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43rd Annual Atlanta Film Festival Announces Key Film Programming and Special Presentations

Opening and Closing Night Films, Marquee screenings and Special Presentations schedule revealed

2019 Atlanta Film Festival – Official Selection Trailer from Atlanta Film Society on Vimeo.

ATLANTA, GA (March 7, 2019)  — The 2019 Atlanta Film Festival (ATLFF) is proud to unveil the Opening and Closing Night presentations for the 43rd annual festival, as well as a remarkable lineup of 12 Marquee screenings, 37 World Premieres and seven Special Presentations. These films and events join 165 previously announced feature films, short films and creative media presentations that were selected from a record 8,400+ submissions for the festival, running from Thursday, April 4 – Sunday, April 14, 2019.

On Friday, April 5, the festival will host the Opening Night Presentation of THE FAREWELL from A24 Films. Writer-director Lulu Wang, who penned the screenplay based on her real-life experience, will attend the red carpet screening and celebration. Starring Awkwafina (CRAZY RICH ASIANS, OCEAN’S 8), THE FAREWELL follows a Chinese family who decides to spare their grandmother the facts of her terminal diagnosis and instead plan an impromptu wedding as a way to gather and say their goodbyes.

To conclude this year’s festivities, THEM THAT FOLLOW (starring 2019 Academy Award® -winning actress Olivia Colman and Georgia native Walton Goggins) will mark the Closing Night Presentation on Saturday, April 13. The film takes a stirring look at the members of a misunderstood community tucked away in Appalachia, who risk their lives handling poisonous snakes to prove themselves before God. Co-director Dan Madison Savage is scheduled to attend the Closing Night red carpet screening and gala. 

Additionally, Academy Award® -nominated director Joe Berlinger will attend to showcase his forthcoming feature film from Netflix, EXTREMELY WICKED, SHOCKINGLY EVIL, AND VILE, a chronicle of the crimes of the infamous Ted Bundy, as a Marquee screening on Sunday, April 7.

ATLFF will entertain festivalgoers with additional Marquee films from a variety of genres and major and independent studios such as Netflix, A24, NEON, The Orchard, and Bleecker Street. The array of Marquee screenings includes: LITTLE WOODS (starring Tessa Thompson and Lily James), TEEN SPIRIT (starring Elle Fanning), IN FABRIC (starring Marianne Jean-Baptiste) and THE TOMORROW MAN (starring John Lithgow and Blythe Danner), plus documentary features including MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL, profiling the beloved and iconic musician.

The festival is also proud to welcome the World Premiere of six feature films, 23 short films and eight creative media presentations to Atlanta’s stage. Among the World Premieres is a Marquee screening of the Georgia-made film SUMMER NIGHT, the directorial debut from actor Joseph Cross of HBO’s “Big Little Lies”, LINCOLN and MILK, who will be in attendance on Saturday, April 6. The coming-of-age story stars Justin Chatwin, Analeigh Tipton, Victoria Justice, Lana Condor, Ellar Coltrane and Ian Nelson.

In addition to a spectacular lineup of film programming, this year’s Special Presentations include a live screening of the highly-anticipated premiere of the final season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” on the big screen on Sunday, April 14 at the Plaza Theatre. The ever-popular annual Food on Film event will pair the documentary THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM, about two determined farmers outside of Los Angeles, with a farm-to-table after-party at the Highland Inn Ballroom Lounge. The festival is also pleased to bring back the popular SOUND+VISION event, celebrating the combination of music and visuals. Further details are forthcoming.

ATLFF’s educational programming track, the five-day Creative Conference, rounds out the 2019 schedule of key programming. Offering approximately 40 panels, workshops, Q&As and more, festivalgoers will be immersed in topics such as screenwriting, acting, producing, funding and distribution. Panelists and a full schedule are forthcoming.

Before all of the festivities are underway, the IMAGE Awards Gala will return this year after a 10-year hiatus on Wednesday, April 3 at the Fox Theatre’s Egyptian Ballroom. The evening will recognize leaders who have made outstanding contributions to building the state’s film industry and community. Tickets will go on sale soon

The Atlanta Film Festival is the annual centerpiece of educational and enriching film programming that is provided year-round by parent organization, the Atlanta Film Society.For a full lineup of films or to purchase a festival badge, please visit Individual tickets will go on sale on Friday, March 22.



