Atlanta Film Festival to host drive-in and virtual screenings Sept. 17 – 27

The 44th annual Atlanta Film Festival + 10th annual Creative Conference (ATLFF), presented by WarnerMedia, opens on Sept. 17 with drive-in and digital screenings and virtual educational events due to the ongoing pandemic.

Running through Sept. 27, this year’s festival will include more than 150 feature feature films, short films and creative media that were selected from a record 8,500+ submissions for the festival. Drive-in screenings will be held at Plaza Theatre, Dad’s Garage, and Pullman Yard. 

“The Atlanta Film Festival’s commitment to providing a platform for filmmakers from around the world to showcase their work spans more than four decades. Providing a spotlight on talented and often under-represented filmmakers, as well as enriching educational experiences, during the annual event remains a pillar of our organization’s mission,” said Christopher Escobar, Executive Director of ATLFF. “However, as 2020 has shown us, nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our filmmakers, attendees, staff and volunteers. When presented with the opportunity to pivot to a virtual format with select drive-in screenings, it became obvious that this adjustment was the only way to achieve our goals this year.”

On Friday, the festival will host the opening night presentation of “Blast Beat” from Sony Pictures. Representing both the CineMás and Georgia film specialty tracks, which highlight Latinx and Georgia filmmakers and stories respectively, “Blast Beat” stars Moises Arias and his brother Mateo Arias as siblings from Colombia struggling to fit into their new lives in America. The film was primarily lensed in Georgia and co-stars Wilmer Valderrama, Diane Guerrero and Daniel Dae Kim. The film will screen at The Plaza Theatre Drive-In at 7:40 p.m.

Roadside Attractions’ “The Glorias,” starring Julianne Moore and Alicia Vikander, will mark the closing night presentation on Sept. 26  at 7:25 p.m. at The Plaza Theatre Drive-In. The non-traditional biopic from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Julie Taymor crafts a complex tapestry of one of the most inspirational and legendary figures of modern history, Gloria Steinem. “The Glorias” is both a Georgia film and New Mavericks specialty track selection, the latter of which celebrates women filmmakers and stories.

Additional films planned for the festival include “The Nest” starring Jude Law and Carrie Coon; “Sylvie’s Love” starring Tessa Thompson; and “Uncle Frank,” starring Paul Bettany and directed by Academy Award-winner Alan Ball.

The Glorias starring Julianne Moore will be the closing night film.

In addition to the lineup of films, the Creative Conference will offer 32 virtual events available on demand throughout the 11-day festival. Three scheduled livestream events anchor the lineup, including an “On Writing” Masterclass with Emmy and Peabody Award-winning writer-producer Damon Lindelof (HBO’s “Watchmen” and “The Leftovers,” ABC’s “Lost”).

With a focus on Masterclass conversations and panels featuring accomplished directors, showrunners, producers, writers, actors, production designers, editors and more, the Creative Conference lineup announced today comprises a wide range of topics. A robust list of on-demand Masterclasses and panels will cover virtual pitching, development, creating family friendly content, marketing, digital branding, podcasting, and sales and distribution. Industry experts participating in the Creative Conference this year have credits including “The Walking Dead,” “Greenleaf,” “All American,” “Lovecraft Country” and “Little Miss Sunshine.”

To view the schedule of films announced today, visit https://atlantafilmfestival.com/schedule or download the all-new Atlanta Film Festival app in the App Store or Google Play.

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