Plaza Theater

Georgia Film Festivals

Across the state, Georgia offers a variety of film festivals showing independent films, shorts, documentaries, and a bunch of other movies you won't find at your local megaplex.

Atlanta Film Festival (April 4 - 14, 2019) - Now in its fourth decade, the Atlanta Film Festival — one of only two dozen Academy Award® qualifying festivals in the United States — is the area's preeminent celebration of cinema. The Atlanta Film Festival is one of the largest and longest-running festivals in the country, welcoming an audience of more than 25,000 to discover 150-plus new independent, international, animated, documentary and short films selected from 1,800-plus submissions from all over the world.

The Milledgeville Film Festival (April 23 - 28, 2019) is five days of movie magic in heart of Downtown Milledgeville. Screenings, panels, and workshops will be offered throughout the five days.

Cinema Italy Atlanta (April 25 - 28, 2019) - The prestigious Plaza Theater in Atlanta will once again serve as backdrop to the Italian Film Festival, which promotes Italian culture through cinema. For 2019, five films will be screened in competition for the Best Film Award in a new format: one film per day Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 4:30 pm and two on Sunday at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm.

American Youth Film Festival, Atlanta (June 12 - 15, 2019) - The American Youth Festival Group (AYFG) launched its film festival division, The American Youth Film Festival (AYFF) in 2015 at the Columbus State University Center for International Education. Entries are open to students in three categories: Middle School, High School, or College. Judging categories include animation, comedy, commercials, documentaries, feature films, music videos, public service announcements, science fiction, or short films. The festival includes screenings, panel discussions and workshops for young people.

Atlanta Shortsfest (July 11 - 13, 2019) - Atlanta Shortsfest showcases a diverse mix of short films (under 45 minutes) by filmmakers from across the globe in a wide range of genres. The festival was established to spotlight and promote excellent short films, and provide an important platform to share work with appreciative audiences and fellow filmmakers. The event is held at Atlanta's Synchronicity Theater.

RKDS Film Fest (July 6 - 14, 2019) - The RKDS Film Fest is an international film festival created to highlight the film industry in Valdosta and South Georgia and features films from all over the world alongside major celebrities. In 2018 celebrity guests included Ricky Schroder, Simone Griffeth, Sonny Shroyer, and Burt Reynolds in his final appearance.

Atlanta Underground Film Festival (Aug. 15 - 18, 2019) - Since 2004, the Atlanta Underground Film Festival (AUFF) has served as a forum where filmmakers thrive outside the mainstream arena. Creative artists who continuously break the boundaries of film and video are exposed and promoted through the festival, so they too have a voice in a market typically saturated with commercial entertainment designed to satisfy the audience's expectations.

Macon Film Festival (Aug. 15 - 18, 2019) - Surrounded by a rich musical and Southern culture, the Macon Film Festival celebrates independent films while promoting filmmaking for entertainment, inspiration education and economic development. The Macon Film Festival screens independent films from around the world in multiple historic theaters in the city's downtown district. The festival features film screenings, celebrity guests, special screenings and workshops throughout the four-day festival.

BronzeLens Film Festival Atlanta (Aug. 21 - 25, 2019) - The BronzeLens Film Festival of Atlanta, Georgia, is a nonprofit organization founded in 2009 that is dedicated to bringing national and worldwide attention to Atlanta as a center for film and film production for people of color. In fact, the mission of the BronzeLens Film Festival of Atlanta is two-fold: to promote Atlanta as the new film mecca for people of color and to showcase films and provide networking opportunities that will develop the next generation of filmmakers.

Atlanta Horror Film Festival (Sept. 12 - 15, 2019) - The annual Atlanta Horror Film Festival celebrates the art of horror by presenting the best independent films in the genre from across the world. Since 2006, the festival has been a favorite of filmmakers and fans from Atlanta and beyond. AHFF showcases horror, sci-fi, gore, thrillers, mysteries, dark comedies, expERIEmentals, drama, animations, cult — and more.

Peachtree Village International Film Festival (Oct. 24 - 27, 2019) - Hosted By The African American Cinema Gallery (AACG) & Gipp. Museums, Inc., PVIFF attracts 3,000+ people each year from around the world. PVIFF was created In 2006 as the Sweet Auburn International Film Festival and has served as the launching pad for many successful filmmakers and artists. This dynamic international film festival showcases feature length films, shorts, music videos, documentaries, and screenplays from around the globe.

Savannah Film Festival (Oct. 26 - Nov. 2, 2019) - The Savannah College of Art and Design presents the annual festival, filled with cinematic creativity from both award-winning professionals and emerging student filmmakers. Each year, more than 40,000 people attend the eight-day Savannah Film Festival. The festival is host to a wide variety of competition film screenings, special screenings, workshops, panels and lectures.

Atlanta International Documentary Film Festival (Atlanta DocuFest) (Nov. 7 - 10, 2019) - The annual Atlanta International Documentary Film Festival (Atlanta DocuFest) brings you the best in independent documentary film and video from across the globe, and showcases meaningful life stories which educate and entertain audiences of every demographic.

Rome International Film Festival (Nov. 7 - 10, 2019) - Since its inception, RIFF has prided itself on providing filmmakers with a truly unique, sophisticated and welcoming experience, featuring two full days of screenings, parties and professional networking and development opportunities. Emerging as a favorite among regional audiences, the festival has garnered strong support from local businesses and eager film lovers from the surrounding community. It was selected as one of “20 film festivals worth the entry fee” by MovieMaker Magazine.

