2015 Southeastern Film Festival Spotlight

April 5, 20152 Comments

Southeastern Film Festival will be held at the University of North Georgia from April 10-12
at the Hoag Auditorium within a short walk of beautiful downtown Dahlonega, Georgia


Atlanta, Georgia [March 16, 2015] – The 2015 Southeastern Film Festival (SEFF), presented
by the University of North Georgia, today announced the Narrative Feature and Documentary Competition film selections, along with films selected in other categories. This year’s program recognizes international and American independent cinema. This includes Documentary, Narrative, Experimental, Animation, Music Videos, New Media, and Screenwriting.


The Festival also announced that the University of North Georgia will invite audiences
to Festival screenings for free from April 10 to 12 at the Hoag Auditorium located on
the campus adjacent to downtown Dahlonega, Georgia.


The Festival will celebrate storytellers, artists, and their work, and allow attendees to interact
and collaborate. The Festival will also be hosting conversations, innovation events, Awards Night, and numerous Festival parties. The filmmaker, industry, and press lounges will be
located outside the theater.


The 2015 film selection includes feature films from 11 countries, including 10 International Premieres. The 2015 film slate was chosen from a total of 1713 submissions from 43 countries.   “A unique component of this year’s Festival is that we accepted waivers at the beginning of the submission process, so film professionals from disenfranchised countries had the opportunity to enter. We are proud to host filmmakers that might not otherwise have the chance to allow audiences to see their work,” said Festival Director, Ava Leigh Stewart


75 judges from all around the world, who specialize in all areas of creative development, determined the program. Celebrity film judges include Del Shores, Chris Frantz, Sylvia Reed, Roddy Bogawa, and J.J. Sedelmaier. Festival founders include Ava Leigh Stewart, Seth Scofield, Katie Gathmann, Jeremy Oliver Miller, Leo Santaiti, Spencer Drate, Judith Salavetz, Brooks Robinson, and Orlando Vargas Diaz. Our Junior Board members include, Teddy Gathmann, Tony “T-REP” Betton, Anna Moran, Ben Klecan, Farrel Anne, Danielle Bennett, Ryan Lambert, Katie Morris, and Amanda Daly.


IMBA MEANS SING — Directed by Danielle Bernstein

IMBA MEANS SING is the story of one little boy who is a big star. As the celebrity drummer from the Grammy-nominated African Children’s Choir, Moses relies on his youthful resilience. Growing up in the slums of Kampala, Uganda, Moses and his family lack enough resources for him to even attend the first grade. Moses is only eight-years-old when the film begins – yet he knows all too well that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to secure his future and change the course of his family’s life. We follow Moses as he works for an education and spreads the magic of his African childhood. The film is an intimate character portrait, stunningly shot and told through Moses’ perspective on his one shot journey from poverty towards his dream of becoming a pilot.


PARADISE GARDEN — Directed by Ava Leigh Stewart

This is a film about art, religion, redemption, and rock and roll…all because of a man named Howard Finster. Finster was an icon, who influenced the artistic endeavors of R.E.M., Talking Heads, B-52s, Indigo Girls, Blackhawk, Steve Penley, Eddie Owens Martin, R.A. Miller, Keith Haring, R. Land, and many others. After his death, his life’s work, Paradise Garden, sadly feel into obscurity. After receiving a series of grants, the Paradise Garden Foundation was founded to rehabilitate his life’s work. This film followed the almost 3 year renovation of his Garden and the creation of what will become his legacy.

