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Update: My Experience With the 2020 Atlanta Film Festival!

The Atlanta Film Festival is one of only two dozen Academy Award-qualifying events in the country and 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.

To read more about the Atlanta Film Festival, click here.

My experience

I got my first taste of the Atlanta Film Festival back in 2017 as a volunteer greeter at Seven Stages in Atlanta. My overall experience with the festival was awesome because I was able to network and greet other artists, (including Lupita Nyong’o) filmmakers, and moviegoers from Atlanta, the State of Georgia, and the world and by the end of the festival I gained several passes, and because of my consistency was upgraded from volunteer to shift captain.

I enjoyed my experience so much that in 2019, Atlanta Film and TV applied to become a media outlet for the film festival, where I was able to screen numerous films, attend a few of the Creative Conferences, and conduct a few interviews face-face and even was able to sit down for dinner with one of the filmmakers.

(Check out our blog for some of the coverage here.)

Fast forward to 2020 - because of the pandemic, things are different. The festival originally was supposed to take place back in April but got pushed back to mid-September and now, for the most part, is virtual (except for the drive-in screenings at several locations). Atlanta Film and TV was fortunate enough (for the second year in a row) to cover the event as a media outlet. We received our media passes virtually.

I love the virtual aspect of the film festival, and I am glad that the festival didn’t have to be canceled completely. Having access to everything from films to the creative conferences etc. is convenient for those (like me) that have families with kids who attend virtual school. It is much easier than finding time to go to a physical location.

Lastly, Atlanta Film and TV would like to commend the Atlanta Film Society for finding a way to showcase films despite our “new normal.” Though I miss the face-to-face interaction with filmmakers and attendees, I am glad that the Atlanta Film Festival remained steadfast in this important event in the Atlanta Film Community.

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