The 2021 Atlanta Film Festival announces the first wave of films

The Atlanta Film Society (ATLFS) is pleased to announce the first wave of films programmed for the upcoming 45th annual Atlanta Film Festival + Creative Conference (ATLFF), slated for April 22 through May 2, 2021. Each year, this first wave announcement acts as both the earliest glimpse at the upcoming festival as well as a representation of the exciting programming choices to come.   

“This past year, as we’ve faced a period of isolation and loss, many of us have turned to film as a source of comfort and as a means to connect,” said ATLFF Programming Director Alyssa Armand. “We look forward to elevating the work of filmmakers who have continued to create art against all odds, while celebrating the immense value that their work brings to our lives.”  

The first wave of films includes two documentary features and one narrative feature, and are representative of the bold, creative, and compelling breadth of stories to be found across ATLFF’s 2021 programming. The Pattiz Brothers’ “Carterland”lends a keen and thoughtful lens to reexamining the impact of a misunderstood president whose work shaped generations to come. In José Permar’s  “Off The Road,” a group of young musicians vibrantly narrates the highs and lows of a quiet and isolated community awaiting the “Baja 1000” race to come speeding past them. Mari Walker’s “See You Then” centers on a former couple intimately revisiting their past life, before old feelings and unresolved matters propel the night into a captivatingly raw confrontation.

These three films will join an upcoming lineup of more than 150 additional works selected from 7,092 film submissions. 

CARTERLAND
directed by Jim Pattiz & Will Pattiz
USA, English, 120 minutes 
In their feature film debut Carterland, the Pattiz Brothers examine the tragic, yet inspiring story of America’s most misunderstood president. While leading the nation through a series of unprecedented crises, Carter also confronted climate change and fought for social justice at home and abroad. This groundbreaking film draws on archival footage, experts, and insiders to reveal how Carter’s selfless leadership and moral integrity ultimately cost him the presidency. #DocumentaryFeature, #Georgia  

OFF THE ROAD 
directed by José Permar
Mexico/USA, Spanish, 77 minutes 
A group of young musicians sing the deeds of three men who live in the most isolated region of the Baja California Sur desert. As the “Baja 1000”, the world’s largest annual all-terrain car race, takes place crossing the Mexican-US border, these men look for an opportunity to be a part of it and escape the apparent monotony of their small communities. #DocumentaryFeature, #Cinemás  

SEE YOU THEN
directed by Mari Walker
USA, English, 74 minutes 
A decade after abruptly breaking up with Naomi, Kris invites her to dinner to catch-up on their complicated lives, relationships, and Kris’ transition. Over the course of a one night encounter, they engage in a series of increasingly intimate and vulnerable conversations, before a shocking revelation is unveiled. See You Then focuses on the universal truth that no matter how much you change, a part of you will always stay the same. #NarrativeFeature, #NewMavericks, #PinkPeach 

In 2020, ATLFF successfully adapted to the ongoing pandemic by shifting from in-person screenings and events to a drive-in and digital format. The pivot in formats allowed the festival and educational conference to reach audiences safely across the globe. The 2021 format is expected to incorporate both drive-in and virtual screenings again, with announcements on the full schedule forthcoming.   

This week, ATLFS wrapped up a successful partnership with the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and their Satellite Screens initiative. For the first time ever, Sundance joined forces with ATLFS to present 12 official selections from their 2021 lineup in Atlanta. All of the films that played in Atlanta had their world premieres at Sundance, and among them were “CODA,” which sold at the festival in a record-breaking deal to Apple TV+ for around $25 million, and Warner Bros.’ awards contender “Judas and the Black Messiah.” The films were played at the Plaza Theatre, both indoors and drive-in, and at Dad’s Garage Drive-In. 

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