TAGS first film festival a smash hit – LaGrange Daily News


The LaGrange Lafayette Society for Performing Arts’ first annual Southern Film Festival went off without a hitch on Friday and Saturday, and many filmmakers left not only with new fans but also with good connections to follow them into the world. world of cinema.

LSPA had been an active member of the Southern Film Festival’s parent festival, the Lanett City Film Festival for quite some time, explained Amy Guinn McDow, director of the Lafayette Theater Company, who helped company attendees make connections beforehand. .

“We have been actively participating in this festival until COVID,” she said, adding that last year’s festival went live when the pandemic began. “Lanett chose not to do the festival this year, and we made so many connections and did so many things that we started to think about another place. It made sense to bring him here since the academy students were so involved.

One of the highlights was the premiere of Lafayette Theater Academy’s debut short film “Exit,” which starred several TAGS students and was directed by Eric B. Wright, founder of the Lanett City Film Festival and the Southern Film Festival. The film was screened at the start of the festival each day, McDow said.

“[The students] really got to see the magnitude of the process of making a movie, and it was such an educational opportunity for them to meet the different directors and filmmakers who came here, ”McDow said.

The festival featured 28 films, including short narrative films, documentaries, student films, and feature films from visitors to the area and a handful of locals.

Guests at the festival included Oscar nominated producer Enrique “Rico” Diaz, known for his films “Dekalb Elementary”, “Perfect People” and “Jeremy”.

Diaz presented his film, “Jeremy”, which followed the journey of a frightened Marien and the struggle to strike a balance between duty to the military and duty to his family.

Diaz, who is normally stationed in Los Angeles, described his experience at LaGrange as “excellent,” noting that the students at the company were not only exceptionally talented, but also that the area was a perfect source of inspiration for the shoot. .

“I love coming to regions like [LaGrange]”said Diaz.

“Being in the LA area, there is a lot of commotion. I love coming here and interacting with people… there are genuine people with different perspectives.

Local highlights included “A President in Our Midst: Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Georgia,” which starred LaGrange’s Carol Cain, and “Brotherly Vows” by LaGrange professor and Lafayette Theater Company actor Zeke Weldon.

Weldon described making the film, which was shot in the West Point area, as a more straightforward process.

The movie itself was shot in one day, although much of the B-roll took a few more days, he said.

The weather in particular was the biggest hurdle he and his crew had to overcome.

“We had a lot of rain so we had to cut a lot of outside shots,” said Weldon. “Fortunately, the church we filmed in was quite a large location.”

Weldon’s plans for future projects include his “LaGrange vision” and expand his networking opportunities to other creatives both locally and internationally.

“I just want to keep growing and being creative,” he said.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to network… and show people what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown. ”

The festival ended on Saturday evening with an awards ceremony for the participants. Among the winners were Robert Judson’s “A President In Our Midst: Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Georgia” for Best Feature Documentary and Audience Award. LaGrange was a featured filming location in the film.

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