By Howard Pousner
With the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival having just concluded, the younger-skewing Atlanta Film Festival is grabbing the spotlight, today announcing a slate of 125 films for the 10-day screening extravaganza running March 23 through April 1.
Snagging the prestigious opening night slot is “Life Happens,” an indie comedy about Los Angeles girlfriends/roommates (Kate Bosworth, Rachel Bilson and Krysten Ritter) whose lives go in different directions when one has a baby.
The fest’s closing night feature will be “The Cabin in the Woods,” a much-buzzed-about horror flick starring Chris Hemsworth (”Thor”) about five friends for whom things go terribly wrong at a remote cabin in the, well, you know. It’s directed by Drew Goddard (the “Lost” and “Alias” writer-producer), who penned the script with Joss Whedon.
More than 50 features and shorts this year have ties to Georgia, suggesting the growth in film production here as well as the state’s growing role as a producer of filmmaking talent. Among those titles will be “That’s What She Said,” a gal-pals-go-wild-in-Manhattan comedy starring Anne Heche and directed by “True Blood” actress Carrie Preston, a Macon native.
While the 36th annual festival will continue to be headquartered at Landmark’s Midtown Art Cinema, it will present scattered showings at other sites around the city, such as the Goat Farm. These “Atlanta Gem” screenings – such as “Hurry Up and Wait,” a documentary about the Atlanta band Gringo Star on its 2009 European tour, showing at the Plaza Theatre — attempt to pair a film and site in a way that highlights the location’s place within the city’s cultural scene.
As in the past, the Atlanta Film Festival will present competitions. Seven narrative features, three “Pink Peach” (LGBT) features and eight documentaries will vie for the grand jury prize in their respective categories.
Lineup highlights include …
More details: 404-352-4225, www.atlantafilmfestival.com.