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Preview This! Atlanta Film Festival 2013 Opening Weekend

(Photo Courtesy: Atlanta Film Festival Organization)

2013 celebrates the 37th Annual Atlanta Film Festival, which starts this Friday, March 15th and runs through Sunday, March 24th. 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) and at the Druid Hills Baptist Church (1085 Ponce De Leon NE, Atlanta, GA 30306).

This year's festival is taking on quite a Georgia feel to it, as more than 40 films 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 qualifing film festival for the Academy Awards.

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

Here are some highlights for opening weekend:

Friday 3/15
Opening Night Film
7:00 pm
Plaza Theatre - Main Screen

"Mud" - The film stars Matthew McConaughey, along with Reese Witherspoon, Michael Shannon and Sam Shepard. Mud is about two teenage boys who encounter a fugitive (McConaughey), who persuades them to help him evade bounty hunters so he can get back his one true love. The film just played to rave reviews at Austin's SXSW and was shown at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Mud Website

9:30 pm
Plaza Theatre - Upstairs Theatre

"Breakdown Reward" - Two contract killers are hired to dig up a treasure but lose the treasure to three small-time criminals, who unwittingly steal it. Now the three friends are on the run, not only from the killers, but also from a local crime lord they owe money to. Breakdown Reward Website

Plaza Theatre - Main Screen

"The Rocky Horror Picture Show" - 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. Rocky Horror Picture Show at Plaza Theatre Website

Saturday 3/16

11:00 am
7 Stages - Black Box Theatre

Saturday Morning Cartoons - Consists of a block of family friendly animated shorts to introduce your kids to the experience of a film festival. All children under 12 will be admitted free when accompanied by a ticketed adult.

Plaza Theatre - Upstairs Theatre

"The Suicide Kid" - A young university freshman tries unsuccessfully to commit suicide and becomes famous after the attempt goes viral. Can he survive in world that asks for something new every five minutes? The Suicide Kid Website

2:45 pm
7 Stages - Black Box Theatre

"Becoming Redwood" - After his father gets arrested in Canada for dealing drugs, 11 year-old Redwood (Ryan Grantham) is sent to live with his mother (Jennifer Copping) whom he hasn't seen since he was three. Now living in California with his mother, her husband and two teenage boys, Redwood is convinced that if he can defeat Jack Nicklaus at the 1975 Masters, he will be given the magical "Green Jacket" and be able to make everything right. Can Redwood really make dreams come true? Becoming Redwood Website

4:30 pm
Plaza Theatre - Upstairs Theatre

"Exquisite Corpse Project" – Composed of part documentary/part comedy, this film is about a five member comedy troupe, that is about to disband. Their last act is to create a film that is both collectively together, but separate. Each member will be responsible for 15 minutes of the film which they will shoot separately, with each member only seeing the previous last five pages of the script. Exquisite Corpse Project Website

6:45 pm
Plaza Theatre - Main Screen

"Rectify" - This Sundance Channel original series was shot here in Georgia. "Rectify" was created and written by Oscar winning ATLFF alumni, Ray McKinnon. Having served 19-years on death row, Daniel Holden (Aden Young) is released from prison due to new DNA evidence. Now he has to return to a world that he knows very little about and to a small town community that isn't happy to see him back in the fold. Rectify Website

9:30 pm
Plaza Theatre - Main Screen

"The Whitest Kids U Know" – Is a live performance by a comedy sketch troupe that has over 50 million views on YouTube and has just competed their fifth season of their self-titled comedy show on the IFC network. The Whitest Kids U Know Website

Sunday 3/17

11:30 am
Plaza Theatre - Upstairs Theatre

"A River Changes Course" - This beautiful documentary explores the life around the Tonie Sap River in Cambodia, which twice a year changes course. The film explores life on a river that is being threatened by de-forestation, along with overfishing. It's also a story about a way of life that may never recover. A River Changes Course Website

6:00 pm
Plaza Theatre - Upstairs Theatre

"The Sapphires" - The film takes place in 1960s Australia, where a group of Aboriginal girls are discovered by a local talent agent (Chris O'Dowd) and form a singing group called The Sapphires. The group becomes a success and, much to the dismay of family and friends, The Sapphires are asked to go to Vietnam to entrain the troops - a trip that will change their lives forever. The Sapphires Website

8:45 pm
Plaza Theatre - Main Screen

"Congratulations" - Made in Atlanta, this comedy is about an eight year-old boy who goes missing. When it is apparent that the boy is not going to be found using conventional means, Detective Dan Skok (John Curran) and his men decide that the best way to find the child, is to move into the boy's family home. Congratulations Website

2:00 pm
Plaza Theatre - Main Screen

"The Great Chicken Wing Hunt" - A documentary about a group of friends traveling across the greater New York state area, trying to find the best Buffalo Chicken Wing in the world. Only in America could there be a food that was once thought of as table scrapes and now is celebrated as a delicacy. The Great Chicken Wing Hunt Website

For a full listing of full-length feature films and shorts for the ATLFF, visit Atlanta Film Festival Website or check out what the Plaza Theatre has to offer, Here.

Don't forget to check out my updates on Facebook or Twitter. See you out at the festival!

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