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Film Festival season in Atlanta is in full-swing! About 2 weeks ago saw the kickoff for the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival and with its end in sight, let’s us know we’re about a solid month away from the Atlanta Film Festival. Last week, the Atlanta Film Festival (ATLFF) announced its competition film programming in the narrative and documentary feature categories. Today, the festival is pleased to announce the competition lineups in the narrative, documentary and animated short film categories.

For years, ATLFF has been one of only two-dozen Academy Award® qualifying festivals in the United States for the narrative and animated short competitions, corresponding with the live action and animated short film Oscar® categories. In 2013, the Academy began approving film festivals as sources for eligible documentary short films. This year, the world’s most prestigious organization of film industry professionals chose to include ATLFF in the exclusive list of qualifying festivals.

Providing that the films otherwise comply with Academy rules, the winners of the ATLFF narrative, animated and documentary short jury prizes will be eligible for consideration at the Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run. Only 14 other film festivals in the United States are Oscar® qualifying  in three or more categories.

“Documentary is evolving,” said ATLFF Shorts Programmer Christina Humphrey. “It’s been great to witness and identify so many changes since I began watching ATLFF submissions in 2011. With our documentary short competition winner now eligible for Oscar® consideration, we hope to bring our perspective on this genre-bending evolution to the Academy’s attention.”

The 2015 ATLFF short film lineup represents fifteen countries: Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Passes for the Festival are available for purchase now. Individual tickets go on sale later this month. The 39th annual Atlanta Film Festival takes place March 20-29, 2015.


Narrative Short Competition:

Actresses — directed by Jeremy Hersh

USA, 2014, English, 11:36

Follows the romantic relationship between a 23-year-old aspiring actress and an off-broadway star.

Charming — directed by John Brandon Delaney

USA, 2015, English, 13:20

A former child actor arranges a meeting with a stranger in a sleazy motel room. The two form a connection that will change her life forever.

Haze — directed by Chloe Domont

USA, 2014, English, 12:00

A young man struggles to explain what happened the night before.

Hole — directed by Martin Edralin

Canada, 2014, English, 15:00

A daring portrait of a disabled man yearning for intimacy in a world that would rather ignore him.

Jennah — directed by Meryem Benm’Barek

Belgium, 2014, French, 18:00

Jennah a young 13-year-old girl is growing up. This path goes through troubles with her mother and the discovery of her femininity.

Persefone — directed by Grazia Tricarico

Italy, 2015, Italian, 18:00

The helpless body. The torment of an ancestral need. The instinct of life and the allurement of death. The uncontrollable passion that corrodes who hides the desire. Nicandro, seduced by the goddess Persefone, can’t choose his nature.

Pigs — directed by Laura Mohai

Singapore/Malaysia/USA, 2014, 7:45

A young boy attempts to care for a dying piglet in the farm he lives on. His tries to understand his mother who doesn’t quite accept him and grieves a lost child. The death of the pig on the bed of the lost child leads mother and son to a quiet conflict.

Pink Grapefruit — directed by Michael Mohan

USA, 2015, English, 11:00

A young married couple travels to Palm Springs with two single friends for a long weekend, leading to unexpected results.

Rosa — directed by Francisco Neffe

UK/Portugal, 2014, Portuguese, 14:00

Single mother Rosa is locked in a room after a public fight with her ex and ends up receiving help from a young neighbor.

Skunk — directed by Annie Silverstein

USA, 2014, English, 16:00

When her pit bull is stolen by an amateur dog fighter, 14-year-old Leila is forced to stand up for herself, at the cost of her own innocence.

Stay Awake — directed by Jamie Sisley

USA, 2015, English, 13:50

Brothers, a mother, songs from the seventies, Xanax, and a woman named Vicki. “Stay Awake” explores addiction and making sacrifices for people you love.

Turtle (Wu Gui) — directed by Jordan Schiele

China, 2014, Mandarin, 14:59

Rush hour in Beijing. A construction worker selling a turtle on the road winds up at the country studio of a potential customer who has another offer in mind.


Documentary Short Competition

Broken Branches (ענפים שבורים) — directed by Ayala Sharot

Israel, 2014, Hebrew, 25:00

An animated documentary about the life of Michal Rechter, who was only 14-years-old when she left her home in Poland and travelled to Israel by herself on the eve of the World War II.

