FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: ATLFF@SunshineSachs.com
2022 ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL UNVEILS KEY PROGRAMMING AND FULL LINEUP OF OFFICIAL SELECTIONS FOR 46TH ANNUAL EVENT, INCLUDING 27 WORLD PREMIERES
The film festival and Creative Conference will return in-person and virtually with an Opening Night presentation of “892” and an impressively diverse lineup of more than 150 selected works, 11 Marquee films, and 25 educational events
ATLANTA, GA (March 29, 2022) — The 46th annual Atlanta Film Festival + Creative Conference (ATLFF) today revealed key programming highlights, including Opening and Closing Night presentations and the full lineup of selected works from a record-breaking nearly 10,000 submissions. Highlighted by the Opening Night presentation of “892” and Closing Night film “Mija”, 11 Marquee screenings will combine Hollywood star power with the best of independent film. The 155 total announced creative works from submissions will feature diverse filmmakers who continue to uplift voices and stories from around the world.
The film festival and educational conference will take place Thursday, April 21 through Sunday, May 1, 2022 at multiple venues in Atlanta and virtually.
“We’re particularly excited about this year because we are not only back to in-person screenings, but our hybrid format will provide even more opportunities for audiences to participate around the globe,” said Christopher Escobar, Executive Director of the Atlanta Film Festival. “A huge part of our ethos is advocating for diverse voices, which is why it’s even more important that we continue to evolve and connect with communities everywhere in new and innovative ways.”
Kicking off a robust slate of Marquee programming that will be presented throughout the 11-day festival, the Opening Night presentation of Bleecker Street’s dramatic thriller “892” will take place at the Plaza Theatre on Friday, April 22. Starring John Boyega, the late Michael K. Williams, Nicole Beharie, and Connie Britton, the film follows a Marine war veteran who faces mental and emotional challenges when he tries to reintegrate back into civilian life. Screenwriter Kwame Kwei-Armah will be on-hand for the red carpet screening.
The Closing Night presentation of the Disney+ documentary “Mija” will be held on Saturday, April 30, at the Plaza Theatre. Directed by Isabel Castro, the film follows Doris Muñoz, who began a career in music talent management and met Jacks Haupt, an auspicious young singer, and both share the ever-present guilt of being the first American-born members of their undocumented families.
Some highlights of the Marquee programming from celebrated filmmakers and Hollywood studios announced today include narrative features “Cha Cha Real Smooth” starring Dakota Johnson and written and directed by Cooper Raiff, “Emily the Criminal” starring Aubrey Plaza and Theo Rossi, and “Summering”, a coming of age story directed by Georgia-native and celebrated ATLFF alumni James Ponsoldt. Documentary feature highlights include “Look At Me!”, an inside look at a gifted young rapper's tumultuous rise to fame before his death at the age of 20, with never-before-seen footage as XXXTentacion's inner circle speaks out, and “REFUGE”, a story about fear and love in the American South from local Atlanta directors Erin Levin Bernhardt and Din Blankenship.
Since its founding, diversity in programming has been a cornerstone of ATLFF’s mission, demonstrated by the final lineup of 29 feature-length films, 99 short films, and 27 creative media selections. Of these selections, a combined total of 74% are directed by filmmakers who identify as female or non-binary (53%) and/or are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) (56%). Five specialty tracks will return to the 2022 festival including: New Mavericks, celebrating excellence in film from female and gender non-conforming directors and leads; ¡CineMás!, focusing on Latin American culture; Noire, uplifting Black filmmakers, Pink Peach, featuring films with LGBTQ stories and characters, and Georgia Films, highlighting productions with ties to the state of Georgia.
For five years in a row, the festival received a record-breaking number of creative works and screenplay submissions. Works from more than 110 countries were submitted to the festival, and 33 countries are represented among the final lineup of chosen selections. Nearly 20% have ties to the state of Georgia.
