The 2015 Atlanta Film Festival runs from March 20 – 29th.
Wildlike by Frank Hall Green
Mackenzie, a troubled but daring teenage girl, is sent by her struggling mother to live with her uncle in Juneau, Alaska. Trying to make her way back to Seattle alone to find her absent mother, Mackenzie only winds up deeper in the Alaskan interior. Lost and with no one else to turn to, she shadows a loner backpacker, Bartlett, an unlikely father figure with scars of his own.
I highly recommend this film, loved it at Indie Memphis. The scenery is epic, Ella Purnell is terrific as the troubled teenager and Bruce Greenwood is a delight.
Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey by Scott Teems
Actor Hal Holbrook has portrayed Mark Twain in a one-man show for 60 years. Filmmaker Scott Teems goes behind the scenes with Holbrook to examine Twain’s continued influence on today’s culture.
This is an easy pick for me, That Evening Sun directed by Teems, is a favorite of mine and I love his work on the Sundance Channel series Rectify. Hal Holbrook is a legend. Enough said.
Christmas, Again by Charles Poekel
A heartbroken Christmas-tree salesman returns to New York City hoping to put his past behind him. Living in a trailer and working the night shift, he begins to spiral downwards until the saving of a mysterious woman and some colorful customers rescue him from self-destruction.
I’ve been dying to see this film starring Kentucker Audley as the Christmas-tree salesman. Premiered at Sundance and Locarno.
Funny Bunny by Alison Bagnall
A hapless anti-childhood obesity crusader and a maternally neglected trust-funder bond as they vie for the heart of a troubled animal activist. Standout premiere at SXSW, more Kentucker Audley.
“Here Bagnall achieves something just as complicated, frustrating, and rewarding as the characters themselves and it is a joy to go where she takes us.” – Joshua Goolsby
God Bless the Child by Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck
Five siblings, left on their own, spend a summer’s day full of fantasy and chaos. SXSW premiere.
Cinema verite at its best following children ages 1-13 with almost no adult interaction. Machoian and Ojeda-Beck are rising masters at intimate storytelling.
Uncertain Terms by Nathan Silver
Fleeing the city, Robbie takes refuge at his aunt’s country house, which happens to be a makeshift home for pregnant teenagers.
Another festival circuit standout with a great ensemble cast that I really enjoyed at Indie Memphis.
Krisha by Trey Edward Shults
When Krisha returns for a holiday gathering, the only things standing in her way are family, dogs, and turkey.
This pick is solely based on the film’s recent Best Narrative Feature award last week at SXSW. It originated as an award-winning short film of the same name.
Pink Grapefruit by Michael Mohan
“The cool desert cinematography with colors that pop, authentic performances, and especially the sound coalesce to make Pink Grapefruit a heartrending 11-minute journey reminiscent of Antonioni. Highly recommended.” – Joshua Goolsby
OTHER FILMS OF INTEREST:
I Am Michael by Justin Kelly (James Franco)
Female Pervert by Jijoung Lee
Results by Andrew Bujalski (Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders, Kevin Corrigan, Giovanni Ribisi)