There’s something very special about film festivals, particularly, those here in Atlanta. Not only do they support the creative minds and technical professionals behind the films,they showcase an actors love, discipline and dedication for their craft. Film festivals bring a community together as a whole and in a hectic world, they provide the public a chance to put their cares and worries aside even if it’s for only a few minutes. Quite often, they also inspire and encourage others to venture into filmmaking which in turn, opens the hearts and minds of others.
Here in Georgia, we’re blessed. The last decade has turned Atlanta into a hotbed for filmmakers and we’re constantly treated to an array of festivals covering multiple genres and highlighting old and new talents as they emerge. Unlike Hollywood or New York however, Atlanta is still a small community where we often see familiar faces on the various TV/ movie productions. Getting back to the festivals, The Fifty Foot Film Fest created by the Hess family, has become one of the most highly anticipated festivals each year. Unlike some others, this fest is held in a single evening,but the quality of the films and the energy and community spirit it brings with it, cannot be overlooked.
Recently on Halloween eve, the lobby of the Plaza Theater was charged with the energy and excitement of filmmakers, actors and the general public who came to attend the Return Of The Fifty Foot Film Fest. Organized by Debbie Hess, executive producer of Horror Hotel, this was the second year for the festival and this year, eight films were showcased including the award winning “The Wish & The Wisp“, a horror anthology based on actual nightmares called “Living Nightmare“, a suspense short titled “Pet“, Scott Hansen’s Halloween short “Bad Candy“, a twisted tale called “Mr. Smiles“, a paranormal thriller “Residence 906“, and Melissa Lee’s horror short “Feast” last but certainly not least, the audience was treated to a new episode of Horror Hotel titled “No Time For Love“.
I had the opportunity to see one of the films previously but as a whole,they all had great plots, characters and just the right amount of dark humor. Following the films, Ricky Hess, director of the Horror Hotel series, held a Q&A with the filmmakers and actors who were in attendance. I’ve always enjoyed hearing from those who took the time to put a film together. I applaud those who take the time, money and energy to create a film. For some,creating a film can be an eye opening experience.
Like last year, I was elated to be part of the festival providing both media coverage and as a patron. I enjoyed seeing old friends and making new ones and as usual, I found the films to be both highly entertaining and well done. If film festivals received a star rating, then this one would get our highest rating, five stars.
If you missed this year’s festival, you can still follow the filmmakers on Facebook as their films continue to circulate through the various festivals.