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. Director Abi Damaris Corbin 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: XXXTENTACION”, 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 of over 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 editor Barry 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).