Johnny Grant, Community Engagement and Economic Development director for Georgia College, said the town and university would benefit from the inaugural event.
“I think we have some beautiful venues here. There are some places, if they were more widely known, there would be more chances for film industry people to be down here. This is a stream of income that could potentially be very lucrative for Milledgeville,” Grant said.
Multiple Georgia cities such as Atlanta, Rome, Savannah and Macon run established film festivals.
Positioning the Milledgeville event in April leaves the city as one of the final “local festivals” before the international Cannes Film Festival in May. These festivals are essential to a filmmaker’s livelihood.
“Filmmakers spend thousands of dollars making their films, so they have a huge vested interest in people seeing their film. If it’s not screened somewhere, their film dies,” Bennett said Tuesday.
Glassdoor Entertainment utilizes Georgia College student talent in all its local productions. After the first festival board meeting, the university seemed the likely event host.
“I think it would be interesting for the university,” Grant said. “I think a lot of the students would be very interested in the process of how films are made, how you judge them and getting into the business.”
Bennett said screening and gala locations are the main expense. Showing films in one location seating 200 to 300 people is ideal for the first year.
Georgia College Campus Life Director Tom Miles said Russell Auditorium fits the film venue bill and Magnolia Ballroom would be the perfect gala host.
Scheduling the festival around spring semester activities might be difficult, but Miles is committed to making it happen.
Bennett wants a student budget-friendly film festival. Creating a well run, affordable event where guests could “rub elbows with filmmakers” is the goal.