The 2014 Atlanta Film Festival: What to Expect

The Atlanta Film Festival celebrates 38 years of showcasing new and exciting films with this year’s festivities, running March 28–April 6. Led by an opening night screening of the film Joe, starring Nicolas Cage and Mud‘s Tye Sheridan, this year’s Atlanta Film Festival includes 148 films in all, including 54 Narrative and Documentary Features, 11 Short Program Presentations, and 12 Special Presentations.

Screening venues for the 2014 Atlanta Film Festival are the Plaza Theatre and 7 Stages. For this Tickets for this year’s festival start at $10 for individual screening tickets; to purchase tickets or passes for the festival, and to find a full list of this year’s films and schedule, visit the Atlanta Film Festival website.

Of note to our readers are the seven films that are part of the Pink Peach Features lineup. The Pink Peach Features include a range of different films with LGBT themes; this year’s lineup includes six documentaries, along with a narrative feature. Below, check out the seven films that are part of the Pink Peach lineup.

2 Men and a Wedding

Saturday, March 29 • 7 p.m. • 7 Stages Theatre, Main Stage

Directed by Sara Blecher • South Africa, 2012, English, 51 minutes

Across Africa, attitudes have recently hardened towards gay people, encouraged largely by US-based Christian evangelical groups. In countries such as Burundi, Sudan, Nigeria and Uganda, homosexuality is a criminal offense—even punishable by death in some countries. 2 Men and a Wedding focuses on Steven and Tiwonge, two gay lovers whose public engagement ceremony in Blantyre, Malawi at the end of 2009 resulted in them being sentenced to 14 years in prison. This is a story that examines the implications of being gay in Africa and two men’s fight for their human rights and dignity.

Bayou Maharajah: The Tragic Genius of James Booker

Thursday, April 3 • 9:15 p.m. • Plaza Theatre, Chipotle Stage

Directed by Lily Keber • USA, 2013, English, 90 minutes

Dr. John described James Booker as ‘the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced.’ Booker was an unparalleled musician whose eccentricities and showmanship belied a life of struggle and isolation. Triply-marginalized by his race, sexuality and physical disability, he still managed to excel as a musician in New Orleans and Europe in the turbulent 1960-70s, fusing secular, sacred, pop and classical traditions in breathtaking new ways. A brilliant stylist of soaring imagination, Booker personified the agony of genius in a time of paradigmatic change.

Exposed

Friday, April 4 • 9 p.m. • 7 Stages Theatre, Main Stage

Directed by Beth B • USA, 2013, English, 77 minutes

Profiling eight women and men who use their nakedness to transport us beyond the last sexual and social taboos that our society holds dear, Exposed allows us to look down on our myriad inhibitions. These cutting edge performers—operating on the far edge of burlesque—combine politics, satire and physical comedy to question the very concept of ‘normal.’ From a unique perspective, Exposed takes the audience into the clubs and other hidden spaces where ‘new burlesque’ is challenging traditional notions of body, gender and sexuality.

The Foxy Merkins

Thursday, April 3 • 9 p.m. • Plaza Theatre, Main Stage

Directed by Madeleine Olnek • USA, 2013, Language, 90 minutes

Margaret is a down-on-her-luck, lesbian hooker in training. She meets Jo—a beautiful, self-assured grifter from a wealthy family and an expert on picking up women—even as she considers herself a card-carrying heterosexual. The duo hits the streets where they encounter bargain-hunting housewives, double-dealing conservative women, husky-voiced seductresses, mumbling erotic accessory salesmen and shopaholic swingers. Navigating the bizarre fetishes and sexual needs of their “dates” brings into focus the hilarious and pathetic disparity between the two hookers, as fellow travelers who will share the road together, but only for a while.

Cast: Lisa Haas, Jackie Monahan, Diane Ciesla, Gian Maria Annovi, Alex Karpovsky

Lucky

Sunday, March 30 • 8:45 p.m. • 7 Stages Theatre, Main Stage

Directed by Laura Checkoway • USA, 2013, English, 70 minutes

Lucky Torres grew up as an orphan in a system that made her feel like a nobody, but she has big dreams of becoming somebody. Masked in tattoos, we find her in her twenties, moving from shelter to shelter, struggling to provide for herself and her young son. With her sister Fantasy as her biggest ally, Lucky survives in a merciless city. We follow her daily grind, meeting various friends and girlfriends along the way. We learn about Lucky’s contradictions and how she teeters on a tightrope between dreams and despair.

One: A Story of Love and Equality

Wednesday, April 2 • 7 p.m. • 7 Stages Theatre, Main Stage

Directed by Becca Roth • USA, 2014, English, 102 minutes

In the wake of the legalization of gay marriage in her home state of New York, Becca—a young lesbian filmmaker—is plagued by the fact that the majority of the states in America currently have constitutional amendments banning gay marriage, including every single state in The South—except one. When she finds out that residents in North Carolina are gearing up to vote for one of the most restrictive marriage amendments in the country—Amendment One—she and her girlfriend, Melina, travel to North Carolina in the two months leading up to the vote, to try to understand people’s stories and attempt to build bridges.

Queens & Cowboys: A Straight Year on the Gay Rodeo

Wednesday, April 2 • 9:30 p.m. • 7 Stages Theatre, Main Stage

Directed by Matt Livadary • USA, 2014, English, 92 minutes

Roping and riding across North America for the past 30 years, the IGRA’s courageous cowboys and cowgirls brave challenges both in and out of the arena on their quest to qualify for the World Finals at the end of the season. Along the way, they’ll bust every stereotype in the book. More than just cowboys and rodeos—the film exposes the world to the unsung LGBT community of both the old and new west. Examining where our country currently stands on the issue of gay rights, this uniquely American subject will explore how far we’ve come, and what challenges we still have ahead.

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