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Atlanta Film Festival + Creative Conference announces award winners for the 2022 festival


The 46th annual Atlanta Film Festival + Creative Conference (ATLFF) is proud to announce the award winners for the 2022 festival, which took place from April 21 – May 1, 2022. This year’s prizes totaled more than $160,000 in cash and partner donations, representing the single largest amount offered in the festival’s competitive categories. Additionally, ATLFF is pleased to share event facts and figures resulting from its hybrid blend of in-person and virtual presentations.

Today’s announcement recognizes filmmakers in 10 categories for their achievements and cinematic excellence. This includes the return of the Georgia Award, which has been awarded to one feature and one short. The Georgia Award will include a Kodak Package from Kodak Atlanta with $1,000 worth of Kodak motion picture stock being awarded to the winners.

Winners of the Narrative Short, Animated Short and Documentary Short Jury Awards not only proudly took home their awards, but now also qualify for the 2023 Academy Awards®. ATLFF is one of less than twenty U.S. film festivals that is Academy Award®-qualifying in all three shorts categories.

New this year, winners of Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, and Best Georgia Feature have been awarded nearly $20,000 of rental credit donated by the Plaza Theatre. This will allow the three films to have an Academy Award®-qualifying theatrical run at the historic movie theater, which is also the primary location of ATLFF in-person screenings and events. The Atlanta Film Festival is the first to offer this to feature films that win.

Award winners were chosen by distinguished jurors from all backgrounds across the film industry, with select awards determined by the film festival’s programming team. A full list of jury members with brief biographies is included below. In addition to the juried award winners, Audience Awards were determined by both virtual and in-person attendees.


Jury Award Winners:

● Best Documentary Feature: “After Sherman”, directed by Jon-Sesrie Goff

● Best Narrative Feature: “Hékate”, directed by Nadia Benedicto

● Georgia Feature Award: “Refuge”, directed by Din Blankenship and Erin Levin Bernhardt

● Best Animated Short: “Night of the Living Dread”, directed by Ida Melum

● Best Documentary Short: “Chilly & Milly”, directed by William D. Caballero

● Best Narrative Short: “Moshari”, directed by Nuhash Humayun

● Narrative Short Special Jury Mention for Acting: “The Bond,” performance by Ashley Wilkerson film directed by Jahmil Eady

● REEL SOUTH Short Award: “Winn”, directed by Joseph East and Erica Tanamachi

● Georgia Short Award: “Glitter Ain’t Gold”, directed by Christian Nolan Jones

● Georgia Short, Special Jury Mention: “Winn,” directed by Joseph East & Erica Tanamachi

● Best Cinematography: “Do Not Hesitate,” cinematography by Nadim Carlsen, film directed by Shariff Korver

● Cinematography, Special Jury Mention: “Master of Light” cinematography by Jurgen Lisse , film directed by Rosa Ruth Boesten

Special Career Award Winners:

● Phoenix Award: George Anthony Morton, Painter and subject of documentary, “Master of Light”

Programming Award Winners:

● Southern Documentary Fund Filmmaker Award – Feature: “A Homecoming I’ll Remember”, directed by Jasmine René McCaskill

● Filmmaker to Watch Award: Esteban Bailey, “El Extrano en la Casa Rivera”

Audience Award Winners:

● Virtual Exclusive Audience Award (Feature): “Daughter of a Lost Bird” directed by Brooke Pepion Swaney

● Virtual Exclusive Audience Award (Short): “The Bond” directed by Jahmil Eady

● Audience Award (Feature: “Refuge” directed by Din Blankenship & Erin Levin Bernhardt

● Audience Award (Short): “Glitter Ain’t Gold” directed by Christian Nolan Jones

Screenplay Winners:

● Feature Screenplay Awards:

“Gordito”, by Miguel Castillo

“Ruby Safeway” by Amanda Biggs

“St. Louis Superman” by Jon Alston and Ron McCants

● Pilot Screenplay Award: “Spesh” by Jeff Locker

● Short Screenplay Award: “Black Butterflies” by Tamara S. Hall

Award winners were selected from the lineup of 153+ works chosen from a record-breaking nearly 10,000 submissions, including 20% with ties to Georgia and a combined total of 74% directed by filmmakers who identify as female or non-binary and/or are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC).

Continuing with a hybrid model with in-person screenings and digital screenings, the 2022 event drew over 24,000 total combined attendance. During the 11-day festival, more than 5,000 people attended 62 in-person events held at six venues, including the Plaza Theatre, Dad’s Garage, The Carter Center, Maison Rouge, Botanical Gardens, and Hotel Clermont as well as those who views streamed screenings from ATLFF’s virtual catalog of 77 films and 25 Creative Conference educational programming.

More than 2,265 hours of content were streamed during the festival, with viewers in . states, including District of Columbia, and 15 countries across 5 inhabited continents. The virtual format also allowed for over 75 festival filmmakers and over 50 industry experts and professionals to participate in the Creative Conference.


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