Category Archives: Industry News

Listicle: Ten Directors with Buzzy Films This Fall

There are many anticipated movies being released in Fall 2023, but these ten stand out because they also feature lauded artists in the director’s seat. Be on the lookout for these feature films by some of the great auteurs, being released in coming months and generating awards season heat:

10. The Holdovers by Alexander Payne (Election, Nebraska) made a splash at the Telluride Film Festival and is expected to release Nov. 10 in theatres everywhere. Set in the early ’70s, this Focus Films dramedy pits a disliked private school teacher (Paul Giamatti, reuniting with his director of Sideways) and a troubled student (Dominic Sessa) against one another over an extended holiday break. Both male leads plus Da’Vine Joy Randolph are being touted for acting awards; and even though Payne didn’t also write the film, his direction is being praised and compared favorably to droll comedies from the ’70s (think Harold & Maude). Many moviegoers are hoping it’s a return to form after Downsizing, which seemingly only I liked!

9. May December by Todd Haynes (Carol, Far from Heaven) is a romantic drama starring Natalie Portman as an actress who travels to the American South to study the life of a woman she is set to portray on film. Julianne Moore plays the subject of a two-decade old tabloid romance that gripped the nation because her character dated someone substantially younger. The talk from the film’s premiere at Cannes Film Festival was that Haynes has once again proven himself one of the best directors of women. It’s the opening night film of the New York Film Festival and is slated for distribution in select theatres Nov. 17 before streaming on Netflix Dec. 1.

8. Priscilla by Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, On the Rocks) is an American biopic starring Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla Presley and Jacob Elordi as Elvis. Expect Coppola, a master at chronicling the lives of women coming of age, to have a singular take on Priscilla’s memoirs as well as a distinctive soundtrack collaboration by Coppola’s husband Thomas Mars and his band Phoenix with music by the band Sons of Raphael (Elvis music is not featured in the film). After premiering at Venice International Film Festival, this A24 feature is slated for Nov. 3 in theatres.

7. Saltburn by Emerald Fennell is the acerbic director’s sophomore directorial follow-up to Promising Young Woman and caused quite a lot of interest at Telluride leading up to its limited theatrical release Nov. 17 before going wide Nov. 22. This psychological thriller/drama stars Barry Keoghan as a young Oxford University student who becomes infatuated with his aristocratic schoolmate, played by the ubiquitous Jacob Elordi, who invites his classmate for a summer he won’t forget at his eccentric family’s sprawling estate (namesake of the movie). Expect devilish details by this visionary director. Rosamund Pike and Richard E. Grant co-star.

6. All of Us Strangers by Andrew Haigh (45 Years, Weekend) is a romantic fantasy that premiered at Telluride starring Andrew Scott, Paul Mescal, Jamie Bell and Claire Foy. This Searchlight Pictures film is getting an Oscar-qualifying run late this year, with a Dec. 22 release. A chance encounter between those who are living and those who died three decades before provides an unlikely premise for Haigh’s latest journey into the human psyche.

5. Origin by Ava DuVernay (Selma, 13th) is an ambitious biographical drama about a writer played by Aunjanue Ellis grappling with personal tragedy, who embarks on a global exploration of discovery. This Neon film premiered at the Venice festival and is slated for late 2023. It co-stars Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Blair Underwood and Broadway belter Audra McDonald. Expect multiple story lines across various dimensions of life on earth in this intriguing entry.

4. Boy and the Heron by Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle) is rumored to be the final film by the animation master behind Studio Ghibli. This Japanese fantasy follows a boy who discovers an abandoned tower in his new town and enters a fantastical world with the talking bird of the title. The director draws heavily from his own childhood and explores conflict and loss in this hand-drawn epic slated for theatres Dec. 8 following special preview engagements Nov. 22.

3. The Killer by David Fincher (Fight Club, The Social Network) is a neo-noir action thriller based on a graphic novel series starring a deadpan Michael Fassbender as the titular assassin who gets embroiled in a global manhunt after a hit goes wrong. This too premiered in Venice and has been lauded for its acting and style. It co-stars Arliss Howard and Charles Parness with a small part played by Tilda Swinton. Music by The Smiths is featured prominently. Expect a limited theatrical run Oct. 27 before the film streams Nov. 10 on Netflix.