Directed by Lulu Wang

USA/China, 2019, English/Mandarin, 98 minutes, A24 Films

Friday, April 5, 2018, 7:00 PM — Plaza Theatre

After learning their beloved matriarch has terminal lung cancer, a family opts not to tell her about the diagnosis, instead scheduling an impromptu wedding-reunion back in China. Headstrong and emotional writer Billi rebels against her parents’ directive to stay in New York and joins the family as they awkwardly attempt to rekindle old bonds, throw together a wedding that only grandma is actually looking forward to, and surreptitiously say their goodbyes.

A heartfelt celebration of both the way we perform family and the way we live it, THE FAREWELL masterfully interweaves a gently humorous depiction of the good lie in action with a thoughtful exploration of how our cultural heritage does and does not travel with us when we leave our homes. Writer/director Lulu Wang imbues THE FAREWELL with warmth and knowing wit, while the uniformly excellent ensemble cast (anchored by a breakout performance by Awkwafina) invites us to share this extended clan’s joy and sorrow—and to feel, for the length of this remarkable film, like a part of their family.

Writer-Director Lulu Wang scheduled to attend.

Opening Night Film & Party Sponsored by Moonshine Post Production



Directed by Britt Poulton & Dan Madison Savage

USA, 2019, English, 98 minutes, The Orchard

Saturday, April 13, 2019, 7:30 PM — Plaza Theatre

In the rugged wilderness of Appalachia, the members of an isolated community of Pentecostal snake handlers led by Pastor Lemuel (Walton Goggins) risk their lives to attest themselves before God. Lemuel’s daughter Mara (Alice Englert) prepares for her upcoming wedding to the young believer her father has singled out for her under the watchful eye of Hope (Olivia Colman), while scrambling to hide a secret that has the potential to drive her father’s church to ruin.

For their feature debut, writer-directors Britt Poulton and Dan Madison Savage have crafted a thrilling, poignant look at a misunderstood community. An all-star cast brings this distinctive story to life, catapulting audiences into a world where morality and belief are not always aligned, and where the consequences can be devastating when faith is stretched to a breaking point.

Co-director Dan Madison Savage scheduled to attend.
Closing Night Film & Party Sponsored by Crafty Apes



Directed by John Chester

USA, 2018, English, 91 minutes, NEON

Sunday, April 7, 2019, 12:00 PM — Plaza Theatre

When the barking of their beloved dog Todd leads to an eviction notice from their tiny LA apartment, John and Molly Chester make a choice that takes them out of the city and onto 200 acres in the foothills of Ventura County, naively endeavoring to build one of the most diverse farms of its kind in complete coexistence with nature. The land they’ve chosen, however, is utterly depleted of nutrients and suffering from a brutal drought. The film chronicles eight years of daunting work and outsize idealism as they attempt to create the utopia they seek, planting 10,000 orchard trees and over 200 different crops, and bringing in animals of every kind—including an unforgettable pig named Emma and her best friend, Greasy the rooster.


Directed by Daniel Scheinert

USA, 2019, English, 100 minutes, A24 Films

Monday, April 8, 2019, 10:15 PM — Plaza Theatre

Holy crap. Dick is dead. Died last night after band practice, and his bandmates, Zeke and Earl, don’t want anybody finding out how. That’s too bad though, ’cause news travels fast in small-town Alabama, and these guys suck at covering their tracks. The authorities haven’t ID’d the body just yet, but Zeke’s wife and his daughter are getting more and more suspicious.


Directed by Joe Berlinger

USA, 2019, English, 108 minutes, Netflix

Sunday, April 7, 2019, 9:15 PM — Plaza Theatre

A chronicle of the crimes of Ted Bundy from the perspective of Liz, his longtime girlfriend, who refused to believe the truth about him for years.

Director Joe Berlinger scheduled to attend.