Chop My Money — directed by Theo Anthony

Democratic Republic of Congo, 2014, Swahili/English, 12:50

A day in the life of three street kids in the Eastern Congo. Featuring music by Dirty Beaches.

Crooked Candy — directed by Andrew Rodgers

USA, 2014, English, 6:00

Kinder Surprise eggs are hugely popular all around the world but (oddly) illegal in the United States, thanks to a quirk in FDA regulations. “Crooked Candy” profiles someone who smuggles the eggs across the Canadian border and has even been caught by border patrol.

The Murder Ballad of James Jones — directed by Jesse Kreitzer

USA, 2014, English, 3:54

In 1993, Chicago bluesman and Howlin’ Wolf protégé James “Tail Dragger” Jones murdered fellow musician Boston Blackie during an on-stage performance. Two decades later, James shared his story.

One Year Lease — directed by Brian Bolster

USA, 2014, English, 11:00

Told almost entirely through voice mail messages, “One year Lease” documents the travails of Brian, Thomas and Casper as they endure a year-long sentence with Rita the Cat-loving landlady.

Unmappable — directed by Diane Hodson, Jasmine Luoma

USA, 2014, English, 22:47

This meditative portrait of iconoclastic psychogeographer and convicted sex offender Denis Wood will unveil the inner workings of a man whose work is lauded as poetic, artful and innovative – a man who unapologetically pushes boundaries both personally and professionally.

What’s in a Name directed by Daniel Robin

USA, 2014, English, 12:00

Daniel Robin is mistakenly booked for a flight under the name Robinowitz (which was actually his grandfather’s name). This coincidence leads him to examine his Jewish identity.


Animation Short Competition

Bar — directed by John Hartman

USA, 2014, 1:44

A thirsty traveler stumbles upon a bar in the woods, but nobody seems eager to let him in.

The Bigger Picture — directed by Daisy Jacobs

UK, 2014, English, 7:05

Two brothers struggle to take care of their elderly mother.

The Fog of Courage — directed by John R. Dilworth

China/Spain/USA, 2013, English, 7:00

A cowardly dog named Courage must rescue his lovely owner, Muriel, from a vengeful supernatural fog. Eustace, Muriel’s greedy husband, refuses to return the gold necklace belonging to the Fog’s long lost love.

Garbanzos — directed by Ammar Nassri

USA, 2014, English, 3:19

A farmer wakes up early to go get the last garbanzos in the universe. On his way back, he is faced with several obstacles that he needs to overcome in order for him to bring the garbanzos to his little daughter.

IOA — directed by Gabriel Möhring

Switzerland, 2013, German, 2:12

A vowel reciting speaking machine describes in a soliloquy its miserable existence as a tool of a despotic singing-teacher.

Kamakura — directed by Yoriko Mizushiri

Japan, 2013, 5:00

A snow hut in the middle of the rice paddy. Now, let’s see what to do, in the space full of whiteness and quietness, until the Spring comes. Until the snow hut melted, and lose shape.

Never Stop Cycling — directed by Colin Lepper

Canada, 2014, English, 3:32

In order to continue his comfortable, routine life, a creature must make the journey into a strange living world.

Nude and Crude (Pene e Crudité) — directed by Mario Addis

Italy, 2014, 4:00

Fantastical hallucinatory moments of passion, cruelty, loneliness, dis-connection and love unfold humorously in a simple and innocent form but with deep, sometimes dark meanings.

One Night in Hell — directed by James Hall, Jason Jameson

UK, 2014, English, 7:06

A devilish and spectacular animation short that tells the story of a skeleton’s journey into a stereoscopic hell.

Starlight — directed by Tamarind King, Shir Wen Sun, Marisa Tontaveetong, Yu Ueda

USA, 2014, English, 3:51

A feral cat explores the bizarre landscape of the last drive-in theater in Atlanta, Georgia.

Tatuapé Mahal Tower — directed by Carolina Markowicz, Fernanda Salloum

Brazil, 2014, Spanish, 9:35

After a betrayal, Argentinian scale modeler Javier Juarez Garcia decides to change his life and travel around the world, figuring out many possibilities that he did not know about. But he never forgot about his real goal—come back and take revenge from the ones who disappointed him.

Two Films About Loneliness — directed by Will Bishop-Stephens, Christopher Eales

UK, 2014, English, 6:00

Two neighbours turn to technology in a quest for companionship and acceptance.

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