19 July, 2016

14 Films to See at the 2016 Macon Film Festival

Middle Georgia's main film event returns for its 11th edition on July 21-24. While the festival focuses on music and Southern documentary, there's something for everyone.

A 30th anniversary presentation of John Hughes' classic "Pretty in Pink" with star Andrew McCarthy is a good hook. So is a Sundance Master Class with Georgia-born director James Ponsoldt. So are special screenings of Ponsoldt's critically-acclaimed hits "The Spectacular Now" and "The End of the Tour." But the 11th annual Macon Film Festival has a whole lot more to offer!

A couple of years deep into Macon's focused effort to spotlight music-themed films and Southern non-fiction, the festival is bursting with promising offerings in both categories. Pepper in loads of Georgia-lensed shorts, some festival circuit hits, diverse international offerings and quality workshops—you have yourself a dynamite 4-day event.

We've highlighted 14 films from this year's Macon Film Festival that you must check out!

The Arbalest #GAfilm

When an unexpected tragedy befalls an amateur game inventor, his wife and a rival make a pact to share in the spoils of his invention. But when that invention becomes an international sensation, the pair charts different courses in their own lives, until desire brings them together again for one final game. Adam Pinney’s "The Arbalest" is a wildly inventive comedy that takes the details and design of the 1960s and 70s to new heights, turning a tale of unrequited love into an alternate reality where a beloved toy brings wild success and never-ending suffering.

Contemporary Color

In 2015, legendary musician David Byrne treated audiences to a performance spectacle unlike any other—bringing ten of the best color guard teams from across North America to Brooklyn's Barclays Center to perform their synchronized dance routines (often involving flags, flips, tossed rifles and swords) to music composed for their performances by musicians like St. Vincent, Nelly Furtado, Ad-Rock + Money Mark, Nico Muhly + Ira Glass and Byrne himself.

Eat White Dirt #GAfilm

"Eat White Dirt" weaves the story of Tammy Wright, a 37-year-old addicted to eating kaolin, with that of scientists, local historians, a physician, an artist, and other practitioners of or earth-eating. Each is connected by their own unique kinship with kaolin, or white dirt. The film focuses on this practice within the American South while also referencing its global perspective.

Hotel Clermont #GAfilm
This film honors the Clermont: a place all Atlantans know of, but few know. The hotel intrigues all walks of life. Part of the fascination is due to its basement tenant: Atlanta’s oldest strip club. The residents who rented rooms in the hotel upstairs occupied even further-outlying corners of Atlanta society. It is their stories we aim to tell.


A year after his wife's murder, once-successful Hong Kong businessman Leonard To is still reeling from the tragedy. Having lost his job, friends and all sense of order in his life, Leonard becomes obsessed with a mysterious stranger he sees at his wife's grave, believing him to be responsible for her death.

Kandahar Journals

Arriving in Kandahar, Afghanistan as the war’s violence spirals out of control, photojournalist Louie Palu is unaware that he will spend the next five years covering the conflict. "Kandahar Journals" is the story of Palu who reflects on the events behind his psychological transformation after covering frontline combat from 2006 to 2010.

Legs: A Big Issue in a Small Town

When a very large and controversial piece of art gets publicly displayed in a small town, opinions start flying and feisty people take legal action. Experienced through the eyes and voices of one small town’s colorful residents, both newcomers and established folk reveal struggles to fit in, to have a voice, to be respected, to be heard.

Manifest Destiny

This musical comedy weaves together both sharp satire and heartfelt storytelling into a grand adventure. The film follows gruff explorer William Clark and his naturalist companion Meriwether Lewis as they blaze a trail to the Western waters. Along the way they encounter the lovely Sacagawea, battle the elements, and find that President Jefferson has some surprises up his sleeve.

Morris From America

The romantic and coming-of-age misadventures of a 13-year-old American living in Germany.

My Blind Brother

The rivalry between two brothers reaches a fever pitch during a charity swim competition.

Nathan East: For the Record

"Nathan East For The Record" is a film that takes viewers behind-the-scenes as one of the most influential bass players in modern music recorded his debut solo album. The film chronicles Nathan's career from when he hit the road age 16 with Barry White, his session and touring work across musical genres and membership in the legendary jazz quartet Fourplay.


"Remittance" follows Marie, a foreign domestic worker from the Philippines as she struggles to cope with demanding employers, long hours of work, and separation from her family. Breaking from the conventional image of maids as labor, the story explores the transformations Marie goes through as a woman dealing with conflicting obligations and aspirations.

The Seer: A Portrait of Wendell Berry

"The Seer" is a cinematic portrait of the changing landscapes and shifting values of rural America in the era of industrial agriculture, as seen through the mind’s eye of Wendell Berry.

Sweet Dillard

From first day of class to a national competition, "Sweet Dillard" provides an inside look at one of the nation's best public high school jazz bands.

For tickets and more information, visit www.maconfilmfestival.com

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