Southern Shorts Film Festival

Southern Shorts Film Festival has been making themselves a staple in the Atlanta Film Community. A quarterly festival Southern Shorts commits itself to the film makers. Providing not only feedback on every film submitted as well as a score sheet from each judge.  

Southern Shorts provides the most impressive breakdown of why they created this festival. 

"Southern Shorts Awards is a seasonal competition in which each entry is judged on its’ own merits. Every film will be screened by three judges using a 10 point scale and you will receive the scores of all three judges whether you win an award or not. 

Your composite score will show where you excelled, as well as the areas which could be better. We feel that this is vitally important information because how can you improve if you don't know what needs improving? 

Southern Shorts Awards offers a level playing ground for filmmakers to have their work judged by a panel of three industry professionals. Scoring is based on nine criteria: Originality, Screenplay, Direction, Casting, Cinematography, Audio, Editing, Music, and Production Design.

Awards of Merit are given to shorts which prove basic filmmaking competence, Awards of Excellence are given to films which exhibit higher levels of creativity and ability, Awards of Distincon  are given to films of professional quality, and the Orson Award is given to those rare films which show true genius.

Another goal of Southern Shorts Awards is to raise the quality of short films by offering a professional benchmark. SSA is a first-entry test for filmmakers who intend to enter their short film into festivals. Receiving an award from SSA does not guarantee that a festival will accept your entry, but those films which do not receive any award from us may be less likely to find success in the festival circuit. 

SSA is also unique in that we score individual achievements at no additional cost. All major cast and crew members are graded on the same 10 point scale by each judge, and it is possible for an individual to receive an award even if the film doesn’t."

When asked this is what Stephen P Sherwood, Founder of Southern Shorts Festival had to say about why he created this festival. 

"I started this film festival out of frustration from dealing with other festivals because there was almost never any feedback provided or there was an additional charge to receive it. I run a workshop to help screen-writers refine their scripts. Filmmakers need the same kind of critique, which is why we send everyone their scoresheet. Improvement requires assessment."
Stephen P. Sherwood - SSA Festival Director

You can take a look at the prior awards ceremony below. 

Summer 2016

Fall 2016

Hosted by Levi Burdick at the Aurora Cineplex

You can keep up to to date with the festival at their Film Freeway Page or their website, Southern Shorts Awards.

The Multicultural, Star-Studded 26th Out on Film Festival

As the summer days are ending and cooler weather creeps in, indoor refuge is becoming more desirable. Lo and behold, the 26th annual Out on Film Festival is around the corner. To be more specific, at Landmark’s Midtown Art Cinema from October 2nd to 9th. Here’s why y’all should come out to Out on Film. 

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How to Make a Practical and Fun living With Your Film Degree

Do you have a Film or Liberal Arts degree and you don't know how to translate it to a paying job? Check out this article with screenwriter-producer-entrepreneur Kathy Cabrera, the founder of Red Clip Video, a company that makes fun corporate videos for mid-sized businesses.

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GA Film Industry Is NOT In Trouble - We Do Have ALOT of Work Ahead of Us...and We Need to Stop Being So Damn Defensive

As someone who was in attendance, I can attest that the reps from Marvel and NBC Cable did not think we were in trouble. They didn't hold back either. In the area of keys in the grip and electric departments, carpenters/set builders, stunt men, speciality costumers, and department heads, they were burning through the most qualified people quickly. Those available after that might be eager, they don't have the experience L.A. crews have.

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Simple, But Deadly Mistakes in Short Film Submissions...According to Georgia Film Festival Programmers

Adam Tawfik is a Georgia-based freelance writer and social media manager. He also owns and operates the entertainment blog The Tawfik Zone

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Did Someone Say "L.A. Carpetbaggers"? - An overview of Georgia based films at the 38th Atlanta Film Festival

With at least a half dozen filmmakers in person we set out to walk through the Atlanta Film Festival schedule and highlight the local films. Along the way the subtext of the evening boiled to the surface: there is a lot of film and television work being produced in Georgia, but just how much of it originates from residents of this state?

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Did Single Moms Club Bomb this Past Weekend? Hell to the Nah. That Doesn't Mean Tyler Perry Isn't Trapped in a Boyband Pardox

What's really going on here is that Perry is hitting a two-fold conundrum that all artists must contend with. He's in, or approaching his post Boyband phase. His core audience is aging, while the audience coming up behind them are of a different generation. 

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They got it ‘Made’

AMM_JewelryThe latest great Recession has been the subject matter in many a recent film. Many of them retell the way the market crashed and strive to point fingers at the culprits who may have made it happen. In the new documentary, American Made Movie, two Georgia filmmakers also show us some people who make it happen. The difference is that many of the subjects in this movie are thriving in spite of the difficulties presented in the current economic landscape. Vincent Vittorio and Nathan McGill (An Inconvenient Tax) teamed to make American Made Movie which opens in theaters August 30th. They are native Georgians but their movie uncovers many areas of the U.S. and examines the decline in America¹s manufacturing workforce while also highlighting many success stories.

I was able to contact them about their project.

AMM_Sparks 1. What was the inspiration to taking a look at entrepreneurs in America?

Nathan: We both have family that worked in manufacturing. Vincent's wife has family that worked in Detroit, and my grandfather, father and uncles all worked for General Motors at the Lakewood and Doraville Plants in Georgia before they shut down. So, manufacturing has always been a part of our lives. As a company, we focus on bringing important to topics to life and covering these issues in a way that is more story driven than politically driven. We want to give a base of knowledge for the viewer to make their decisions from while offering a practical call to action. We want our viewers to know they can do more than just complain about the problems in the country. As documentary filmmakers, we were tracking several trends; one of them was the organic label.

