Valdosta State Hosts South Georgia Film Festival March 2-4

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Valdosta State University will host the South Georgia Film Festival Friday, March 2, through Sunday, March 4. The event will showcase the beauty of the South Georgia region and its people with film screenings, panels, and networking events.

“We are so proud to showcase our community to the growing film industry in Georgia,” said Jason Brown, festival director and assistant professor of mass media at VSU. “We are excited to educate our community on that industry and how South Georgia can capitalize on it.”

Festival passes are $35 each and include access to all events and early seating. VIP passes are $65 each and include access to all events, early seating, and a limited edition South Georgia Film Festival T-shirt. Day passes are $15 and include access to all events for any one day of the festival. Passes can be purchased at www.SouthGeorgiaFilm.com through Feb. 28.

High school and college students, as well as VSU faculty and staff, can attend all festival events before 5:30 p.m. at no charge with valid school identification.

The South Georgia Film Festival will begin at 1 p.m. on Friday, March 2, with a media networking event organized in partnership with The Valdosta Daily Times and WCTV. Attendees will be able to meet and learn from media professionals in the recently renovated mass media televisions studios, located in VSU’s Communication Arts, Curriculum, Leadership, and Technology Building at the intersection of Brookwood Drive and Patterson Street. The first group of film screenings will follow at 3:30 p.m. and will feature narrative and documentary films from around the world.

A wine and cheese reception will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Friday at the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts, located at 527 N. Patterson St. The reception will be followed by the screening of Brantly Jackson Watts’s “Birthday Cake,” a southern gothic thriller that explores modern domestic violence through the story of a woman forced to choose between love and survival. Watts’s husband, Jon Watts, will also screen his film “Matthew’s Gift,” a short documentary that follows a photographer as she dedicates one day a year to taking remembrance photos of a child nearing the end of life. The husband-wife duo recently served as filmmakers-in-residence with the Atlanta Film Festival and will be present at the screenings to discuss growing a filmmaking community locally.

The South Georgia Film Festival will continue at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 3. There will be screenings of films created by regional high school and college students in VSU’s Student Union Theater. There will also be panel presentations on various film topics on the third floor of the Student Union. The speakers include composer Mark Anthony Chubb, comedians and filmmakers Fray Forde and Catherine Dee Holly, and VSU alumnus and Macon Film Commissioner Terrell Sandefur.

The Georgia premiere of the feature-length documentary “Rodents of Unusual Size” will take place at 1 p.m. in the Student Union Theater. The film details the infestation of nutria — beaver-like rodents — along the Gulf Coast and how Louisiana communities are adapting to the creatures. Jeff Springer, director and cinematographer, will be present to discuss the film.

A screening of “The 12 Lives of Sissy Carlyle,” a Georgia-produced film about a woman who creates daring alternative lives in secret journals, will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Student Union Theater. The film’s writer and director, Fran Burst Terranella, will discuss how important tax incentives have been to Georgia’s film industry and why she kept her film crew local.

The second day of the festival will conclude with a party at 9 p.m. at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center, located at 1805 W. Hill Ave.

A series of curated short films and documentaries from regional filmmakers will be screened at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 4, in VSU’s Student Union Theater. A panel on the Georgia Film Academy will take place at the same time on the third floor of the Student Union.

Awards will be presented to the winning films as they are re-screened at 1 p.m. Sunday in the Student Union Theater. Prizes will be awarded in various categories. Winners will receive trophies and prizes from local sponsors. VSU will offer scholarship opportunities to high school and college winners.

The South Georgia Film Festival is a collaboration between the VSU Mass Media Program, community partners, and the VSU Film and Video Society, a student organization that educates members on multiple aspects of the film industry and helps them pursue a career in the field. The festival is supported by Georgia Power and the Georgia Council for the Arts.

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