2. Poor Things by Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Favourite) is a steampunk black comedy fantasy film and all the rage in Venice, capturing that festival’s top prize, the Golden Lion. Emma Stone plays “Bella,” an initially naive woman brought back to life by a scientist, Willem Dafoe. Bella’s desire to learn more about the world takes her across continents in search of equality and liberation. Mark Ruffalo plays her debauched lawyer companion. Expect wry comic highs and imaginative visuals. Stone is said to give her best performance yet. This Searchlight Pictures film also played Telluride and screens at the New York Film Festival among other prestigious competitions before coming to a screen near you Dec. 8.

1. Killers of the Flower Moon by Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street, Goodfellas) is the sixth feature film collaboration between the director and Leonardo DiCaprio and the tenth between the filmmaker and Robert De Niro. Based on the novel of the same name, the story depicts members of the Osage tribe in northeastern Oklahoma murdered under mysterious circumstances in the 1920s, sparking an investigation. DiCaprio plays the nephew of De Niro’s character and courts a Native American woman played by Lily Gladstone, who is said to be the film’s spiritual center. This epic saga premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and has garnered momentum all year. This Apple Original Films/Paramount Pictures production is slated for wide release Oct. 20. Like most of Marty’s works, this promises to be dark and demanding with a three-and-a-half-hour running time. It also features a propulsive score by the late Robbie Robertson and supporting turns by Jesse Plemons and Brendan Fraser. Expect powerhouse acting and a compelling story line that shows the cynical underbelly of America as it pertains to indigenous people.

Preview: Taylor Swift The Eras Tour: Next Interactive Cinematic Phenomenon?

[Update: Here’s the film review.]

Not since perpetual screenings of 1975’s cult musical indie The Rocky Horror Picture Show, for which costumed moviegoers with ritualistic call-backs literally bring rice, newspapers, frankfurters, squirt guns and more and break out into “Time Warp” choreography in unison, has a movie theatre event been so poised to prompt audiences into a frenzy of interactivity. I am hereby dubbing Taylor Swift The Eras Tour, the indie concert movie coming October 13, 2023, The Taylor Swiftie Picture Show and bring you some perspective and tips to prepare for the full bejeweled majesty of the interactive experience (and you know I love musicals!)

As most of us were about to let the proverbial month of August slip away like a bottle of wine, it was announced on the last day of that fateful month that footage captured during pop princess and prolific songwriter Taylor Swift’s Los Angeles leg of her record-breaking concert tour was actually a secret movie made outside the Hollywood studio system and would soon screen across the U.S. via AMC Theatres and other multiplexes as a near-three-hour concert movie. Here’s the trailer. What a treat for all those who couldn’t afford the live concert or get the in-demand tickets! But is the singer ready for her close-up? Swift is no stranger to the screen, all the way back to the 2009 Hannah Montana: The Movie days with fellow child star Miley Cyrus. Swift has starred in a documentary about her political awakening and has had small parts in pedigreed movies:  I am one of the few cheerleaders of the guilty-pleasure Cats but not of the smarmy drama Amsterdam, although the getaway car sequence toward the beginning will turn some heads. This new Eras concert movie will undoubtedly be the ingenue breakthrough for a woman who has already broken live concert records globally. Based on pre-sales alone, Taylor Swift, already a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will now be one of the biggest movie stars of the year, and her movie was actually lensed in L.A., it turns out, so maybe it was kinda made in Hollywood. Normally it wouldn’t be good karma to spoil the ending, but many have already followed along and know the set list, but here are ten tips to “Make the friendship bracelets, take the moment and taste it” and enhance your in-theatre experience:

