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Macon Film Festival Kicks off This Week

Here’s a snapshot of what festival-goers can expect July 20-23 when Macon Film Festival gets rolling.

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When it comes to the old arthouse two-step in Macon, Georgia, we like to do the damn thing. Say what you will, but no shortage of curious patronage or enthusiastic support for trying something new on stage or in studio seems to have stifled many aspiring artists over the years in this dark-horse town. Which, not for nothing, seems to breed new genres and unlikely collaborations like so many thoroughbreds.

Notably among those strange-brew alliances was the 2016 pairing of childhood friends indie rock baller Mike Mills and strings virtuoso Robert McDuffie for Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra. The former Maconites fused their musical worlds for a standout album and tour – an effort which earned kudos from critics and sowed the seeds of inspiration among fellow artists. Among them, Savannah filmmaker Diane Reichenbach, who specializes in “immersive and architectural media,” and whose award-winning pieces have been screened in five of the seven continents.

Reichenbach’s short animated film, Stardancer’s Waltz, will kick off the 2017 Macon Film Festival, with the first screening scheduled for July 20, at 7:45 p.m. in the planetarium at the Museum of Arts and Sciences. Drawn from the title of one of the movements on the Mills-McDuffie recording, Stardancer’s Waltz is a fulldome film – a genre-bending style of movie-making that tailors the viewing experience to a 360-degree venue (such as a planetarium).

Specially created for Macon Film Festival, Stardancer’s Waltz packs all that is good about Macon – fantastic venues, artistic temerity, and a Rhodes-scholar meets rock-n-roll sensibility – into 10 short but “immersive” minutes. P.S.: Remember that word, because you’re going to hear it a lot if you’re ringside for the film festival’s main events, workshops, competitive film screenings, or after-hours functions.

Here’s a snapshot of what festival-goers can expect July 20-23 when Macon Film Festival gets rolling:

The Contenders

Along with 56 student shorts, documentaries, and Georgia home-grown films, Macon Film Festival will also host limited evening screenings from some top-shelf indie talent. Along with the Stardancer’s Waltz festival opener on Thursday, July 20th, this year’s Special Selections also include:

Lucky
Playing: Friday July 21, 7:15 pm – 9:30 pm; Douglass Theatre 355 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd Macon
There are icons and then there’s Harry Dean Stanton. So when a reviewer for Variety magazine writes, “Everything Harry Dean Stanton has done in his career, and his life, has brought him to his moment of triumph in Lucky, an unassumingly wonderful little film about nothing in particular and everything that’s important,” you pay attention. The man, the myth and the actor dominate the screen for 88 minutes as he sets off on an “atheist’s spiritual journey” while bumping into the likes of David Lynch (yes, that one) and Ron Livingston along the way.

Brave New Jersey
Playing: Saturday July 22, 7:15 pm – 9:30 pm; Douglass Theatre 355 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd Macon
Set against Orson Welles’ 1938 radio broadcast War of the Worlds – which caused a very real public panic – this 86-minute film focuses State and Main-style on a small New Jersey Town and the richly drawn characters who populate it. The period comedy stars a fairly cosmic troupe of indie all-stars – Tony Hale (Veep), Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect), and the prolific Raymond Barry (most recently Ray Donovan, but his stellar turn as Raylan Givens’ nogoodnik daddy in Justified nets him a lifetime honorable mention). The film debuted at the 2016 Austin Film Festival, and has garnered multiple thumbs-ups and star reviews ever since.

See & Be Seen

Ticketed events at this year’s festival include a dealer’s choice of price and after-party package options – as well a combo #FestieBesties buy with the upcoming Bragg Jam. For details on each option, please visit Maconfilmfestival.com/ticket-information.

FestieBesties VIP Pass – $200
Bragg Jam / Macon Film Festival Combo Pass, After-parties! One Macon Film Festival All Access Pass AND one Bragg Jam Music and Arts Festival VIP Pass. (For Bragg Jam updates, visit Braggjam.org.)

All Access VIP Pass – $150
Admission July 20 – 23, 2017 for priority seating at all Screenings, Special Screenings, and the Awards Ceremony. All Access Passes also include admission to After Parties for ages 21 and up.

Screening Pass PLUS Opening Night Film and Party – $100
Admission Thursday, July 20 for the Opening Night Film and Party at the Museum of Arts and Sciences
Admission July 21 – July 23, 2017 for priority seating at all Screenings, Special Screenings, and the Awards Ceremony.

Screening Pass – $65
Admission July 21 – July 23, 2017 for priority seating at all Screenings, Special Screenings, the Awards Ceremony.

Opening Night Screening & Party Pass – $50
Admission Thursday, July 20 for the Opening Night Film and reception at the Museum of Arts and Sciences.

Day Pass – $25
Admission for ONE chosen day (Friday, Saturday or Sunday) to all Screenings, including the evening Special Screening. After Party not included.

Single Block Ticket – $10
Admission to ONE film or block of films July 21 – 23, 2017.

Filmmaker Workshops – FREE
From designing films for fulldome viewing to how to make it as a musician or how to survive the film festival circuit, the Film Festival workshops present an opportunity for student filmmakers to rub elbows with and learn from working pros. For a full list of workshops, presenters, as wells as days and times, log onto Maconfilmfestival/workshops.

 

 

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