This year’s showcase highlights a particularly diverse representation of international cinema

WILDLIKE — Directed by Frank Hall Green

Mackenzie, a troubled but daring teenage girl, is sent to live with her uncle in Juneau, Alaska. She longs for her struggling, absent mother, but as her mom’s phone calls become less frequent and her uncle’s care is not what it seems, she must flee. Her only thoughts are to escape her uncle’s grasp and contact her mother somehow, but as she plunges deeper into the Alaskan interior she is suddenly helplessly alone. A chance connection with a loner backpacker, Rene Bartlett, proves to be her only lifeline. As Mackenzie shadows Bartlett across the last frontier, she thwarts his efforts to cut her loose until Bart has no choice but to help her survive in the wilderness. Against the backdrop of a spectacular Alaska landscape, they discover the redemptive power of friendship. Mackenzie and Bartlett prove to be the unlikely salve for each other’s scars, until the damage Mackenzie carries with her threatens to destroy her newfound sanctuary. Returning to civilization, Mackenzie is once again at risk of capture by her uncle as he hounds with manipulative calls and messages. When Bartlett finally discovers her alarming secret, he must make a bold choice to take real responsibility for Mackenzie and help her escape her traumatic past and return home.


Two friends, Riggs and Decker embark on a search for proof of Bigfoot’s existence. They soon find out that the real question is not if he exists, but why.

JAMMED — Directed by Yedidya Gorsetman

Rachel and her boyfriend Evan attend a jam band festival to document an up-and-coming band, The Epic Concept. When Rachel’s gear gets stolen, Evan’s on a mission to find the missing camera… while Rachel reconnects with her party animal ex. A deadpan comedy exploring the absurdity of the jam band world.

PECHORIN — Directed by Roman Khrushch

Based on the Russian classic Mikhail Lermontov novel “The Hero of Our Time”.   All events shown as they are reflected in the mind of the dying hero, as a series of irrevocable mistakes and interpreted anew: it is either reconsideration or repentance. Recollections make main hero torment himself over his own past pretenses that seem ridicules now agonize and despair over his perfect indifference to everything except himself, see the horrible aspect of killing his friend, a greenhorn and a show-off. The final action of an intelligent and outstanding man is judging oneself without mercy.


NIGHT RUN — Directed by Ben Dongarra

After a fight with her boyfriend, Brooke goes for a long run to clear her head. While taking a break far from home, she is approached by a stranger with disturbing news.

THE HUNTER — Directed by Ara Arush

Dedicated to heroes and mothers. The hunter is a film of our time, the film shows the relation of the person to MOTHER (in the deepest meaning of this word), AS the BASIS FOR LIFE

SON, ITS MEAL TIME — Directed by Man Sze Yan

The movie through the mealtime and realist style reflects the relationship of a father and a son. The father is a retired elder and takes care an unemployed son. The son often plays online games in the room. The father cooks a meal for his son on time every day but the son always misses the mealtime. Once the father meets an accident and has not come home at mealtime.


POVERTY, INC. — Directed by Gary Null & Valerie Van Cleve

The Great Recession of 2008 proved that Wall Street and Washington’s promises of rising
wages, upward mobility and job security were little more than empty rhetoric that paved the way to broken dreams, soup kitchens and homelessness for millions of American citizens. Six years later, the ranks of economically disenfranchised Americans continue to swell. Currently, the US ranks fourth highest in wealth inequality among 140 nations. Fifty million Americans live below the poverty line and 17 million live on less than $2 a day. These staggering figures bring into sharp focus the fact that the War on Poverty, declared 50 years ago by President Lyndon
Johnson, has been a dismal failure.


Switzerland, that famous neutral country, is (according to recent statistics) the third most
armed population on Earth. This is partly due to one of its most popular sports “Shooting”.
In the heart of Switzerland there’s a fascinating world of guns, bizarre, interesting characters, different perspectives, controversial ideas and, above all, an exceptional tradition that lives on. Swiss Olympic shooting champions, families of Swiss shooters, politicians and others, tell us why shooting and weapons are, or why they shouldn’t be, so popular in Switzerland.

SEEKING TRUTH IN THE BALKANS — Directed by June Vutrano & Erin Lovall

In 1993 the UN Security Council unanimously voted to establish the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to investigate war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide which were taking place in the Balkans. After the establishment of this Tribunal, which was the first of its kind since the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals, the war continued and atrocities, escalated. Twenty-one long years have passed since the Tribunal began with a shaky start. Since that time all 161 inductees have been accounted for and the Tribunal is in its final phase of completion. Since this is the beginning of our new era of international law which inspired other ad hoc Tribunals such as Rwanda, Cambodia, Lebanon, Sierra Leone and the International Criminal Court it is a great time to assess the legacy of this frontrunner in international law. We visit all the stakeholders in our investigation of the true legacy, regional activists, victims, journalists, academics, legal scholars and law makers as we explore whether the tribunal fulfilled its mission toward peace, justice, truth and reconciliation in the region and globally. Many films have been made about the wars of the Balkans during the 1990’s but none have explored the human rights versus the jurisprudential perspective.


