Sitting three weeks out from Milledgeville's first ever film festival, the board of directors announced Tuesday guests have even more to look forward to.
Film screening lineups, industry professional panels, a red carpet gala and highlighted events at the Oconee River Greenway and Andalusia, offer an incredible value for a first year festival ticket.
Festival chairman Jeremiah Bennett said the April 25-27 event looks good on all counts.
“We have Sundance film judges and films that have won all these other festivals,” Bennett said. “The caliber of that and the panelists is like we've been doing this for a few years. You never have this stuff in the first year.”
ADT committed as a presenting sponsor along with host Georgia College.
With all paid and in-kind sponsorship as well as grant monies, the festival has raised nearly $10,000.
Board vice chairman and industry director BJ Golnick said Tuesday three film “mentors” are judging the festival.
“Their backgrounds and resumes are insane,” he said. “These guys taught me everything in the industry.”
These individuals have served as judges at the well-known Sundance Film Festival.
Philippe Denham is known most for his direction of “America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back,” Animal Planet's “Whale Wars” and Discovery Channel's “Deadliest Catch.”
Another judge, producer and director Megan Peterson, works in both film and television. Also, cinematography expert Clint Lealos has a lengthy IMDb credit sheet.
“These guys are top notch. You couldn't ask for better judges,” Golnick said.
Actress Stevie Lynn Jones, 18, is making her first Georgia appearance to speak at the gala held at Magnolia Ballroom April 25.
Jones has completed numerous independent projects including the acclaimed Kevin Lacy directed “Young Americans.” The 30-minute American Film Institute production was selected as the opening night feature screening in Georgia College's Arts and Sciences Auditorium.
The director, the film's co-star and cinematographer will be in town for a Q&A afterwards.
Booking the young actress is huge considering her lead role in the NBC's new Sunday night drama “Crisis.”
Actors Alexandra Bartee and Matthew Withers are co-hosting the Friday gala. Both twentysomethings appeared in the box office movie “Endless Love” that recently appeared in theaters.
Bennett said Bartee just booked a reoccurring role on a Lifetime series.
There are around 70 gala tickets remaining.
Anyone with photography experience is encouraged to come for the grand celebrity entrances.
“We need as many photographers as we can get especially for the red carpet,” Bennett said. “We want cameras flashing.”
Photographers willing to release their work to the festival media promotions will receive free access for the Saturday and Sunday events.
The festival received films spread amongst the drama, Georgia made, comedy, documentary, international and horror categories. Feature films have a slot as well.
The selection panel rejected 50 films. Nearly 20 countries were represented in the applicants.
The packed schedule beginning Saturday, April 26 includes Producer & Director, Actor, Casting Director and Agent workshops from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Campus Black Box Theatre. In total, 10 speakers are scheduled for the panels.
Brian Beagle with Stillwell Casting, Zoe Myers, who appeared in Anchorman 2, and owner of East Coast Talent Agency Barbara Garvey are a few confirmed panel leaders.
One of Garvey's clients, Chandler Riggs, is a member of the AMC series 'The Walking Dead' cast. Afterward, Garvey will take headshots and resumes.
Panelist David Hartle oversees production on multiple ABC Family TV series and pilots.
Bartee and Withers will answer questions as well.
Short film block screening throughout Saturday leads into a feature showing of “The Spectacular Now” at the Oconee River Greenway Saturday night at 9 p.m. Numerous Georgia College students were extras in the production.
Attendees will watch the movie on a three-story high inflatable screen. People can bring lawn chairs and blankets to the free screening for mature audiences.
Georgia College Director of Campus Life Tom Miles and film festival board member said the school might be able to provide shuttle service to and from the Greenway.
A filmmakers brunch hosted by Andalusia, screenings and an award ceremony wrap up the festival on that April 27th Sunday.
Local artist and blacksmith expert Matt McGee is producing filmmaker trophies made out of heart pine with a custom brand and old brick attached.
“That's something that you can't really get anywhere else,” Golnick said. “That artistry is really Milledgeville.”
Visit www.milledgevillefilmfestival.com to learn more about ticket packages, sponsorships available until Tuesday and festival event and film lineup information. Like and share the festival Facebook page for a chance to win two all-access passes. Early Bird pricing lasts through Sunday.