2021 Atlanta Film Festival + Creative Conference Reveals Official Selections for 45th Annual Event


The Atlanta Film Festival + Creative Conference (ATLFF) announced the lineup of selected works from submissions today for the 45th annual event, which will take place Thursday, April 22 through Sunday, May 2, 2021. Including three previously announced titles, there are 170 total works currently scheduled to play at ATLFF 2021’s virtual, drive-in and in-person screenings. There were a record-breaking 9,400 combined films and screenplays submitted to the 2021 festival.

Today’s announcement comprises 25 feature-length films, 119 short films and 26 creative media that will be showcased during the 11-day festival. A forthcoming slate of Marquee screenings, including Opening and Closing Night presentations, will be revealed in the coming weeks. Five winning screenplays from the screenplay competition will also be announced at a later date.

“The past year brought ambiguity and a loss of connection for so many across the globe, but it also clearly showed that empowering and amplifying our voices, particularly those that have been underrepresented, can bring us closer than ever. 2021 marks an important milestone for not only the Atlanta Film Festival, but the city of Atlanta and the nation as we come together in recovery. While we celebrate our 45th annual event, we also celebrate the resiliency of our community, both locally and worldwide, and the diverse voices represented in our outstanding slate of selected works,” Christopher Escobar, Executive Director of ATLFF, said.

Among the highlights of this year’s selected films include “Akilla’s Escape,” a narrative feature starring Morehouse College alumnus Saul Williams, which examines the cycle of generational violence; “A Fire Within,” a Georgia-filmed documentary that tells the incredible true story of three Ethiopian women who immigrate to Atlanta to escape torture; and “Moon Manor,” a narrative feature with a star-studded cast making its world premiere at ATLFF.

Diversity in programming has long been a cornerstone of ATLFF’s mission, and the 2021 selections demonstrate this once again. Approximately 53 percent of the selected works are helmed by women and gender non-conforming directors, and roughly half are from BIPOC directors. Artists from 122 different countries submitted works for the 2021 festival, and 52 countries are represented in the selected works.

The 11th annual Creative Conference, the festival’s educational programming that features Masterclasses, roundtable discussions, one-on-one conversations and workshops with up-and-coming indie filmmakers, professional actors and industry experts from around the country, will return in a virtual format to the 2021 event.

The full Creative Conference lineup will be announced in the coming weeks. The highlights include Masterclasses from Wayne White, a three-time Emmy-winning artist; Ty Franck, Executive Producer of “The Expanse;” and Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, stars of the film “Blindspotting” and co-creators of its upcoming TV adaptation.

The Atlanta Film Festival is the annual centerpiece of educational and enriching film programming that is provided year-round by its parent organization, the Atlanta Film Society (ATLFS). Now in its fifth decade, ATLFF is one of only a handful of film festivals worldwide that is Academy Award-qualifying in three or more categories.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, ATLFF 2021 will be presented via a mix of drive-in, virtual and socially distanced in-person screenings. As in 2020, the Creative Conference events will all be virtual. Drive-in screenings will be held at the Plaza Drive-In (1049 Ponce De Leon Ave NE) and Dad’s Garage Drive-In (569 Ezzard St SE), while the in-person screenings will take place at the Plaza Theatre.

Festival passes are on sale now at www.AtlantaFilmFestival.com. Tickets for individual events will go on sale to ATLFS members on March 18 and to the public on March 25. Drive-in screenings will cost $15-50 (depending on the number of people in the vehicle), virtual events will be $9.99 and tickets to in-person screenings will be $20. All virtual screenings and events will be presented via Eventive.

Additional announcements will be made as programming is added to the 2021 ATLFF lineup. To stay up-to-date, please visit the website and follow the festival on social media via Facebook (@atlantafilmfestival), Twitter (@atlantafilmfest) and Instagram (@atlantafilmfestival).

Applications for press credentials for ATLFF 2021 are now open and can be submitted here. Press materials and assets, including past press releases, logos and film stills can be found here.

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