Atlanta Film Festival - Atlanta Film Festival Turns 40 (2)

The long-running fest doubles down on ATL


The Atlanta Film Festival has gone through many names and many iterations in its 40-year history. Its institutional arm, the Atlanta Film Society, launched in 1976 as Independent Media Artists Georgia, or IMAGE.

"The first screenings happened rather notoriously and famously in the bath house of Piedmont Park in '77," says Atlanta Film Society Executive Director Christopher Escobar. "It was one of the only places where they could have no light and do screenings in the daytime." Later, the organization turned an old school on Peachtree Street into IMAGE Film and Video Center, a multimedia resource and community arts hub not unlike what WonderRoot's doing now over on Memorial Drive, Escobar says. Since those early days, the organization has evolved from Atlanta Independent Film and Video Festival to Image FV to Atlanta Film Festival 365 to the Atlanta Film Society, which presents year-round programming, including the annual festival. In 2012, Escobar and Creative Director Kristy Breneman were hired. Over the past four years, the duo has focused on making Atlanta as important to the festival as the films that are shown. (... continue reading)