The 12th annual Creative Conference, ATLFF’s popular educational programming extension, returns with in-person panel discussions and one-on-one in-depth virtual conversations focusing on screenwriting, showrunning, pitching shows, podcasting, directing, producing, cinematography, and editing with industry experts from Georgia to NY and LA. The entire Creative Conference lineup ofover 25 events will be announced in the coming weeks. The highlights include Masterclasses, Panels, and Conversations with actress Antonia Gentry (star of Netflix’s “Ginny and Georgia”), actress Priah Ferguson (“Stranger Things”), actor Atkins Estimond (“Hightown”), producer/director Cherien Dabis (“Only Murders in the Building”, “Ozark”), actress Danielle Deadwyler (“The Harder They Fall”, “Station 11”), showrunner Nick Antosca (“Candy”), cinematographer Daniel Patterson (“The Last OG”, “Woke”), director Stacey Muhammed (“Black-ish”, “Queen Sugar”), comedy writer Robert Peacock (“Mad About You”, “Blue Collar TV”), VFX editorBarry Murphy (“1883”), and many more.
ATLFF 2022 will be more accessible than ever, offering a mix of in-person and virtual screenings, as well as virtual Q&A sessions with filmmakers. Screenings will be held at three venues, including Plaza Theatre (1049 Ponce De Leon Ave NE), Dad’s Garage (569 Ezzard St SE), and The Carter Center (453 Freedom Parkway), with more to come. All virtual screenings and events will be presented via Eventive.
The full schedule of films and events will be available Friday, April 1 at www.AtlantaFilmFestival.com and through the ATLFF 2022 app. Festival passes are on sale now on the site. Tickets for individual events will be available at the beginning of April. In-person screening tickets range from $12-50; virtual access is $9.99 per film/panel with an unlimited virtual all-access pass for $85 for both films and Creative Conference. Virtual all-access pass will increase to $100 after Friday, April 1.
The Atlanta Film Festival is the annual centerpiece of educational and enriching film programming that is provided year-round by its parent organization, the Atlanta Film Society (ATLFS). Now in its fifth decade, ATLFF is one of only a handful of film festivals worldwide that is Academy Award-qualifying in all three categories (live-action short, animation short, and documentary short subject).
2022 ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP
OPENING NIGHT PRESENTATION
directed by Abi Damaris Corbin
John Boyega, Nicole Beharie, Selenis Leyva, Michael Kenneth Williams, Connie Britton USA // 2022 // English // Bleecker Street // 103 min
A Marine war veteran faces mental and emotional challenges when he tries to reintegrate back into civilian life.
CLOSING NIGHT PRESENTATION
directed by Isabel Castro
USA // 2022 // English, Spanish // Disney+ // 85 min
Follows Doris Muñoz, who began a career in music talent management and met Jacks Haupt, an auspicious young singer, and both share the ever-present guilt of being the first American-born members of their undocumented families.
A LOVE SONG
directed by Max Walker-Silverman
Dale Dickey, Wes Studi, Michelle Wilson
USA // 2022 // English // Bleecker Street // 81 min
Two childhood sweethearts, both now widowed, share a night by a lake in the mountains.
CHA CHA REAL SMOOTH
written and directed by Cooper Raiff
Cooper Raiff, Dakota Johnson
USA // 2022 // English // Apple TV // 107 min
A man who works as a bar/bat mitzvah party starter who strikes up a unique friendship with a young mom (Producer Dakota Johnson) and her teenage daughter.
directed by Erin Levin Bernhardt, Din Blankenship
USA // 2021 // English // 80 min
REFUGE is a story about fear and love in the American South. A leader in a white nationalist hate group finds healing from the people he once hated - a Muslim heart doctor and his town of refugees. Chris is a husband and father, a veteran, and until recently, a leader in the KKK. He started hating Muslims when the planes hit the Twin Towers on 9/11 but is forced to confront his hate when he receives a text from a Muslim refugee, Heval. REFUGE illustrates the false promises of hate and reveals where real and lasting refuge is found. Where there is love, there is refuge.
