06 March, 2016

Sign a Petition to Get Donald Glover to Take "Atlanta" to the Atlanta Film Festival!

Donald Glover is a hero in his hometown of Atlanta. Establishing himself as a force in film, television, comedy and music, Glover has garnered a huge fanbase through work as a writer on shows like "30 Rock," an actor on TV's "Community" and films such as "The Martian" and "Magic Mike XXL," as a stand-up comic and as a recording artist and DJ using the stage names Childish Gambino and mcDJ.

In 2015, it was announced that Glover would create, write, produce and star in a new show for FX titled "Atlanta." Production is currently underway (filming in Atlanta), but the show is already highly anticipated. Set for a summer 2016 premiere, we think it would be perfect for Glover to bring the show to ATLFF this spring.

We want Donald Glover to come to the 2016 Atlanta Film Festival, which takes place April 1-10. Whether he screens an episode or not, we want Glover there to talk about the show, his career and our city. We've heard from inside sources that ATLFF has invited Glover, but has yet to be able to firm up any plans. We hope to use 1,000+ signatures to encourage Glover to attend the 40th annual festival and show off his new work.

13 February, 2016

"Time to Say Goodbye" Review (***½)

Maximilian Ehrenreich stars as Simon in "Time to Say Goodbye."

To what, you ask? Great question. A question the closing title frame resolves with an iteration of this German film's original German release title: "Simon sagt 'Auf Wiedersehen' zu seiner Vorhaut"—or, "Simon Says Goodbye to His Foreskin"—a title as straightforward as this comedy's charm. Twelve-year-old Simon Grünberg (Maximilian Ehrenreich, "The Book of Life") approaches his Bar Mitzvah in the midst of his parents' marital separation. His recently observant Jewish father (Florian Setter) advocates for his circumcision, seeing the significance of his son's covenant with God as a non-negotiable rite of passage. His mother (Lavinia Wilson), a fiery and headstrong erotica author, finds this appalling and refuses to subject her son to circumcision for the sake of pious rules. Simon, for lack of a better term, is torn.

10 February, 2016

The Local Lense on the Red Carpet Premiere of "Race"

Hosts Beth Keener and Greer Howard hit the red carpet for the Atlanta premiere of Stephen Hopkins' "Race," starring Stephan James, Jason Sudeikis, Jeremy Irons, William Hurt, Carice van Houten. 

Beth Keener & Greer Howard hit the red carpet at Atlantic Station in Atlanta for the premiere of "Race."  The movie tells the incredible story of US Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens. Thrust onto the world stage during the 1936 Olympics in Germany, he faces off against Hilter's Nazi regime. "Race" is an inspirational film about courage, determination and friendship.

Beth & Greer interview star Stephan James, who trained for the film at Georgia Tech while he was in town filming "Selma" in 2014. Actress Kim Fields hosted the evening, which was also attended by Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges.

Check out the video below. "Race" opens nationwide on February 19th.

31 January, 2016

"Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong" Review (****)

Brian Greenberg and Jamie Chung star in "Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong."

Last week I attended the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival for the very first time, catching a screening of first-time writer/director Emily Ting’s “Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong” as a part of Access Night. Starring real-life couple Jamie Chung and Bryan Greenberg, Ting’s walk-and-talk romantic comedy shines under the brightly-lit streets of nighttime Hong Kong. Unfortunately, the film occasionally falls victim to Hollywood’s many romantic comedy tropes. The city as the third character? Check. Flirtatious meet-cute? Double check. However, the film is able to differentiate itself from being just another 'rom-com' thanks largely in part to Ting’s unique perspective paired with Chung and Greenberg’s natural flow on screen.

29 January, 2016

#GAfilm Review: "The 5th Wave" (**)

Editor's note: I'm happy to introduce a new contributor! Jamie Traner's perspective on films is every bit as unique as she is. I know readers will enjoy her articles, and what a better way to start than with a #GAfilm! -CM

Chloe Grace Moretz stars in "The 5th Wave."

Released last weekend, "The 5th Wave" stars Chloe Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson and Liev Schreiber. Filmed in Georgia, including some lovely scenery from the Macon area, "The 5th Wave" is based on the novel of the same name by Rick Yancey. The story revolves around a post-apocalyptic world run by alien-type beings known as 'Others.' The Earth has been attacked in the titled ‘waves’—1. a signal sent to short all electronics, 2. earthquakes and global tidal waves, 3. Avian flu, 4. the 'Others' inhabit human hosts and 5. an impending, unknown plan to eliminate the remaining humans.