IRANIAN KAZAKH TOWN — Directed by Mahdi Saebi

Around 90 years ago, during Stalinism, less than a thousand Kazakh left Kazakhstan and came to Iran. This observer documentary makes an intimate atmosphere inside Kazakh homes and other places, and explores history of immigration, what happen during last century, and vision of Iranian Kazakh future.

FULL STRENGTH — Directed by Jacob Dodd

“Full Strength” is a film memoir that reflects on the life of 2014 Paralympic Gold Medalist Daniel McCoy and the freedom he feels on the ice while playing the sport he loves, sled hockey.

JULIA — Directed by Emiliano Cano Diaz

This takes place in Barcelona, during the early 1900s. It opens on the terrace of the Maison Dorée, Júlia Peraire offers lottery tickets to a group of bearded modernists. Among them, the painter Ramón Casas, who looks up to be forever captivated by Júlia.









BITCOIN: THE END OF MONEY — Directed by Torsten Hoffman

Most of the money we use today is created by banks, not Governments. This is an overlooked reason for financial crises. In this context the controversial Internet currency Bitcoin is worth a closer look. Is it a scam, a Ponzi scheme and a bubble waiting to burst? Or is Bitcoin the money for the digital future, and a real threat to the US Dollar? This Kick-starter funded documentary will explore these economic and technological issues for the mainstream audience. It will make everyone re-think the very concept of money.


ONCE UPON ANOTHER TIME — Directed by Alexandr Baev

There is a flea market, which known as “Barakholka” (junk market in translation from Russian) located in 10 km from the center of the Tbilisi, Georgia. In this diverse and at the same time emptiness space everyone is trying to sell at least something, some bagatelle to earn money for their miserable living. Observation focuses on the family consisting of six members, who live on the territory of the market in a 15 sq.m barrack, making their best to somehow feed themselves and continue their beggarly life.


EMERGENCY EXIT — Directed by Brunella Filì

Something has changed in Europe. From Ireland to Greece, to Spain and to Italy, young
people from south Europe are, now, the ones desperately seeking exit strategies from
economies in free fall (The Guardian). ‘Emergency Exit’ is a feature documentary about Italy and the consequences that the last 20 years of politics have had on the young generation: in fact, a lot of young Italians (as young Spanish, Portuguese, Greeks, etc.) leave their country every year; more then 90% of them are graduated or professionally skilled. They move away because of a lot of reason, also due to the economic crisis, and not only. But nobody seems to have the desire to listen or care for them, or to follow their stories and motivations, in a way deeper than the generic cliché of the ‘brain drain’.



Watch Outcasts: Surviving the Culture of Rejection as writer/director Steve Newton explores the devastating effects of recidivism. This documentary will show you some of the history of recidivism, its impact and some of the successful program that help reduce the problem which costs taxpayers more than $50 billion annually.




WALLACE — Directed by David Over

Wallace, the security guard of a small-town grocery store, stops at nothing to prevent the store’s first-ever burglary.


A JAIL SENTENCE ENDS — Directed by Laurel Powers

This short film is a portrait of young artist whose creative process is affected by depression.








POST SCRIPTUM — Directed by Santiago Parres

Nobody understood the Prophets when talked about them. They are unshakeable witnesses of
full moon and destruction, of arts and tides. They know our past glories and our present miseries. They behold us and stay hidden in the crowd… most time. They are intangible, and nevertheless they look so real.