  1. Costumes are a big part of the experience as fans (self-proclaimed “Swifties!”) sport clothing and accoutrements based on the various “eras” of the country crossover artist’s legendary young career, so whether it’s a glittery heart around the eye as a nod to the Lover album or an homage to the cottage-core of her mid-pandemic works, determine what you’ll wear to the affair.
  2. Some longtime fans paint a blue “13” on their hands in honor of Taylor’s favorite number (the film even premieres on this “lucky” day!) During the “Fearless” era, Swift scribed the blue 13 on her guitar-strumming hand.
  3. Friendship bracelet sharing is a thing to add to the communal experience. I found some fun ones on Etsy that I have ready to trade. My favorite has little letters spelling “Starbucks” in honor of a sometimes misunderstood lyric in the song “Blank Spaces.”
  4. There will be merch, so plan for long lines to snag those commemorative popcorn tubs and tumblers. One to use and one to collect?
  5. Plan to flash a light to honor the legacy of Taylor Swift’s opera singing grandmother during the emotional song “Marjorie” with lessons from her titular relative.
  6. There will be more call-backs than there were in Polyester by John Waters (movie with a famous Odorama scratch and sniff card). Plan on chants at the bridge of “Cruel Summer,” a double-clap during “You Belong with Me,” a triple-clap on the beat before “My ex-man brought his new girlfriend” during “Shake It Off,” the audience refrain “1,2,3, Let’s Go, B*tch!” during “Delicate” (right after “You can make me a drink…”) and much more chronicled on sites such as Bustle. There’s even a moment during “Anti-Hero,” when the audience may re-assure the songstress “Taylor, You’ll Be Fine.”
  7. It’s been a year of female empowerment, with the success of Barbie and all, so expect a loud unison of “F*** the patriarchy!” during the 10-minute song “All Too Well.” As that song is largely believed to be about a relationship with a certain Oscar nominated actor named Jake, you may also see some not-so-flattering homemade t-shirts about the thespian or even the scarf he allegedly never gave back to Taylor after their brief relationship.
  8. During the song “Bejeweled,” when Taylor sings the word “shimmer,” fans flutter their fingers. You kinda have to study TikTok for some of these!
  9. There’s a part of the live concert with secret songs surprising nightly audiences, so there are several tunes from the multi-day L.A. stint to choose from – although it doesn’t appear this will be like the movie Clue with different variations of film prints to stimulate multiple trips to the theatre. Those multiple viewings will likely happen for fans anyway!
  10. Most of all, have fun! There’s a long tradition of movie gimmickry designed to lure fans into movie houses, from 3-D and Cinerama to “The Tingler.” In this case, consider the fans already lured. This is your chance to make the next in-person sensation akin to the sing-along version of The Sound of Music or taking a page out of the customs invented by those Rocky Horror fans who have sung and danced in the aisles for nearly 50 years.

In some cases, tickets are still available for Taylor Swift The Eras Tour, the movie. Good luck to the multiplex ushers and cleaning crews, and pick up after yourself so nobody will say “This is why we can’t have nice things.”

Industry News: Faith-Based Movie Festival Accepting Indie Short Film Entries  

Organizers of the 20th Annual 168 Film Project are celebrating a new home and a new collaboration with Angel Studios for this year’s faith-based film production competition, with a September 4 deadline for entry. Artists can learn more at and enter at

Named for the number of hours in a one-week production, the 168 Film Project last year relocated from California to Georgia, teeing up the 2023 festival to take place near Trilith Studios for the second time. This year the 168 Film Project is collaborating with film distributor Angel Studios.

Members of the 100,000 voter “Angel Guild” will review up to 10 of the 168 Film Project short film entries for potential development, funding and distribution as feature films or TV series.

168 Film Project is a scripture-focused community and proving ground for filmmakers, writers and actors of all levels of experience. 168 Film Project was launched in 2003 in Los Angeles, and the competition has produced more than 1,200 short films at locations all around the world including the feature Final Frequency

Angel Studios is a leading producer of faith-based content including the recent grassroots hit Sound of Freedom.

Industry News: Atlanta’s Historic Tara Theatre to Re-Open May 25 with Line-Up of New Films and Classics 

Three months after announcing its return, the Tara Theatre team today it has secured its operating permits and has set its grand re-opening for May 25, 2023.

Reopening as a sister cinema to The Plaza Theatre in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood, the Tara will present art house and independent films daily starting Thursday. The grand re-opening evening will include a brief afternoon ceremony followed by ticketed screenings of four films with nods to the venue’s history including:

  • Stanley Kramer’s It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) featuring Milton Berle and Spencer Tracy
  • George Lucas’ Star Wars (1977) featuring Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill, first introduced to Atlanta by the Tara … long, long ago in a galaxy far, far and away
  • Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future Part II (1989) starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd
  • Todd Field’s Tár (2022) starring Best Actress nominee Cate Blanchett, which was the last film presented at Tara Theatre when it closed in November. 

Exact ceremony, film showtimes and ticketing details will be announced via the theatre website later this week. Anyone who supported the venue with advance ticket or gift card purchases may use their credits to secure tickets to the opening weekend films or hold for future use. 

