"Hamilton" star Daveed Diggs is among several in the entertainment industry to participate in this year's Atlanta Film Festival + Creative Conference.
This will be the 11th annual Creative Conference, ATLFF’s educational programming, and will take place as part of the 45th annual festival from April 22 to May 2. This year's conference will comprise of three headlining Masterclasses, 13 one-on-one conversations and seven roundtables featuring some of the most well-respected names in the entertainment industry from around the country.
The Creative Conference serves to educate, entertain and enlighten by pulling back the curtain on film and television production to give the ATLFF audience a peek behind the scenes at how projects get made and by whom. The topics of these informative sessions, which will all be presented virtually via Eventive, will include writing, showrunning, producing, directing, cinematography, acting, sound recording, lighting, composing, podcasting, LED virtual stages, distribution, props, stunt work and more.
"One of the positives of this last year, for the Creative Conference, is our all-virtual format," 30-year industry veteran and Creative Conference programmer Linda Burns said. "The freedom to pre-record conversations has allowed otherwise impossible to get professionals from around the country to share their personal experience, career advice and industry knowledge."
The three Masterclasses will feature revealing conversations with some of the most admired and sought-after artists in their respective fields. Wayne White, a three-time Emmy-winning artist and subject of the documentary “Beauty is Embarrassing,” will divulge to local puppeteer, filmmaker, and fabricator Sam Carter, where he finds inspiration, what gets him out of bed every day and what responsibility he thinks artists have as creators and mentors.
Ty Franck, Hugo Award-winning author, Executive Producer and Co-Creator of the hit Amazon Prime show “The Expanse,” will sit down with Georgia filmmaker Raymond Carr to discuss the show’s journey — from tabletop role-playing game to award-winning novel series and eventually to its current stellar television show about to begin its sixth season.
Finally, Daveed Diggs ("Hamilton," "The Little Mermaid," "Snowpiercer," "Soul") and Rafael Casal ("The Good Lord Bird," "Are You Afraid of the Dark," "Bad Education," "Def Poetry"), co-writers and co-stars of the 2018 film “Blindspotting,” will talk about the film’s inspiration and upcoming TV adaptation with one of the show’s directors, Atlanta-based Angela Barnes. They will also dive into the origins of their friendship in high school, their collaborative process and challenges they’ve faced throughout their careers.
"This virtual format also allows anyone from anywhere in the world to access our programming, and we couldn't be more excited to engage and empower artists and audiences in this new way,” Burns said.
In addition to the Masterclasses, ATLFF will expand on the industry knowledge presented during the Creative Conference with 13 one-on-one discussions and seven roundtables covering a vast array of topics.
Panelist credits for this year’s lineup include: “WandaVision,” “Dexter,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” “The Walking Dead,” “Criminal Minds,” “Stranger Things,” “Ozark,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Black Panther,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “The Gifted,” “Watchmen,” “Harriet,” and many more celebrated television series and films.
In an additional Creative Conference element new for 2021, local independent filmmakers will moderate another 15+ panel discussions with filmmakers from around the world who were accepted into this year’s festival in the documentary, animation, narrative, and experimental short categories, as well as the episodic, music video and virtual reality programs. The exact details and participants on these panels will be announced closer to the festival.
“Casual conversations revolving around the art and business of filmmaking between Atlanta-based professionals and their friends and colleagues offer virtual festival goers a unique and much more intimate experience than ever before," Burns said. "In addition, local indie filmmakers moderating roundtables with some of the directors accepted into our festival program gives these creatives from across the globe the chance to interact and connect with one another when in-person networking isn’t an option."
Previous Creative Conference Masterclass hosts have included actors William H. Macy, James Franco, Amber Nash and Romany Malco; a panel of producers from Pinewood Atlanta Studios and Marvel Studios; filmmakers and showrunners Damon Lindelof, Jason Reitman, James Ponsoldt, Victor Nunez and Tom Luse; and Broadway veteran Schuler Hensley.
Festival passes are on sale now at www.AtlantaFilmFestival.com. Tickets for individual events are now on sale for ATLFS members and will go on sale March 25.
Drive-in screenings will cost $15 to $50 (depending on the number of people in the vehicle), virtual screenings and Creative Conference events will be $9.99 and tickets to in-person screenings will be $20. All virtual screenings and events will be presented via Eventive.