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The 2023 ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL & Creative Conference Announces First Wave of Films

ATLANTA, GA (March 1, 2023) – The Atlanta Film Society (ATLFS) is pleased to announce the first wave
of films programmed for the upcoming 47th Annual Atlanta Film Festival & Creative Conference (ATLFF),
slated for April 20 through April 30, 2023. Each year, this first wave announcement acts as the earliest
glimpse at the upcoming festival and represents the exciting programming choices to come.
This first wave, selected from the over 9000+ film & screenplay submissions, consists of three
documentary features and two narrative features.

“We chose this initial wave of films because together they reflect the breadth and diversity of the 160+
films that will make up ATLFF’s final slate.” – Jonathan Kieran, Programming Director, ATLFF

For the second consecutive year, ATLFF has received over 9,000 submitted works from 118 countries. In
2022, the total programmed films included 56% BIPOC directed, 53% women+ non-binary directed, and
18% from Georgia-tied filmmakers. These first selections of films will be joined by over 160 others
selected from submitted works when the entire lineup is released in late March.

Documentary Feature
Directed by Débora Souza Silva
United States, English, 103 minutes
Wanda Johnson and Angela Williams, mothers of young Black men victimized by police brutality, come
together and build a network of community-led support, mutual aid, and healing in this documentary
spanning Oakland’s Fruitvale to the American South.

Narrative Feature
Directed by Soda Jerk
Australia, English, 70 minutes

Comprised entirely of hundreds of film samples, Hello Dankness is a suburban stoner musical about the
psychotropic disintegration of reality in America from 2016 to 2021.

Documentary Feature
Directed by Alexandria Bombach
United States, English, 118 minutes

Blending 40 years of home movies, raw film archive, and intimate present-day verité, a poignant
reflection from Amy Ray & Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls – the iconic folk rock duo. A timely look into the
obstacles, activism, and life lessons of two queer friends who never expected to make it big.

Narrative Feature
Directed by Marianne Blicher
Denmark, Danish, 99 minutes

Former beauty queen and senior citizen Solvej lives alone with her dog in a social housing area on the
outskirts of Danish provincial town Viborg. Each day, she performs the same old routines roaming
around on her scooter dealing her prescription drugs, dreaming of a world outside Viborg and
reminiscing over old love letters from her past. When unforeseen circumstances bring her neighbor’s
daughter, rebellious 17-year-old Kate into her life, an unlikely friendship forms and new hope for the
future emerges.

Documentary Feature
Directed by Jordan Bellamy & Josh Gilligan

On Sept 8, 2019, The Golden Ray, an outbound 656 foot cargo ship loaded with 4200 vehicles capsized in the Saint Simons Sound off the coast of Brunswick, Georgia. In order to protect a fragile ecosystem
amidst the backdrop of ongoing global commerce, concerned locals work to hold authorities accountable when the salvage project to remove the ship suffers every setback imaginable.
For images from the First Wave films, please click here. More information on the Atlanta Film Festival
can be found at

About the Atlanta Film Festival

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 27,000 festival attendees are expected to enjoy independent, animated, documentary, and short films selected from more than 9,000 submissions from 100 countries at the 2023 event. 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 on USA Today’s ‘10Best Film Festivals’, as well as the ‘Best Spring Festival’ by Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ‘Best Film Festival’ by Creative Loafing and Atlanta Magazine, and one of the ’25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World’ by MovieMaker Magazine. Major funding for the Atlanta Film Society is provided by Mailchimp, the
Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners through the Fulton County Arts & Culture Department, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Motion Picture Association, Panavision, and the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.

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