“We selected these historic films for our grand re-opening night to celebrate multiple decades of cinema fans who enjoyed Tara Theatre since its opening in the summer of 1968,” said Chris Escobar, owner of The Plaza Theatre and Tara Theatre, and executive director of Atlanta Film Society.

In addition to the special films selected for May 25, the Memorial Day weekend roster of films includes four recently released independent films:

  • Nicole Holofcener’s You Hurt My Feelings (2023) starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tobias Menzies
  • Paul Schrader’s Master Gardener (2022) featuring Joel Edgerton and Sigourney Weaver
  • Laurel Parmet’s The Starling Girl (2023) featuring Eliza Scanlan and Lewis Pullman
  • Emanuele Crialese’s L’immensità (2023) starring Penélope Cruz

Escobar—who earlier this year negotiated an agreement with Halpern Enterprises, owners of the Cheshire Square shopping center where the Tara Theatre is located at 2345 Cheshire Bridge Road NE — first announced the return of Tara Theatre, as well as a new nonprofit fundraising campaign in support of the theatre’s long-term viability, during the closing event for the 2023 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival held Feb. 21. Since its inception on Feb. 22, the fundraising campaign achieved its original goal of $50,000, earning $50,637.25 by April 11. At that time, the theatre sold $29,972.25 in advance gift cards and tickets, and raised $20,665 in donations. Since mid-April, the team has continued toward a stretch goal of $75,000 intended to help restore or celebrate the original Mid-Century look for the ‘now playing’ and ‘coming attractions’ sign facing the intersection of LaVista Road at Cheshire Bridge. Donations are still accepted via

“For almost 55 years Atlanta’s Tara Theatre created cherished memories and entertainment for countless moviegoers,” said Escobar. “It is an honor and privilege for our team to create a sustainable future for this valuable landmark that will enable new generations of Atlantans to celebrate films of the past, present and future.”

The theater reopens with nine team members—including three part-time executive team members, one full-time staff member and three part-time team members. Several of the team members are returning from their previous position at Tara Theatre during its prior operations. Additional part-time team members are being recruited, with resumes being accepted via

The Tara Theatre LLC team for the reopening and management of the venue also includes cinema booker/operator Michael Spaeth and his wife, Kris Spaeth, as well as Steve & Midge Krams of Magna-Tech Electronic as equity partners with Escobar. Also, since the Tara announcement, Matthew Rowles, Zina Sponiarova, Jonny & Gayle Rej and Michael Furlinger joined The Tara ownership group. 

Magna-Tech Electronic provided the equipment and installation of Tara’s new projection technology which will include new digital formats as well as upcoming installation of historic 35mm and 70mm film projectors, making The Plaza and Tara the city’s only theatres with both types of older film projection units. 

“For the first time in more than a decade, The Tara will be a cinema regularly presenting films in their original formats,” said Escobar, who added the first reel-to-reel films will debut at Tara during the summer. 

Escobar also said the Tara will create a robust schedule of events featuring classic film, art house releases and independent films. This format brings back some of the traditions established during the first few decades of operation after Loews opened Tara Theatre in 1968 or “the Lefont years” starting in 1980 through their transition to United Artists. 

The Tara Theater is on social media @TheTaraAtlanta via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Anyone interested in more information, joining or supporting Friends of Tara Foundation may donate or contact the theatre team via the website

Industry News: Local Theatre Saved! Atlanta’s Historic Tara Theatre to Reopen Spring 2023

Atlanta’s historic Tara Theatre will return in spring 2023 through an agreement forged by leaders of another historic cinema. A team led by Chris Escobar, owner of The Plaza Theatre and executive director of Atlanta Film Society, negotiated an agreement with Halpern Enterprises, owners of the Cheshire Square shopping center where the Tara Theatre is located at 2354 Cheshire Bridge Road NE. Escobar announced the return of Tara Theatre, as well as a new nonprofit fundraising campaign in support of the theatre’s long-term viability, during the closing event for the 2023 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival held Tuesday evening.

“For almost 55 years Atlanta’s Tara Theatre entertained and created cherished memories for countless moviegoers,” said Escobar. “It is an honor and privilege for our team to create a sustainable future for this important landmark that will enable new generations of Atlantans and movie fans celebrate films of the past, present and future.”

