South Georgia Film Festival accepting submissions

Submitted PhotoThe 2016 winners at the South Georgia Film Festival were local Valdosta State University students.

VALDOSTA — South Georgia Film Festival is currently accepting submissions to showcase local and non-local film makers.

Jason Brown, a Valdosta State University assistant professor, said he is working toward having a "right and proper" film festival in town. Previously, VSU has done smaller 48-hour film festival events, where films are made in 48 hours and then shown. Brown said he wanted to do something bigger.

SGFF is accepting 15-minute films, where everything is less than 15 minutes and there are three categories to enter – high school, college and other. The films will be screened at the student union theatre with panels and discussions, as well.

The festival will be held March 2, 3 and 4 in 2018. According to a press release, the event will feature visiting filmmakers and speakers, including Valdosta State graduate Brantly Jackson Watts and her film "Birthday Cake," which has been invited to prestigious festivals across the country.

“Last year, we received entries from students at VSU, Wiregrass and (Savannah College of Art & Design) as well as Los Angeles, Germany and Iran,” Brown said. “Film is both a creative medium and a thriving industry that we need to nurture here in South Georgia.”

The early deadline is Nov. 1 with a submission fee of $10. High school students can waive the fee by contacting the VSU Admissions Office. For more information, visit the festival website at http://www.SouthGeorgiaFilm.com.

Brown asks that the film be family-friendly as it will be shown in a family-friendly environment.

Recently, SGFF received a $5,000 Vibrant Communities Grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts.

“We’re excited to see that kind of support for our event and this community,” Brown stated in the release. “As the festival director, I hope this encourages the community to be an active part of what we are creating.”

Film is a large industry, Brown said, and he wants to help bring those jobs down from Atlanta. He also wants film makers to know they can be a part of the industry here in Valdosta. They don't have to leave to make a movie.

He said he wants to see Valdosta be the hub for the film industry in South Georgia.

"We want people to realize that they can be a part of the Georgia film industry without needing to go to Atlanta," Brown said. "There are a lot of things here. We want to be the focal point for film to be both art and industry."

Thomas Lynn is a government and education reporter for The Valdosta Daily Times. He can be reached at (229)244-3400 ext. 1256

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