July 31

Gwinnett Center International Film Festival celebrating independent filmmakers


By: Katie Morris

Published: Friday, July 29, 2015 

Independent filmmakers of all ages and skill levels will gather at the Gwinnett Center this weekend to show off their labors of love and celebrate the art of filmmaking.

The third annual Gwinnett Center International Film Festival will kick off tonight and continue through Sunday, screening a multitude of works from local, independent filmmakers, as well as national and international films.

Last year’s festival featured a focus on family-friendly films and an added category for music videos. Selina Branstetter, Festival Director, said after researching to find a 2015 focus, they discovered a vast community of Atlanta animators.

“With the support of our local animators and the love of animation from our GCI Film Festival team, it was an easy decision to choose animation as our focus for this year’s festival,” she said.

This year’s festival will screen the animated Georgia premieres of “Bicycle Notes,” “Friends,” “Leonid In Space,” “Poison Apple” and the world premiere of “The Importance of Lios.”

With support from the Montreal International Animated Film Festival, the GCI Film Festival will also highlight MIAFF’s 2015 Best of Animated Films.

The GCI Film Festival will celebrate its opening night with the film festival premiere of “Mr. Lockjaw,” directed by Byron C. Erwin and written by Justin Craig.

The original crime drama follows Miles Brimley (Troy Halverson), a struggling children’s entertainer who is dragged into the underworld of criminal interrogation and torture by his deranged dummy, Mr. Lockjaw. In a world of drug lords, recovering addicts, and dirty cops, their relationship is — complicated.

Organizers are excited to continue showing support for Georgia filmmakers with the film festival premiere of “Mr. Lockjaw.” Director Erwin has also been a supporter of the GCI Film Festival since the beginning of its conception. He has served on the judging panel, worked on panel discussions and a full retrospective of his work was screened in 2013.

The Film Festival will also screen the world premieres of the Neo-Noir film “A Life Not To Follow,” written and directed by Christopher Di Nunzio, and “Special Needs,” produced and directed by Scott Bryan Sowers, as well as the Georgia premiere of “Tama Ora (Child Alive),” written and directed by Kevin and Brian Flint.

Throughout the weekend, GCI Film Festival will showcase student short films, present international Georgia premieres and host a variety of panel discussions with some of Georgia’s top film industry professionals, covering topics such as Makeup Artists: The Importance of the Makeup Artists for Your Film and a Documentary Filmmaker Round Table: The Art of Non-Fiction Filmmaking.

For more information about the third annual GCI Film Festival, visit gcifilmfest.com.