The Union Recorder

October 2, 2013

Early entries coming in for 2014 film festival

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — The Milledgeville Film Festival is open for submissions.

The event, booked for April 25-27 next year, already has five entries, according to locally based producer and film festival chairman Jeremiah Bennett.

Festival board of directors met Tuesday to discuss progress.

Through the newly launched withoutabox.com account, website at milledgevillefilmfestival.com and Facebook page, the word is spreading. The festival is incorporated and well into non-profit designation.

Early submissions are from international locations such as France, Canada and Mexico. Two others hail from Atlanta and Arizona.

“I don’t expect a lot right now because most of our deadlines are the beginning of next year,” Bennett said. “It’s exciting because for example the film out of Arizona is a student thesis film, and the guy said he would let it world premiere at our festival.”

Film festival shorts categories limited to 20 minutes long include comedy, drama, documentary, Georgia, international and horror. Feature films have a slot as well.

The five early submissions cover multiple categories.

Bennett said the lucky films selected for screening wouldn’t be announced until March 15, 2014. Last date to submit is eight days prior.

Early signs have the inaugural film festival ball rolling steady.

“What’s amazing is of the films that have come in, I haven’t seen a bad one yet,” Bennett said. “The quality has been there. Normally in a first year film festival, you don’t get that.”

Kim Martin, Milledgeville native and AMC Networks executive, pledged her support for programming and speaker scheduling. Bennett hopes to hear from the president of the Independent Film Channel soon about possible guest speakers.

“Once that is announced this thing is going to blow off the map. With credible sources to show people this is legit, it wouldn’t surprise me to get hundreds of submissions at a time,” Bennett said.

The Milledgeville Film Festival starts with a three-day weekend schedule.

Georgia College Campus Life Director Tom Miles confirmed the university’s Arts & Sciences auditorium for film screening and Magnolia Ballroom as the gala location.

A Friday night gala running into a full-length feature film screening kicks off the festival. Patrons travel to Arts & Sciences for the premiere around 9 p.m. after dinner and keynote speaker. 

Next, three Saturday morning workshops at Black Box Theatre will provide an educational experience for film buffs. Casting directors, talent agents, producers and different industry professionals will do the one-hour workshops through lunch.

Throughout the festival’s second day, two-hour short film programs starting at 1 p.m. will showcase more than 30 shorts seven to 20 minutes long. Bigger features will run later that evening as well. 

Central State Hospital is tentatively scheduled as the outdoor venue for two Saturday night screenings.

Shorts resume Sunday the 27th with Georgia Shorts at 1 p.m. with two closing feature films ending by 9 p.m. 

Final ceremonies with awards follow.

Early, student and regular ticket prices for the weekend’s events appeal to most budgets. 

Positioning the Milledgeville event into April leaves the city as one of the final local festivals before the international Cannes Film Festival in May. 

Multiple Georgia cities such as Atlanta, Rome, Savannah and Macon run festivals. These events are essential to a filmmaker’s livelihood.

Soon, the website will feature frequently asked questions, deadline, film category and pricing information for the April weekend. Information on festival sponsorship opportunities is also expected soon.

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