Escobar’s team also announced creation of Tara Theatre LLC to be structured like Plaza Theatre LLC, the for-profit business created to preserve and operate the Midtown venue since 2017. Escobar’s team also announced creation of Friends of Tara Foundation, a nonprofit organization modeled after the nonprofit Plaza Theatre Foundation as a fundraising division. “The foundations help preserve and share these historic venues with future generations,” added Escobar.

Friends of Tara Foundation’s initial stated goal is to raise more than $50,000 before Tara Theatre reopens on a to-be-announced spring date. Donations will be accepted through the theatre’s new website which will launch in the days ahead. The public may also support the theatre via advance ticket or gift card purchases available through the website.

“The foundations enable anyone to contribute to the financial security and sustainable future of both historic cinemas in that all funds raised supplement the unpredictable ebb and flow of ticket, snack and merchandise purchases at the venues,” said Escobar. “More importantly, the foundations support long-term physical improvements and accessibility at the theatres, also enabling independent artists, film festivals or other nonprofits to engage the community with improved event spaces.”

The Tara Theatre LLC team for the reopening and management of the venue also includes cinema booker/operator Michael Spaeth and his wife, Kris Spaeth, as well as Steve Krams of Magna-Tech Electronic as equity partners with Escobar. Magna-Tech will provide the equipment and installation of Tara’s new projection technology which will include new digital formats as well as historic 33mm and 70mm film projectors, making The Plaza and Tara the city’s only theatres with both types of older film projection units.

“For the first time in more than a decade, The Tara will be a cinema regularly presenting films in their original formats,” said Escobar. He added the Tara will create a robust schedule of events featuring classic film, art house releases and independent films. This format brings back some of the traditions established during the first few decades of operation after Loews opened Tara Theatre in 1968 or “the Lefont years” starting in 1980 through their transition to United Artists.

“Magna-Tech’s investment as a partner for Tara creates drastic cost savings for the project,” said Escobar.

With the creation of Tara Theatre LLC, three employees of Plaza Theatre LLC will be promoted to work with both venues, with C.J. Swank continuing as operations director, Richard Martin as programming director and Kristin Anderson as marketing and events manager.

Escobar said negotiations for the return of Tara Theatre began as soon as he learned of the venue’s closing announced last fall by its previous tenants.

“We owe tremendous gratitude to Kenny Blank, who went to bat for our team to establish and encourage ongoing conversations with Halpern Enterprises,” said Escobar. “Halpern Enterprises clearly valued the input that local management brings to the table in terms of contemporary cinema operations, and we greatly appreciate their willingness to collaborate.”

Kenny Blank, Atlanta Jewish Film Festival executive and artistic director, also commented on the news: “The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is proud to have worked behind the scenes to champion this exciting initiative to reopen Atlanta’s historic Tara Theatre. We understand the importance of preserving Atlanta’s cultural landscape and Tara’s place as a beloved landmark and beacon of the cinematic arts. AJFF salutes Chris Escobar for his passion and vision, and join him in celebrating this thrilling news, as we welcome festivalgoers and all audiences back to the Tara in the near future and for years to come.”

John Brazovic, regional director of leasing, managed the negotiation for Halpern Enterprises. “We are gratified by the positive response this announcement has elicited from the community and proud to have recruited Chris Escobar and his team to launch this next chapter in the life of the Tara Theatre,” said Jack Halpern, Halpern Enterprises Chairman & CEO.

 More information about Tara Theatre will be posted in the days ahead via and elsewhere online with social media handles @TheTaraAtlanta via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Anyone interested in more information, joining or supporting Friends of Tara Foundation may donate or contact the theatre team via the website. 

Halpern Enterprises is a privately held commercial real estate firm specializing in retail leasing, management, acquisitions and development. For more than 60 years, our collaborative, hands-on approach has created value for hundreds of tenants and resulted in the long-term success of our shopping centers. Headquartered in Atlanta, Halpern owns and operates more than 50 properties totaling more than 3.7 million square feet in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Industry News: Nominees for Best Picture at the 95th Academy Awards (2023)

The Oscars show is March 12, 2023.