EMILY THE CRIMINAL
directed by John Patton Ford
Aubrey Plaza, Theo Rossi
USA // 2022 // English // Roadside // 93 min
Down on her luck and saddled with debt, Emily gets involved in a credit card scam that pulls her into the criminal underworld of Los Angeles, ultimately leading to deadly consequences.
LOOK AT ME! (XXXTentacion)
directed by Sabaah Folayan
USA // 2022 // English // Hulu // 108 min
An inside look at a gifted young rapper's tumultuous coming-of-age with never-before-seen footage, as XXXTentacion's inner circle speaks out for the first time.
MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON
directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp
USA // 2021 // English // A24 // 89 min
Jenny Slate, Isabella Rossellini
Feature adaptation of the animated short film interviewing a mollusk named Marcel.
directed by Scott McGehee, David Siegel
USA // 2021 // English // Bleecker Street // 113 min
Haley Lu Richardson, Owen Teague
Two estranged siblings return home to the sprawling ranch they once knew and loved, confronting a deep and bitter family legacy against a mythic American backdrop.
PHANTOM OF THE OPEN
directed by Craig Roberts
Mark Rylance, Ian Porter
United Kingdom // 2021 // English // Sony Classics // 106 min
Maurice Flitcroft, a dreamer and unrelenting optimist managed to gain entry to The British Open Golf Championship Qualifying in 1976 and subsequently shot the worst round in Open history, becoming a folk hero in the process.
directed by James Ponsoldt
Lia Barnett, Madalen Mills
USA // 2022 // English // Bleecker Street // 80 min
During their last days of summer and childhood -- the weekend before middle school begins -- four girls struggle with the harsh truths of growing up and embark on a mysterious adventure.
directed by Cem Demirer
Turkey/UK, 2022, Turkish, 101 minutes
Aslan, a young insecure fisherman who lives on a Turkish island, finds a valuable lobster cave while diving. Knowing this treasure will bring him wealth and the prestige that he has never had in his society, he decides to keep it a secret from his cousin and best friend Yilmaz until he can properly harvest the lobsters by himself. By not sharing the secret, Yilmaz's growing suspicion conjures a series of paranoid obsessions that thrust him into a downward spiral.
DO NOT HESITATE
directed by Shariff Korver
Netherlands/Greece, 2021, Dutch/English/Arabic, 90 minutes
After the sudden disappearance of their superior, three young Dutch soldiers are left to guard a military vehicle by themselves. As their situation and the scorching desert heat renders them increasingly disconnected from reality, an encounter with a local boy escalates into a fight that will mark their lives forever.
EVERY DAY IN KAIMUKĪ
directed by Alika Tengan
USA, 2022, English, 80min
A young man is determined to give his life meaning outside of Kaimukī, the small Hawaiian town where he grew up, even if it means leaving everything he's ever known and loved behind.
directed by Ana Lazarevic
Serbia/USA, 2021, Serbian/English/Arabic, 93 minutes
When STRAHINJA, a smuggler with poor parenting skills and a gambling addiction, becomes stranded with two refugee boys in the Balkan countryside, they must navigate back roads to find an illegal crossing into Western Europe. The boys’ insatiable gusto for life makes Strahinja aware of the walls he has built around his own.
HANDS THAT BIND
directed by Kyle Armstrong
Canada, 2022, English, 116 minutes
Having severed ties with his father, Andy's opportunity to farm as a landowner has been jeopardized. He devotes his life to working another man’s land, trying to establish new roots with his wife and children, and with the hope that the land might one day be his. But those hopes are destroyed when his boss's ungrateful son unexpectedly returns. As Andy struggles with providing for his family in a world that is increasingly unfamiliar, a darkness settles over the community and mysterious occurrences begin; cattle mutilations, drought, a missing teenager, paranoia, and unexplained lights in the sky. #Narrative #CinematographyCompetition
directed by Nadia Benedicto
Argentina, 2021, Spanish, 77 minutes