The Atlanta Film Festival is one of only two dozen Academy Award-qualifying events in the country. It showcases nearly 200 films annually to over 27,000 attendees across a ten-day event each spring. Each year the Atlanta Film Festival receives over 8,000 submissions from 120+ countries across the globe. The festival itself is one of the largest and longest-running in the region. It is also the most distinguished event in its class, recognized as the 'Best Spring Festival' by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 'Best Film Festival' by Creative Loafing, Sunday Paper, 10Best, and Atlanta Magazine, as well as one of the '25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World' and one of '50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee' by MovieMaker Magazine.
In a previous post, I mentioned that I experienced my first Atlanta Film Festival in 2017 as a volunteer. As the years progressed, eventually, I provided coverage for my readers on the Atlanta Film and TV platform. Fast forward to 2020, when the pandemic hit, causing the festival to go virtual.
2021 Atlanta Film Festival + Creative Conference
During the past year, COVID has brought about a paradigm shift, and technology has been used in the entertainment industry in ways that we hadn't imagined. I, however, see this paradigm shift as a blessing and applaud the Atlanta Film Society for heeding the shift, providing a way for those who may be homeschooling children virtually, or may have busy lives/careers but still want to participate in the festival. Though I could not fully participate in either the in-person or drive-in option that the film festival provided, I could still participate via the virtual options. I was also fortunate to interview filmmaker Edson Jean and actress Shein Mompremier from the film Ludi via Zoom.
This year's Atlanta Film Festival was an exceptional one, from the drive-in to the in-person option. With so much negativity, it was uplifting for filmmakers and content creators to find time to create. The films showcased were captivating, and my favorite was A Fire Within Documentary and the film Nine Days.
Rafia Ansari, Contributing Writer, Atlanta Film and TV
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