The nominations were announced this morning, and the winners will be revealed live during the March 12, 2023 telecast on ABC-TV. Some surprises included a nomination for Andrea Riseborough as best actress in the little-seen alcohol recovery drama To Leslie (now available for rent on Amazon Prime) and Brian Tyree Henry in supporting actor opposite Jennifer Lawrence in the Apple TV+ drama Causeway.

Here are the ten nominations for Best Picture, with links to my reviews:

“All Quiet on the Western Front” (Netflix)

“Avatar: The Way of Water” (20th Century Studios, now in theatres) 

“The Banshees of Inisherin” (Searchlight Pictures, now on HBO Max and on demand) 

“Elvis” (Warner Bros., now on HBO Max and on demand) 

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24, now on Showtime and on demand) 

“The Fabelmans” (Universal Pictures, now on demand) 

“Tár” (Focus Features, now on demand)

“Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount Pictures, now on Paramount Plus) 

“Triangle of Sadness” (NEON, now on demand)

“Women Talking” (Orion, now on demand)

Industry News: Top Ten from PGA

Here are my reviews of the 2023 Producers Guild of America Award nominations for the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures: 

Industry News: Q&A with Blake Jenner of Paradise City

The new action film is streaming starting November 11, 2022 from Lionsgate.

We catch up with one of the stars of Paradise City, a new action film streaming November 11. Blake Jenner acts opposite Bruce Willis as his father. John Travolta plays the villain.

Stephen Michael Brown and Blake Jenner

Industry News: Georgia Film Academy Student Testimonials Showcase Program Success

GFA students ready for action

Students craving the entry point to become a production assistant on a movie set or secure jobs throughout the booming film, television and gaming industry in Georgia — plus aficionados of all ages seeking continuing education about our state’s thriving content businesses — have a central way to sign up and get started learning the trade: The Georgia Film Academy.

Enrollment is open for upcoming classes via the academy’s website. GFA maintains relationships with dozens of institutions of higher learning, so those who participate in classes can get credit toward their degrees as well as toward GFA certification.

Many students taking part in Georgia Film Academy courses, as well as alumni, have landed critical roles on the sets of high-profile productions for films.  Success stories abound such as Peighton Williamson on the set of Creed III and Taylor Bahr, who landed an opportunity with the makers of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

The GFA faculty includes industry veterans such as Clyde E. Bryan who worked on projects ranging from Back to the Future to Ozark. Plus the classes sometimes feature special guests.

Getting into the spirit with Francis Ford Coppola in a GFA class

Director Francis Ford Coppola, the man behind American classics such as The Godfather saga, Apocalypse Now, The Outsiders, Youth Without Youth and Bram Stoker’s Dracula lauded the accomplishments of rising filmmaking talent at a recent visit to a Georgia Film Academy classroom, accompanied by Ellie Dean, one of his own filmmaking apprentices.

“All of you have a gift,” Coppola told the class of GFA students in an inspiring Q&A. “And it’s not always the gift you expect!”

The director says he often asks the young people on the set for insights and fresh perspectives. “A great film experience gives me permission to visit a world I never would have known anything about,” he added.

This video, recently developed with some of the successful students who have taken part in GFA courses, further showcases students in action. Check it out and consider sharing with those in your life who may want to get involved in this growing industry.

Staging just the right lighting

Since the Georgia Film Academy began operations in 2015, economic activity generated by the film industry in Georgia continues to rise at exponential levels. The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) announced that, during fiscal year 2021, the film and television industry set a new record with $4 billion in direct spending on productions in the state.

The Georgia Film Academy’s efforts in building a professional workforce able to meet increased production demand is widely regarded to be a primary driver in this sudden and dramatic rise in economic impact on the state. The GFA is widely recognized by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), labor unions, and numerous competing states and countries as “the gold standard” in film and television production workforce training.

The GFA offers industry certifications in Film & Television Production, Post-Production, Digital Entertainment, Esports & Game Development, and helps institutions to develop curriculum and training directly aligned to the high-demand careers that exist in the state. In partnership with IATSE 479 and major film and television production and digital entertainment companies like Disney, Netflix, HBO, Skillshot Media, Axis Replay, and others, professionally-qualified instructors, equipment, and training facilities prepare learners to be assets to the industry following completion of GFA’s certification. Furthermore, with GFA’s unique-in-the-nation internship/apprentice program, students have the opportunity to go straight to work in these industries, which offers a paid, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Industry News: Town at Trilith to Host Summer 2022 “Reel Tuesday” Family Film Series