Directed by Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe

USA, 2019, English, 101 minutes

Friday, April 12, 2019, 9:30 PM — Plaza Theatre

A deliciously twisted comedy set in a demented, timeless suburbia where every adult wears braces on their straight teeth, couples coordinate meticulously pressed outfits, and coveted family members are swapped in more ways than one in this competition for acceptance.

[New Mavericks], [Georgia]


Directed by Penny Lane

USA, 2019, English, 95 minutes, Magnolia Pictures

Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 9:15 PM — Dad’s Garage

Chronicling the extraordinary rise of one of the most colorful and controversial religious movements in American history, “Hail Satan?” is an inspiring and entertaining new feature documentary from acclaimed director Penny Lane. When media-savvy members of the Satanic Temple organize a series of public actions designed to advocate for religious freedom and challenge corrupt authority, they prove that with little more than a clever idea, a mischievous sense of humor, and a few rebellious friends, you can speak truth to power in some truly profound ways.


Directed by Peter Strickland

United Kingdom, 2018, English, 119 minutes, A24 Films
Thursday, April 11, 2019, 9:30 PM — Plaza Theatre

A lonely woman (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), recently separated from her husband, visits a bewitching London department store in search of a dress that will transform her life. She’s fitted with a perfectly flattering, artery-red gown—which, in time, will come to unleash a malevolent curse and unstoppable evil, threatening everyone who comes into its path.


Directed by Nia DaCosta
USA, 2018, English, 105 minutes, NEON

Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 8:00 PM — Plaza Theatre

Little Woods, North Dakota, a fracking boomtown well beyond its prime. Ollie (Tessa Thompson) is trying to survive the last few days of her probation after getting caught illegally running prescription pills over the Canadian border. But when her mother dies, she is thrust back into the life of her estranged sister Deb (Lily James), who is facing her own crisis with an unplanned pregnancy and a deadbeat ex. The two find they have one week to settle the mortgage on their mother’s house or face foreclosure.

[New Mavericks]


Directed by Stanley Nelson

USA/United Kingdom, 2019, English/French, 115 minutes

Saturday, April 6, 2019, 9:15 PM — Plaza Theatre

The definition of ‘cool’ can be summed up by the name Miles Davis. The quintessential Renaissance Man known for his restless artistic aesthetic, Davis is widely regarded as one of the most innovative, influential and highly respected figures in music. Having changed the course of music five or six times, Davis remains a fashion and cultural icon, and his globally recognized artwork continues to resonate with multiple generations. In MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL, award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson delves deep into the world of a beloved musical giant.


Directed by Alejandro Landes

Colombia/Argentina/Netherlands/Germany/Sweden/Uruguay, 2019, Spanish/English, 102 minutes, NEON

Friday, April 12, 2019, 9:30 PM — Hilan Theatre

Belonging to a rebel group called “the Organization,” a ragtag band of child soldiers, brandishing guns and war names like Rambo, Wolf, Lady, and Bigfoot, occupies a derelict ruin atop a remote mountain where they train themselves, watch over a “conscripted” milk cow, and hold hostage a kidnapped American engineer, Doctora (Julianne Nicholson). But after an attack forces them to abandon their base, playtime is over for the motley young crew.



Directed by Joseph Cross

USA, 2019, English, 98 minutes, Samuel Goldwyn Films

Saturday, April 6, 2019, 7:00 PM — Plaza Theatre

In a small town, a young, tight-knit group of friends fall in and out of love over the course of one intoxicating, music-filled summer night. Starring Justin Chatwin, Analeigh Tipton, Victoria Justice, Lana Condor, Ellar Coltrane and Ian Nelson.

[Georgia], [World Premiere]

Director Joseph Cross scheduled to attend.


Directed by Max Minghella
United Kingdom/USA, 2018, English, 92 minutes, Bleecker Street

Friday, April 12, 2019, 7:00 PM — Plaza Theatre

Violet (Elle Fanning) is a shy teenager who dreams of escaping her small town and pursuing her passion to sing. With the help of an unlikely mentor, she enters a local singing competition that will test her integrity, talent and ambition. Driven by a pop-fueled soundtrack, TEEN SPIRIT is a visceral and stylish spin on the Cinderella story.