26 January, 2016

#GAfilm Floods January Box Office

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart return to star in the Georgia-lensed "Ride Along 2."

#GAfilm has flooded the January box office. Two Georgia productions, "Dirty Grandpa" and "The Fifth Wave" made their debut this past weekend, opening in the fourth and sixth positions respectively. They join Atlanta-filmed "Ride Along 2,” which dropped to third place behind "The Revenant" and the record-breaking "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" after its #1 debut the weekend prior.

From downtown Atlanta to Tybee Island, filming for these three #GAfilm productions have taken place all throughout our Camera Ready state. Find out their specific filming locations below and stay tuned to the end for a list of upcoming #GAfilm releases!

25 January, 2016

Atom Egoyan's "Remember" Opens Up 16th Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (***½)

Christopher Plummer stars in "Remember."

Kicking off this year’s much anticipated Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, “Remember” stars Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer as an elderly Holocaust survivor who embarks on a journey for revenge. Plummer plays Zev Gutman, a Jewish man who has just lost his wife to cancer and can’t seem to remember who or where he is for more than a few hours at a time. Zev is sent on a mission by a friend of his at the nursing home to find and kill a man who murdered both of their families in Auschwitz during WWII.

What to See at the 2016 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

The largest Jewish film festival in the world returns for its Sweet Sixteen. Here is a list of titles for you to check out during the 23-day event.

We love that each new year of the Georgia film festival circuit kicks off with the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. The city's most widely attended film event stretches out over three weeks at eight different venues across Midtown Atlanta, Buckhead, Alpharetta, Marietta, Vinings and Sandy Springs. No film festival in the state packs the house as consistently as AJFF and we are looking forward to joining in the opening night ceremonies on Tuesday, January 26 at the Cobb Energy Centre.

This year's lineup is as strong as ever, with films pouring in from all over the world and covering all sorts of thematic ground. Whether you want academic documentaries, Israeli award-winners, Japanese biopics, romantic comedies, musicals or whatever else you can think of—AJFF '16 has it.

We've compiled a long list of films you must see this year! See our picks after the jump.

08 January, 2016

"Mad Max: Fury Road" Named Best Picture of the Year by Georgia Film Critics Association

George Miller's blockbuster wins four total; "Inside Out" wins two, while "Ant-Man" receives Oglethorpe Award for Excellence in Georgia Cinema.

The Georgia Film Critics Association have announced the winners of their 2015 Awards slate. In their 5th year, they have named "Mad Max: Fury Road" the year's best film, taking home Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Production Design. The haul of four awards is the second highest in the GAFCA's history, second only to the six awards that "The Tree of Life" won in 2011.

"Inside Out" was another big winner, taking home Best Animated Film and Best Original Screenplay for Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley. Alicia Vikander also took home two awards, Best Supporting Actress for "Ex Machina" and the Breakthrough Award. Jessica Chastain won the same two awards back in 2011. Also the Breakthrough Award winner in 2013, Brie Larson won Best Actress for "Room." Leonardo DiCaprio won Best Actor for "The Revenant" and Sylvester Stallone was named Best Supporting Actor for "Creed."

It was a tight year in several of the races, with the GAFCA releasing on twitter that the Best Supporting Actor and Best Score races resulted in near-ties and the Best Picture race saw half the nominees receiving several first-place mentions a piece. "Creed" director Ryan Coogler was second place in the Best Director race, despite his film not being a Best Picture nominee.

Best Foreign Film went to "Son of Saul," Best Documentary to "Amy" and Best Ensemble went to Tom McCarthy's "Spotlight." Georgia-lensed "Furious 7" won Best Original Song for "See You Again," performed by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth.

"Ant-Man" was named as the winner for the 2015 Oglethorpe Award for Excellence in Georgia Cinema. Awarded to the films' directors and writers, previous winners include "John Portman: A Life of Building," "Sahkanaga," "Selma" and "The Spectacular Now."

Check out the full list of winners after the jump.

"Carol" Review (****)

Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett star in "Carol."

Directed by Todd Haynes ("Far From Heaven," "I'm Not There"), “Carol” tells the story of a young shop girl in the 1950s who falls in love with an older, married woman. The film is based on the novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith. Haynes navigates this forbidden love story gracefully and gorgeously while infusing some of the best cinematography and set design of 2015.