Film series includes Sing 2, Captain America: The First Avenger, Luca and Jungle Cruise

For its inaugural summer season, the “Big Screen” at Central Plaza in the Town at Trilith south of Atlanta will showcase the REEL Tuesday at Trilith Summer Movie Series on select weeknights in June and July. Family-friendly films will be the featured attraction on the 25-foot permanent screen with a powerful sound and projection system. Bring a chair or blanket, kick back, and relax to watch these fun, upbeat movies:

Tuesday, June 14: Sing 2
Tuesday, June 28: Captain America: The First Avenger
Tuesday, July 12: Luca
Tuesday, July 26: Jungle Cruise

Movies will start at 7:00 p.m., weather permitting. Admission is complimentary and open to the general public. Participants may park for free in the retail parking lot on Trilith Parkway and at Piedmont Wellness Center.

Before and after the movie, attendees can enjoy the evening strolling the Town at Trilith, shopping at charming boutiques, enjoying dinner at one of the variety of restaurants and topping off dinner with a delicious dessert. Honeysuckle Gelato’s ice cream cart will be on site, and additional activities will be available.

The Town at Trilith is located at 305 Trilith Parkway, Fayetteville, Ga. To stay informed of activities throughout the year at Trilith, follow @TownatTrilith on social media.

Along with the ever-expanding retail and restaurant district, Trilith’s 235-acre master-planned residential and mixed-use development is known for balancing small town community charm with big city creativity and storytelling for its residents, many with ties to the film industry. The award-winning new urbanist community includes nearly 1,400 residential homes, ranging from micro homes and treehouses to gated custom estates and Provencal cottages, all within walking distance of retail, restaurants and parks.

The Town at Trilith is located in south metro Atlanta, Georgia, adjacent to Trilith Studios. Envisioned as a gathering place for creatives, artists, storytellers and makers, this European-inspired community will include 750 single family homes, 600 multi-family lofts, 300 hotel rooms and 270,000 square feet of remarkable restaurants, retail, office, and commercial space. The residential neighborhoods at Trilith comprise one of the largest geothermal communities in the United States, with 51% of the development dedicated to green space that is currently home to more than 1,000 trees. Upon completion, residents will have access to 15 miles of nature trails, 54 acres of forest, 19 superbly landscaped parks and one of the most sophisticated and welcoming dog parks in the world.

Click here for more information about Trilith.

Feature Story: New Frontiers for Age-Gap Dating in the Movies

Coming to Hulu this summer.

From Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas to Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson, today’s most talked about celebrities aren’t shying away from age-gap dating. The growing popularity of these female-forward relationships is reverberating throughout Hollywood and fascinating the public. Despite these pairings becoming more culturally commonplace, provocative new survey data by dating app Cougar Life and Ipsos indicates a curiosity persists. Representation on screen can undoubtedly help mainstream surprising  relationships, and none other than Oscar winner Emma Thompson is seeking to break some barriers with her buzzy summer film Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. Directed by Sophie Hyde, the film debuting on the Hulu streaming service focuses on Thompson’s empowerment journey to find pleasure and perhaps love. Thompson isn’t the only actress to have a younger guy: Remember Kelly McGillis romancing Tom Cruise in the original Top Gun? And who can forget the hilarious turn by Jennifer Coolidge in the original American Pie, owning the screen as the MILF who occupied the imagination of Stifler’s friends? Anne Bancroft was an original barrier breaker opposite Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, and the classic cult comedy Harold & Maude featured an uncanny age gap as well. Here are a half dozen empowered women getting to embrace their inner cougar on screen:

  • Uma Thurman plays a 37-year-old businesswoman who falls in love with Bryan Greenberg’s 23-year-old artist character in the comedy Prime. Meryl Streep plays Thurman’s therapist who sometimes successfully analyzes her client’s mixed emotions.
  • How Stella Got Her Groove Back is a sexy, fun, flirty romp with a career-driven single mom played by Angela Bassett courting Taye Diggs on a Jamaican vacation.
  • Kim Cattrall is on the brink of 50 and consistently on the prowl in the movie of Sex and the City, with younger love interest and former fashion model Jason Lewis rivaling a potent cosmopolitan cocktail or swanky times with friends for iconic character Samantha’s attention.
  • The film Hello My Name is Doris casts Sally Field who is romantically interested in a colleague played by Max Greenfield of New Girl fame. Field is strong in a role with equal parts heartwarming and comedic results.
  • In Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, Annette Bening plays a timeless actress opposite younger boyfriend Jamie Bell. Both are acclaimed in this romantic biographical drama.
  • Bull Durham famously stars Susan Sarandon as a poetry-loving minor league baseball team super fan who takes on Tim Robbins as her brash new recruit to inspire him with the religion of baseball. The two actors went on to enjoy an off-camera relationship for years.

