Mark your calendars for the first weekend of next month because the third annual South Georgia Film Festival will be taking place right here at VSU.
The South Georgia Film Festival is a three-day weekend jam packed with events, including film screenings, panel discussions, exclusive after parties and networking opportunities.
The festival will be showing a wide variety of films, such as the feature-length films Down and Yonder, How They Got Over and even Cruel Hearts, which stars well-known actress Melora Hardin, best known for her role as Jan in The Office. There are also more than 100 short films playing over the weekend.
But these are not the only films playing during the festival. The festival’s student director Jennifer Rainer, a senior mass media major, mentioned the different types of films that will be playing.
“We have submissions from all over the globe in our international block, and we have college films. […] We also have some film companies that are small and independent,” Rainer said.
Along with the films that are by independent filmmakers, there are also three films made by VSU students in the lineup. Among those are Landmine, by senior mass media major Max Steele; Blood and Iron, also by Max Steele with VSU mass media alum Taren Pineset; and Shifted, by senior mass media major Nathan Ragland.
These films are part of the college and high school category, which includes films from students all over Georgia and some from Florida. High school filmmakers in the festival will get a tour and opportunities to receive scholarships from VSU if they win in their categories.
As for the panel discussions, there are various ones being held, ranging from “Women in Media,” “What’s Next: Film School, Grad School, or The Industry,” “Crowdfunding with the Founders of Seed and Spark” and, finally, one sponsored by the city of Valdosta about the impact of filming in small Georgia towns. This features the creators of the critically-acclaimed HBO series, Sharp Objects, which is filmed in the small Georgia town of Barnesville.
Given that there are panel discussions, scholarship opportunities and numerous networking opportunities, this film festival focuses on the students.
Students who volunteer for the festival or attend the festival will get the opportunity to network and interact with many filmmakers and media professionals. This student focus, along with the networking opportunities, is what festival director and mass media professor Jason Brown said he is most excited about.
“I am most excited about the [more than] 40 filmmakers who are going to be able to interact with our students and people of the community,” Brown said. “The important part is trying to get students involved in the industry in a new way.”
Because student involvement plays a big role in the festival’s production, there is a student organization that students can join to help plan the festival and pick some of the films being played.
While students are encouraged to get involved in the organization, students can buy a day pass for $15 to get them into the films and panel discussions.
While student involvement is a major focus of the festival, it’s not the only reason this festival is important—it helps the Valdosta community and economy with issues such as tourism.
It also helps Georgia as a whole by promoting the Georgia Film initiative and filmmaking within the state, which is one of Brown’s long-term goals of the festival.
“[One of my long-term goals is] to promote filmmaking here,” he said. “The more we can expose filmmakers to Georgia, the more we can grow the industry. […] We want to have more and more filmmakers come to Georgia and share their work with our students.”
The South Georgia Film Festival will be held on March 1-3 in the Student Union Theater. Additionally, some panel discussions will take place in the Mass Media building.
For more information about what this festival entails, as well as pass purchasing options, visit www.southgeorgiafilm.com.
Written by Maria Sellers, Staff Writer. Photo courtesy of South Georgia Film Festival.
For more News, click here