Deep in the heart...
Dixie Film Festival
Atlanta, Ga.—The second installment of the Dixie Film Fest took place
October 14-15, a two-day run showcasing 37 films from around the world
at Atlanta's own Cinefest Film Theatre on the main campus of Georgia
The festival—which was originally started by a group of filmmakers
looking for a venue to showcase their own films—has grown this year,
hosting a half-dozen films making their world premieres.
|Cinefest played host to the 2nd Annual Dixie Film Fest. (photo: Dan Slemons)|
Kicking off the festivities was a compilation of 10 films from Georgia
filmmakers, a segment dubbed the "Mason/Dixon" program, which
showcased Vietnam Light by Ethan Segal and Joseph Saunders, Ly Bolia's
Success Is Mine, Eric Saperstein's The Note, Minji Kang's
Momentum and Ruckus Skye's Prayers From Pelham, among many others.
All films in the category were contenders for the Mason/Dixon Award for
most promising Georgia filmmaker.
Another highlight at this year's DFF was the Southern premiere of
The Sisters from Emmy award-winner and veteran director Arthur Seidelman,
notable from TV works like Fame, Hill Street Blues, Magnum P.I., L.A.
Law and Murder She Wrote.
Written by Richard Alfieri from his play and based on The Three Sisters
by Chekov, the movie stars an ensemble cast comprised of Maria Bello,
Rip Torn, Eric McCormack, Erika Christensen, Tony Goldwyn, Alessandro
Nivola, and Mary Stuart Masterson.
The Sisters was a treat to the few who attended the screening.
The movie sits on the negotiation tables with distribution companies,
awaiting its theatrical release.
The story of the three sisters' and their brother's struggle to banish
the ghost of their dead father and create some semblance of harmony, set
in their surrogate home—a college on New York's Upper East Side,
The Sisters is a movie you listen to as much as watch—every
word that bursts forth from the characters is riveting.
The event concluded on Saturday night with a finale of ten of the best
comedic films presented to the festival.
|Arthur Seidelman discusses his film, The Sisters, after the screening. (photo: Dan Slemons)|
Along with over a dozen awards issued to various films in the "best-of"
categories, Segal and Saunders' Vietnam Light copped the Mason/Dixon
Award, while The Sisters earned three awards: best film, and
both top performing laurels. Eric McCormack was selected outstanding actor
in a film, while co-star Maria Bello was tabbed outstanding actress.
Leaving the festivities, Siedelman offered this advice for local filmmakers:
"Find a piece of material that you are passionate about...and
whether you do it for fifty bucks—however you do it—put it
on tape or film, get a camera on it.
"But make sure it's something you care about passionately,
not something you thought 'It's nice, so I'll go do
it because that's the only thing I have.'
"That's not going to get you there. It has to be something
that you are deeply committed to. And once you find that, keep going—don't
let anything get in your way."
Overall, the sophomore effort of the Dixie Film Festival and its director
Randy McDowell had a greater reach than last year's outing, drawing
larger crowds and more films than the initial run. They'll face
a challenge in topping that success next year.
Eric Bomba-Ire is the founder of cinemATL
Dixie Film Fest:
October 14-15, 2005
Launch the Gallery >>
Festival director Randy McDowell introduces a film. (photo: Dan Slemons)
The Sisters director Arthur Seidelman talks filmmaking. (photo: Dan Slemons)
Georgia filmmakers gather on stage. (photo: Dan Slemons)
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