As we enter the New Year, Atlanta has lots of industry news to look forward to!
As we said goodbye to 2017, the recently formed Atlanta Film Critics Circle took to the WABE airwaves and announced their picks for the best films of the year on City Lights with Lois Reitzes. The AFCC is comprised of 24 critics and was formed to foster the film community in Atlanta and create a space for film criticism that is specific to a southern readership. Get Out took the top spot on their inaugural list, a film lauded by AFCC co-founder Felicia Feaster for being “as critically acclaimed as it has been financially successful.” The list is comprised of other films that are already making a splash on this year’s awards season. The full list of the AFCC top ten films of 2017 is as follows:
- Get Out
- Lady Bird
- The Shape of Water
- Call Me By Your Name
- The Florida Project
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
- The Big Sick
- Baby Driver
- The Post
With the industry in Georgia climbing in popularity, Atlanta is looking to retain its homegrown talent by providing a leg up. Mayor Kasim Reed’s recently announced Creative Industries Fund provides low-interest rate loans with flexible repayment contracts for local Atlanta creatives in all facets of the industry, from production to post-production, and marketing to distribution. The fund is a joint effort between the Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment and Invest Atlanta, who will be handling the applications and awarding of the funds. Georgia was the top location in the world for film and television production last year, generating an economic impact of $9.5 billion in fiscal year 2017 – an impact that Mayor Reed is keen to foster in Atlanta. “With the new Creative Industries Fund, we will help our homegrown innovators as they build and keep their business in the City of Atlanta,” said Reed. “We will continue to build our creative economy and enhance Atlanta’s reputation as the center of Georgia’s booming film, TV, and entertainment business.” The Creative Industries Fund is open to any creative looking to register a new entrepreneurial business or create content, be it film, web-based, video games, music, or theatre. Really, being Atlanta-based and using other Atlanta-based resources is the only requirement. “To ensure our city’s creative industries thrive for years and decades to come, we need to support our homegrown artists who are creating the next box office smash, hit music track, or top-rated video game,” said president and CEO of Invest Atlanta, Dr. Eloisa Klementich. While a new box-office blockbuster production seems to set up shop in Atlanta every day, it is the independent creators that will solidify the city as an entertainment community – and it’s nice to see Mayor Reed and company fostering that spirit.
We’re also looking forward to the Atlanta Film Festival, which already has its eye on this year’s lineup, announcing the first 15 films for the fest. The films, including features, shorts, music videos and documentaries, rose from a crop of more than 6,650 submissions from all over the world. Featured in the announced films are selections from South Africa, Pakistan, Turkey, Canada, Swaziland, and two from the state of Georgia itself. One of which, Lá Camila is a virtual reality short, a medium that has recently found a place in the fest. The other, Still, is a feature directed by Takashi Doscher, starring Madeline Brewer, Lydia Wilson, and Nick Blood, and is produced by the Georgia Film Academy. The Academy Award-qualifying festival is comprised of films selected by filmmakers, critics, and film educators. Some 200 other films will be added to the lineup before the April 13-22, 2018 event.
Finally, we’re excited to welcome some more superhero names to the Peach State! Yet another Spider-Man spinoff entitled Silver & Black is set to begin filming in 2018. The film centers on Silver Sable and Felicia Hardy, AKA Black Cat, two well-known female figures in the Spidey-verse. The news comes as filming continues on Venom, starring Tom Hardy, another spinoff from Marvel/Sony. Venom will be linked to the Spider-Man mythos, but not part of the official Marvel Cinematic Universe. Gina Price-Bythewood (Love and Basketball, Beyond the Lights) is set to direct Silver &Black, while also writing the script alongside Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz, Lisa Joy, Keith Pollard, Marv Wolfman and Christopher Yost. Stars have yet to be announced, but with production plans underway and a release date of February 8 2019, an announcement should be forthcoming. This will mark the third Spider-Man film to be filmed in Atlanta in the span of two years, following Venom and Spider-Man: Homecoming, the sequel for which begins filming in June 2018.