Directed by Noble Lincoln Jones

USA, 2019, English, 94 minutes, Bleecker Street

Monday, April 8, 2019, 7:45 PM — Plaza Theatre

Ed Hemsler (John Lithgow) spends his life preparing for a disaster that may never come. Ronnie Meisner (Blythe Danner) spends her life shopping for things she may never use. In a small town somewhere in America, these two people will try to find love while trying not to get lost in each other’s stuff.


ATLFF Screenplay Competition: Script Read

Friday, April 5, 2019, 4:00 PM — Hilan Theatre — FREE with RSVP

Join us for a script read of selections from each of the three 2019 Atlanta Film Festival Feature Screenplay Competition winners, featuring local SAG-AFTRA actors.


ACVB Presents: “Music Voyager”

Monday, April 8, 2019, 6:00 PM — Plaza Theatre — FREE with RSVP

Join us and the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau for the world premieres of “Music Voyager” episodes 5 & 6 that feature yours truly—the Atlanta Film Festival—as well as the Plaza Theatre, Dad’s Garage, Paris on Ponce, Karen Anderson & Tiny Doors, Atlanta United and more!

Food on Film – The Biggest Little Farm

Sunday, April 7, 2019, 12:00 PM — Plaza Theatre

To celebrate “The Biggest Little Farm,” we are having a delightful farm-to-table after-party at the Highland Inn Ballroom Lounge following the film. (Film only: $15 at door/$13 in advance, Film & Party: $25 at door/$23 in advance)


Thursday, April 11, 2019, 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM — Eastside Trail // Atlanta BeltLine & Historic Fourth Ward Park — FREE and Open to the Public

After a year hiatus, SOUND+VISION — ATLFF’s signature mid-week event—returns! Join us on the Eastside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine and Historic Fourth Ward Park for a night of live music, daring virtual reality films, unforgettable art installations, rockin’ music videos and Atlanta’s best food trucks! Previously held at Atlanta landmarks like The Goat Farm and Ponce City Market, this event is a true festival highlight!

Previous performers include Big Freedia, Tank and the Bangas, HelloOcho, Kodie Shane, Lonnie Holley, Gringo Star, Biters, Jungol.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Friday, April 5 & 12, 2019, 12:00 AM — Plaza Theatre — $15

It’s a Plaza Theatre institution! Lips Down On Dixie performs the interactive version of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at Midnight each Friday.

The Florida State University College Of Motion Picture Arts Presents: Selected Keylight Films
Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 6:00 PM — Plaza Theatre — FREE with RSVP

The FSU College of Motion Pictures Arts presents a showcase of eight short student films followed by a panel discussion with representatives from the College. Ranked by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the top 25 film schools in the country, FSU College of Motion Picture Arts produces student films that regularly win prestigious awards like the Student Emmys and Oscars. Join us for an evening of cinematic entertainment as we showcase this year’s selected Keylight Films.

Presentation of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” Season 8 Premiere

Sunday, April 14, 2019, 9:00 PM — Plaza Theatre — FREE with RSVP

HBO is partnering with ATLFF to give guests a chance to see the final season premiere on the big screen at The Plaza!

About the Atlanta Film Festival and Atlanta Film Society

The Atlanta Film Festival, now in its fifth decade, is an Academy Award-qualifying festival and one of the region’s largest and longest-running preeminent celebrations of cinema in the Southeast United States. More than 30,000 festival attendees enjoy independent, animated, documentary and short films each year, selected from more than 8,400 submissions from 120 countries. The Atlanta Film Festival is the chief annual operation of the Atlanta Film Society (ATLFS), one of the oldest and largest organizations dedicated to the promotion and education of film in the United States, which enriches the community through screenings, classes, workshops and other events year-round. It is also the most distinguished event in its class, recognized as the ‘Best Spring Festival’ by Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ‘Best Film Festival’ by Creative Loafing and Atlanta Magazine, as well as one of the ’25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World’ by MovieMaker Magazine. Major funding for the Atlanta Film Society is provided by Turner, XFINITY, Delta Airlines, MailChimp and the Fulton County Board of Commissioners through the Fulton County Arts & Culture Department and the National Endowment for the Arts through the Art Works category. 

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