MR ILLICH — Directed by Gabriela Martinez & Jon Ferlop

An old puppet master nostalgically recalls the past and the woman he loved, these memories accompanied by the places of his youth, the fields


POCHLEBA — Directed by Barbara Mydlak

What we eat is what we are. What we take is what we become. But the barter between the world and us, works both ways. The film is a metaphor for life of a man, who becomes a product of his environment. But maybe there is something more than just sunbeams that come down on us from the sky. Grace?


MEMENTO MORI — Directed by Daniela Wayllace

In a mourning ceremony the photographer takes a picture of a little girl. With a sorrowful face,the mourners leave the room, leaving it surrounded by flowers. Little by little, we get closer to the girl, we enter into her mind and into the universe of the death.




WELCOME TO FANTASY ISLAND — Directed by Lena Greene

An island of bikini-clad, saggy ladies spend their lives drinking martinis and living on the beach, until one day they run out of vodka.




ALL IN MY MIND — Directed by Arthur Jeanroy

Three different scenes featuring a hit man during a working night in Paris are mixed together: the memories of a violent shoot-out, the stillness of his last crime scene in an old hotel room and the fleeting cityscapes of Paris as seen through a car window.


FRANCESCA — Directed by Diana Bald

‘Francesca’ was inspired by the art and life of American photographer Francesca Woodman, who committed suicide by jumping out of an East Village apartment window on January 19, 1981, at the age of 22. Madden who lives in the Lower East Side / Chinatown neighborhood of New York City tell us, ‘Almost thirty years and now I’m looking down from a similar window’.






GUIDESTONES: SUNFLOWER NOIR — Directed by Jay Ferguson

Guidestones: Sunflower Noir picks up where the Emmy-winning Guidestones left off. The interactive thriller/alternate reality game (ARG) series follows Sandy Rai as she runs from both her own past, as well as from a global organization intent on culling the human population by whatever means necessary. So continues a journey that takes her through London, Bracknell, France, New York, Toronto, Greece, Kiev, Chernobyl, and into a conspiracy involving priceless art forgeries, clandestine CIA experiments, and a secret so devastating it will change the course of humanity.





Will works away from home on a building site. He suspects his girlfriend (Emma) of having an affair with his colleague (Finn). To unearth the truth, Will gets him drunk. A fight breaks out. After an accidental blow to the head, Will leaves Finn in a ditch.


CROSSINGS — By Fred Perry

JOEY STOKES has been a mess since his father was killed two years ago at the National
Drag Championships. He is further devastated when his mother, KATE, marries lowlife PHIL BLAZECK, Joe’s former crew chief, who overlooked the safety issue that caused Joe’s crash. And though Joey understands Kate’s desperate need to fill the emotional void left by Joe’s death, he’ll never forgive Phil, especially for taking advantage of Kate’s fragile emotional state. Joey’s hatred intensifies when he catches Phil picking up girls at a bar.




THE TELLING TIDE — Directed by Darcy Wilkins
The Telling Tide is a film about the Louisiana Sea Grant Coastal Change Oral Histories Project, which aimed to raise awareness of climate change in the youth of Southern Louisiana communities where the land is being eaten away by subsidence, sea level rise, and erosion at a devastating rate. The goal was to promote stewardship by putting students in direct contact with peoples who have personally felt the land of their homes slipping through their fingers, and to show others the many forms of beauty that stand to be lost as a result of land loss in Louisiana.












Ava Leigh Stewart, Festival Director

(678) 856 5138, info@southeasternfilm.com
Seth Scofield, Program Director

(202) 549 8828, seth@sethscofield.com


IMAGES FOR PRESS/EDITOR’S NOTE: Film stills for the Southeastern Film Festival
are available at www.southeasternfilm.com/press. If you have any issues please contact southeasternfilm@gmail.com


To keep up with Southeastern Film Festival, visit the Southeastern Film Festival website
at www.southeasternfilm.com, and register to subscribe to the Newsletter and network
with other members of the film community.


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Comments (2)

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  1. Gail Buckner says:

    How can I find out what time the various films are showing?

    • southernfilm says:

      On our film page, you can preview or download the full schedule for the Dahlonega Festival..Thanks!

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