SGFF Celebrates #FilmFestivalDay, Supports Second Harvest

Staff Report From Valdosta CEO

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

In collaboration with film festivals from across the country, the South Georgia Film Festival is celebrating #FilmFestivalDay on April 11 with a digital screening event and fundraiser for Second Harvest of South Georgia.

As a member of the Film Festival Alliance, the South Georgia Film Festival is participating in the streaming of the new film Phoenix, Oregon, April 11, along with a question and answer session with the filmmakers. The online event costs $6.50, with the proceeds being split between the filmmakers and whichever festival viewers chose to support.

"As people are home, we believe this is a way for us to reach our local audience and allow them to support our community in a fun way," said Jason Brown, Festival Director of the South Georgia Film Festival

The South Georgia Film Festival will be donating all of the proceeds received to Second Harvest to support those locally hardest hit by the COVID-19 closure. Unlike many festivals, the South Georgia Film Festival was one of the last festivals that was able to be held before widespread quarantining took hold. More than 175 film festivals have been hit with cancellations and postponements since COVID-19 began to spread across the country.

Wide-spread social distancing has encouraged many people to stay at home where they are streaming entertainment from such platforms as Netflix, Hulu, and many others. The South Georgia Film Festival has begun by sharing links to previous filmmakers' work on their social media where audiences can support them directly. Participating with the Film Festival Alliance, this screening allows local viewers to discover a new film and contribute back to their local organizations.

Phoenix, Oregon is the story of two middle-aged friends, one a graphic novelist and the other a chef, who quit their jobs to restore an old bowling alley and serve the "world's greatest pizza." Starring James Le Gros (Living in Oblivion, Drugstore Cowboy), Lisa Edelstein (House, Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce), Jesse Borrego (Fame), Diedrich Bader (American Housewife, Beverly Hillbillies, Napoleon Dynamite) and Kevin Corrigan (The Departed, True Romance, Pineapple Express), the film had a planned film festival distribution plan reaching more than 200,000 people in person at participating locations.

"Film festivals and community cinemas are the backbone of the independent film industry. They introduce audiences to stories which nurture, nourish and encourage new perspectives," said Annie Lundgren, producer of Phoenix, Oregon.

Along with the streaming of the film, viewers will be able to enjoy a Q&A session moderated by Melanie Addington of the Oxford Film Festival and later download the film.

Viewers are encouraged to visit the South Georgia Film Festival website to find the appropriate link to the screening link, where they will be asked which festival to support.

The festival will soon be asking for submissions for the 2021 festival, which will be the fifth edition. Along with feature films, the festival is looking for shorts, documentaries, college, and high school films. Specifically, the festival is looking for both family friendly films and those produced regionally.