That’s the reel update. Check out for real-life dating opportunities! 

Industry News: Atlanta Film Festival Features 27 World Premieres, April 21 – May 1, 2022

The 46th annual Atlanta Film Festival + Creative Conference (ATLFF) revealed key programming highlights, including Opening and Closing Night presentations and the full lineup of selected works from a record-breaking nearly 10,000 submissions. Highlighted by the Opening Night presentation of 892 and Closing Night film Mija, 11 Marquee screenings will combine Hollywood star power with the best of independent film. The 155 total announced creative works from submissions will feature diverse filmmakers who continue to uplift voices and stories from around the world. The film festival and educational conference will take place Thursday, April 21 through Sunday, May 1, 2022, at multiple venues in Atlanta and virtually.

“We’re particularly excited about this year because we are not only back to in-person screenings, but our hybrid format will provide even more opportunities for audiences to participate around the globe,” said Christopher Escobar, Executive Director of the Atlanta Film Festival. “A huge part of our ethos is advocating for diverse voices, which is why it’s even more important that we continue to evolve and connect with communities everywhere in new and innovative ways.”

Kicking off a robust slate of Marquee programming that will be presented throughout the 11-day festival, the Opening Night presentation of Bleecker Street’s dramatic thriller 892 will take place at the Plaza Theatre on Friday, April 22. Starring John Boyega, the late Michael K. Williams, Nicole Beharie, and Connie Britton, the film follows a Marine war veteran who faces mental and emotional challenges when he tries to reintegrate back into civilian life. Director Abi Damaris Corbin will be on-hand for the red carpet screening.

The Closing Night presentation of the Disney+ documentary Mija will be held on Saturday, April 30, at the Plaza Theatre. Directed by Isabel Castro, the film follows Doris Muñoz, who began a career in music talent management and met Jacks Haupt, an auspicious young singer, and both share the ever-present guilt of being the first American-born members of their undocumented families.

Some highlights of the Marquee programming from celebrated filmmakers and Hollywood studios announced today include narrative features Cha Cha Real Smooth starring Dakota Johnson and written and directed by Cooper Raiff (the triple threat behind one of this site’s favorites, the comedyShithouse), Emily the Criminal starring Aubrey Plaza and Theo Rossi, and Summering, a coming of age story directed by Georgia-native and celebrated ATLFF alumni James Ponsoldt. Documentary feature highlights include Look At Me!, an inside look at a gifted young rapper’s tumultuous rise to fame before his death at the age of 20, with never-before-seen footage as XXXTentacion’s inner circle speaks out, and REFUGE, a story about fear and love in the American South from local Atlanta directors Erin Levin Bernhardt and Din Blankenship.

The 12th annual Creative Conference, ATLFF’s popular educational programming extension, returns with in-person panel discussions and one-on-one in-depth virtual conversations focusing on screenwriting, showrunning, pitching shows, podcasting, directing, producing, cinematography, and editing with industry experts from Georgia to NY and LA. The entire Creative Conference lineup of over 25 events will be announced in the coming weeks. 

ATLFF 2022 will be more accessible than ever, offering a mix of in-person and virtual screenings, as well as virtual Q&A sessions with filmmakers. Screenings will be held at three venues, including Plaza Theatre (1049 Ponce De Leon Ave NE), Dad’s Garage (569 Ezzard St SE), and The Carter Center (453 Freedom Parkway), with more to come. All virtual screenings and events will be presented via Eventive.

The full schedule of films and events is available and through the ATLFF 2022 app. Festival passes are on sale now on the site. Tickets for individual events will be available at the beginning of April. In-person screening tickets range from $12-50; virtual access is $9.99 per film/panel with an unlimited virtual all-access pass for $85 for both films and Creative Conference. Virtual all-access pass will increase to $100 after Friday, April 1.