atlanta film festival

Poker and chess are both considered professional sports. Competitive gaming is now on that list. Esports is, in fact, booming. Market watchers predict revenues to hit $1.5 billion by 2020. The gaming industry is so big that Georgia high schools got the green light to form student esports teams in 2018. 

As the definition of athletes expands, so do demands to treat gaming-related injuries. Dr. Vonda Wright is an Atlanta-based orthopedic surgeon. She's currently partnering with game developers Skillshot Media to research and treat professional gamers. Wright spoke with On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott about her efforts. 

 


Courtesy of Big Beach Productions

Writer and director Lulu Wang found a fascinating family story for her second film — her own family. The Farewell follows a Chinese family's decision not to tell their beloved matriarch that she's been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Their complicity in the secret reveals truths about their relationships to one another.


Courtesy Big Beach Films / Depth of Field / Kindred Spirit

This year's Atlanta Film Festival celebrates Georgia talent, along with the debuts of some significant documentary and narrative features.

Beth Ward, film and books editor for Arts ATL, joined us for a conversation about some of the festival highlights, including Georgia-produced Summer Night and Lulu Wang's The Farewell, starring Awkwafina. The festival runs through April 14.


film festival fifty foot film fest plaza theatre atlanta
Debbie Hess / Horrorhotelwebseries.com

The 50 Foot Film Festival showcases horror, science fiction and suspense films by Georgia filmmakers. It returns to Atlanta for one night only at the Plaza Theatre on Tuesday.

 

We spoke with Debbie Hess, the festival organizer, and Vashmere Valentine, director of the fantasy film "The Wish & The Wisp," which will be shown at the festival.

 

Georgia is a hub of multiculturalism. At Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, there’s a new class tapping into that topic. It's called "Literary Tribalism: How to Read Race, Class, Nation & Gender." Oglethorpe University English professor Reshmi Hebbar joined us in studio to tell us about her new class. Her students, Caleb Logan and Yasmin Tehrani, also joined the conversation.

Courtesy of Roadside Entertainment | Man Made Film

The world’s only transgender bodybuilding competition is held every fall in Atlanta. It's called Trans Fit Con.

 

"Man Made," a new documentary, follows the lives of four transgender men who trained to compete at Trans Fit Con in 2016. The film won the Documentary Feature Jury Award at last month's Atlanta Film Festival.

 

Courtesy of "Blindspotting"

From Broadway to the big screen, actors Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal are in Georgia for the Atlanta Film Festival. They both co-wrote and star in “Blindspotting,” a film that examines social issues like gentrification and police brutality through the eyes of of two men living in Oakland, California. 

Saturday marks two months since a school shooting killed 17 students and educators in Parkland, Florida. Since then, we’ve heard public outrage transform into ever more urgent calls for reforms to the nation's gun laws. Antoinette Tuff knows first-hand what it’s like to come face-to-face with a school shooter: On Aug. 20, 2013, she was working at Decatur’s Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy when a 20-year-old gunman entered with an AK-47 military assault rifle and 500 rounds of ammunition. Tuff talked the gunman down, and no one was injured or killed. She tells us whether teachers should be armed.

NPR

More than 6,000 bands submitted videos to NPR's Tiny Desk Contest in 2017, and the winners were Tank and the Bangas. The New Orleans-based band will bring its soul, funk, hip hop and general raucousness to the Buckhead Theater in Atlanta Friday. 

GPB's Sean Powers caught up with the lead singer, Tarriona "Tank" Ball.


Atlanta Fiilm Festival

This weekend, the Atlanta Film Festival pays tribute to a courtroom classic. "My Cousin Vinny" premiered 25 years ago to critical and popular acclaim. The movie, which was filmed in Monticello, Georgia, tells the story of an inexperienced New York attorney who takes on the biggest case of his career  -- a murder trial. We talked with the film’s director, Jonathan Lynn. 

We revisit our conversation with McBrayer from back in April when he was in town for the Atlanta Film Festival. McBrayer is a member of Chicago-based improv group, Quartet.

DrJimiGlide / Wikimedia Commons

Atlanta's Clermont Hotel closed a few years ago, but the nearly century-old building retains its status as a place where interesting and sometimes unseemly things happened. There are even a few ghost stories. A new short documentary called Hotel Clermont records the last six months of this iconic structure's life before it closed. We talk with the film's director Heather Hutson and Bill Clark, who was the hotel's last manager before it closed in 2009.  

Universal Pictures

This year,  the Atlanta Film Festival paid tribute to the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes," which was first released in 1991. The film stars Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary Louise-Parker, and Mary Stuart Masterson. It's set in rural Alabama, but it was was filmed in Juliette, Georgia, just north of Macon. Director Jon Avnet talks about the production process, how being a feminist influenced the way he went about telling this story, and the film’s  legacy 25 years later.