Pan African Film Festival Atlanta, Atlanta (2019 dates TBA) - Formerly presented as part of the National Black Arts Festival, the Pan African Film Festival is now an independent summer festival, a sister to PAFF - Los Angeles. Established in 1992 by Danny Glover, Ja’net DuBois (Good Times) and Ayuko Babu, the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) is a non-profit 501(c)(b) corporation dedicated to the promotion of cultural understanding among peoples of African descent. PAFF is dedicated to racial tolerance through the exhibition of film, art and creative expression.

Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival (2019 dates TBA) - An annual staple at Atlanta's fabulous Fox Theater, the Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival offers a chance for patrons to enjoy classic and recently released films in the air -conditioned splendor of the historic locale. Most begin with musical performances on Mighty Mo, the Fox's historic organ.

Dragon*Con Independent Film Festival, Atlanta (2019 dates TBA) - What is the Dragon*Con Independent Film Festival? It is a combination of short and feature independent film screenings, panels, celebrity guests, discussions, concerts, contests and seminars. All that combined with the 35,000-plus Dragon*Con attendees creates an extraordinary film event.

Atlanta Sci-fi Film Festival (2019 dates TBA) - This boutique-style film festival is providing screens for independent science fiction films. Short films are selected from all over the world and in Atlanta to compete for the Audience Choice Award for Best Sci-fi Short Film.

Out On Film, Atlanta (2019 dates TBA) - One of the oldest LGBT film festivals in the country, Atlanta's Out on Film is dedicated to supporting the exhibition of LGBT film and video art forms. A nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, Out on Film was created in 1987 to inform, entertain, educate and enrich the regional LGBT community by recognizing the creative work of these artists and professionals, many with local connections. Out on Film's popularity is accomplished in part by offering multiracial and multicultural films, and over the years it has been recognized locally, nationally and globally for showcasing films by, for and about the LGBT community.

Kingdomwood International Film Festival, Atlanta (2019 dates TBA) - Kingdomwood International Film Festival (KIFF) provides a forum for independent filmmakers to screen films that promote and inspire Christian teaching and values. KIFF screens full features, shorts, and documentaries, and offers workshops and symposiums that offer insight and analysis of industry trends in faith-based film-making and production. KIFF showcases faith-based films, filmmakers, and the making of films that promote spiritual growth and mentorship.

Urban Mediamakers Film Festival, Atlanta (2019 dates TBA) - Founded in November 2001, Urban Mediamakers' mission is to promote and support a diverse independent media arts community in the Southeast and worldwide. The group's annual signature event is the Urban Mediamakers Film Festival (UMFF), showcasing international independent films. The Urban Mediamakers Association is a not-for-profit, charitable 501(c)(3) consortium of young talent and professionals in animation, film, gaming, music, new media, print and television.

Covey Film Festival, Thomasville (2019 dates TBA) - The Covey Film Festival honors Children and Families and benefits the Thomasville Community Resource Center. The month-long festival includes films, workshops and an opening night gala.

Atlanta Asian Film Festival, Atlanta (2019 dates TBA) - The largest festival of its kind in the Southeast, the Atlanta Asian Film Festival is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the Atlanta community about the rich diversity of Asian Pacific culture through films and movies. Films are shown at venues throughout Metro Atlanta with a gala premiere at the Plaza Theater.

Way Down Film Festival, Columbus (2019 dates TBA) - The Way Down Film Festival of short films debuted in 2016 at Columbus' beautiful, historic state theater, Springer Opera House Theater and downtown venues. The festival sold out of VIP tickets, was voted one of the top 100 festivals in the world on Film Freeway, and had submissions from all over the world.

Georgia Latino Film Festival, Atlanta and Duluth (2019 dates TBA) - The Georgia Latino Film Festival was launched in 2012 to ensure Latino stories are being told in Hollywood. It was also formed to have a place in Georgia where Latino film executives and artists at the forefront of the Latino film industry and image can come together to discuss the future of Latino filmmakers, writers and directors and create what will be known as one of the “best film festivals in the country." Each year during Hispanic Heritage Month, the Georgia Latino Film Festival brings together inspiring days filled with premieres, classes, panels, exclusive parties and awards.

Buried Alive Film Festival, Atlanta (2019 dates TBA) - The Buried Alive Film Fest comes from the same group of twisted minds and horror film buffs that produce the Atlanta Horror Fest. The festival strives to promote true underground filmmaking in the Southeast and beyond, while providing the Atlanta area with the best independent horror it can offer.

SCAD aTVfest, Atlanta (2020 dates TBA) - SCAD's aTVfest is an international festival that brings together professionals from all spheres of TV and media content production to discuss industry trends, showcase the best work in the field, and participate in master classes with students.

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, Atlanta (2020 dates TBA) - The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF) is a multi-week cinematic exploration of Jewish life, culture and history. Seeking to use the power of film to both entertain and educate, AJFF challenges conventional perspectives on complex and challenging issues facing both the Jewish and global communities. In 2015, a record-breaking 38,600+ moviegoers attended the AJFF, cementing its status as the highest attended Jewish film fest on the planet.

South Georgia Film Festival, Valdosta (2020 dates TBA) - The South Georgia Film Festival showcases the art and industry of filmmaking across the region. It includes feature films and shorts, with a broad educational component featuring panels and Q&A’s of visiting filmmakers. These include PBS directors, professionals from Hollywood and Atlanta, and independent filmmakers. Projects from college and high school filmmakers are also included, as they  compete for potential scholarships to Valdosta State University.

Published: October 2018