taking on quite a Georgia feel to it, as more than 40 features/shorts that were produced in the state will be featured at this year's ATLFF. Also, note that the Atlanta Film Festival is known for its short film category, and is a qualifying film festival for the Academy Awards. The Festival consists of 54 Narrative and Documentary Features, 11 Short Program Presentations and 12 Special Presentations.

Due to an outstanding Kickstarter campaign, over 60 filmmakers will be in attendance to show and talk about their films. This is an incredible opportunity to meet and discuss movies with the people that make them.

I will be attending many films over the next ten days of the festival and will be reporting on Facebook, Twitter and, of course, here at Preview This!.


Here are some highlights for opening weekend:

Photo Courtesy of the Atlanta Film Festival

Friday 3/28

Opening Night Film

7:00 pm

Plaza Theatre - Main Screen


"Joe"  (2014)

This film from Roadside Attractions is centered on Nicolas Cage, who plays the titular role of Joe, an ex-con and unlikely role model, who meets a 15-year-old boy (Tye Sheridan) and is faced with the choice of redemption or ruin. "Joe" is directed by David Gordon Green, director/producer of television's "Eastbound and Down" and cult classic films "Pineapple Express" and "All the Real Girls."  Gordon Green will be a making an appearance at the festival alongside opening night.


11:55 pm

Plaza Theatre – Main Screen

"The Rocky Horror Picture Show"  (1975)

The 1975 film cult classic, which has been a mainstay at Plaza for years, will light up the screen at midnight. If you are a Rocky "virgin" or if you haven't seen the film in a few years, it's worth the midnight romp, to see it at the Plaza in all its glory.


Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Film Festival

Saturday 3/29

11:00 am

Plaza Theatre - Main Screen

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Consists of a block of family friendly animated shorts to introduce your kids to the experience of a film festival.


2:15 pm

Plaza  Theatre –  Chipotle Auditorium

Food on Film

Food on Film is the AFF annual celebration of movies for foodies.  4 short films, including  "The Cake Lady" will run, followed by the documentary "Sriracha" which examines America's favorite hot sauce.  Director Griffin Hammond will be in attendance to talk about his film, "Sriracha."


Beside Still Waters
Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Film Festival

7:00 pm

Plaza Theatre – Main Screen

"Beside Still Waters"  (2013)

When Daniel Thatcher's parents died in a car accident, none of his friends came to the funeral. Now he's losing the family home. The weekend before he has to move out, Daniel hosts a memorial celebration and insists that his friends attend. Daniel also invites his ex-girlfriend, Olivia, to the house, with the hopes of rekindling their old romance.  Director Chris Lowell and writer Mohit Narang will be in attendance.


Fragile Trust, A
Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Film Festival

Sunday 3/30

11:30 am

Plaza Theater – Chipotle Auditorium

"A Fragile Trust"  (2013)

Jayson Blair is the most infamous serial plagiarist of our time. In 2003, he unleashed a massive scandal that rocked the New York Times and the entire world of journalism. "A Fragile Trust" is the first film to tell the whole sordid story of the scandal while exploring the deeper themes of power, ethics, representation, race and accountability in the mainstream media.


Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Film Festival

1:30 pm

7 Stages Theater – Main Stage

"Forev"  (2013)

On their road trip to Phoenix, neighbors Pete and Sophie jokingly decide to get married but actually develop unspoken feelings for one another. Things get complicated when Pete's sister Jess gets a drifter to agree to perform the wedding. Confused and under pressure, Sophie returns home unsure of what the two will become. It is left up to Jess to get her brother to say all the things he has been holding in.


7:00 pm

Plaza Theater – Chipotle Auditorium

"The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz"  (2013)

The Internet's Own Boy tells the story of programming prodigy, information activist and founder of Reddit, Aaron Swartz. A vivid picture is painted as this feature documents Swartz's groundbreaking work in social justice and his aggressive approach to information access that ensnared him in a two year legal nightmare until taking his own life at the age of twenty-six.  Admission is free.


9:00 pm

Plaza Theatre – Main Screen

"The Congress" (2013)

Robin Wright, playing a washed-up future version of herself, receives an unusual offer from Mirramount Studios. They would like to scan her entire being into their computers and purchase ownership of her image for an astronomical fee. Now that her digital image is secure, Wright goes on to be an ageless movie star for years to come. "The Congress" is both bizarre and enchanting, a kaleidoscopic mix of live-action and animation.


Tickets and Passes are available at the Atlanta Film Festival website

The Atlanta Film Festival takes place from March 28 – April 6 at the historic Plaza Theatre and the 7 Stages Theatre.

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