Vincent: We saw how consumer demand leads to companies and retailers meeting that demand. The organic label is a great example of the difference that demand can make. A few years ago, there weren't any of these products and now there are entire stores dedicated to it. It made us think back to our families and the Made In The USA label they used to talk about. It brought us back to manufacturing at a time where lots of Americans were just starting to pay attention to the issue again. Within a week of green-lighting the film, Diane Sawyer was on ABC World News talking about Made in the USA.

2. Describe the biggest challenges in getting this project completed?

Vincent: The biggest challenge really is now with this release. We know that this film has the power to connect the viewer to this relationship that many people have never thought about. The response at advanced screenings has been outstanding!  But we need to get the audience to know about the film and to go see it, and when you are competing with millions of dollar budgets in a gigantic summer at the movies… it can be a challenge not to get drowned out. So we need everyone that hears about it to follow us on Twitter, like our Facebook page, and share, share, share! We can all make a difference by getting the film in front of more people!

3. Did you draw on any particular documentaries as influences for this movie?AMM_Slugger

Nathan: In its format and style, I think the film drew from the structure of a Food, Inc. as well as one of our favorite docs, King of Kong. Food, Inc.  is about the Food Industry and we are looking at manufacturing, but where they are similar is in the multiple story lines and characters to take the viewer through the information. We have a central character who's up and down ride in the global economy takes a surprising and bit of a funny twist, and so to tell that story in reverse was a fun process and not many docs do as good a job of connecting the audience to its characters as King of Kong does. - But I would also just add that with each film you learn to do things that are uniquely you. In our last film, An Inconvenient Tax, we told an hour and a half story with interviewees and no narrator. That's insanely hard and while even if no one else recognizes the feat, I'm proud of it. We wanted a bit of that interviewee style in this film to carry over, but depart from what we did in the last film by telling personal and emotional stories of the manufacturers and people who deal with this issue first hand. I think the stories are really where our viewers have been able to connect to the film.

American Made Movie starts Friday, August 30, 2013 at the AMC Colonial 18 Theater in Lawrenceville, GA

For more information on visit,

Seeking Crew for Student Short "The Pageant"

Non Union

Format: HD

Distribution: DVD

Shooting location(s): Atlanta Georgia Blue Mark Studios

Must have some experience and be willing to work with a small crew. We will be shooting early august and will most likely have 12 hour work days. This is a three day shoot with a 5K budget. Director is an award winning young filmmaker. Lo/deferred payment.



Assistant DP/2nd camera operator

Sound Mixer

Boom Operator


Lighting Technician





By: Courtney Amis

Casting Call in Atlanta!

Casting Call!

Casting call for an iBook (a digital novel for the iPad). This interactive digital novel includes video clips, still images, text, audio clips and graphic design. The story follows the screenplay “Closer Than Rust,” which was recently selected as one of the three winners of the 2011 Atlanta International Film Festival.

Casting Calls:

Date: Wednesday, May 15th

Time: 4-5:30pm

Location: The Phillip Rush Center, 1530 Dekalb Avenue, Suite A, Atlanta, GA, 30307


The Rush Center is located one block from the Edgewood/Candler Park Marta Station.

Date: Thursday, May 16th

Time: 6-8pm

Location: Georgia State University, General Classroom Building (“GCB”) room #115

Corner of Decatur Street and Peachtree Center Avenue (Building #12 on the GSU campus map).

Located two blocks from the 5 Points Marta Station (Walk down Central Ave towards Decatur Street. Central Ave becomes Peachtree Center Ave and the building is right there on the corner. Studio is on the ground floor, room #115)

Actors are needed for the following parts:


Jamie  27, caucasian, genderqueer/FTM

Aliza  22-24, African American, Female/Femme

Bryan  8, African American, Male (Aliza’s playful little brother)

Creggory  8, African American, Male (Aliza’s brother’s friend)

Reggie  mid/late-20’s, African American, Male (Aliza’s ex-boyfriend)

Vespa  33, Asian American, Female/femme

Hart  mid-30’s, Asian American (other races considered), Female, Butch (Vespa’s partner)

Bill  Over 40, Caucasian, Male, “Proud Southern Redneck”

Tanisa  mid-20’s, African American, Female (a wild artist type)


EXTRAS / Townspeople:            

Tina  45 or so, African American, Female (Aliza’s Mom) (Photo & Voice Only)

Harden  45 or so, African American, Male (Aliza’s Dad) (Photo & Voice Only)

Frankie  mid-60’s, Caucasian, Male (also a “Proud Southern Redneck”)

Darnell  late-20’s, African American, Male (works with Jamie on the dump truck)

Mike  mid-30’s or so, Male (driver of the dump truck)

Mr. Casselberry  mid-60’s, African American, Male (married to Mrs. Casselberry)

Mrs. Casselberry  mid-60’s, African American, Female (married to Mr. Casselberry)

Christian Wife  late-40’s or so, female (married to Christian Husband)

Christian Husband  late-40’s or so, male (married to Christian Wife)

Mother  mid-30’s, female (the mother of “child”)

Child  3-6, female (the child of “mother”)

Henry  late-30’s, male, probably Caucasian (married to Juna – interracial couple)

Juna late-30’s, female, probably African American (married to Henry – interracial couple)

Yolanda  mid-50’s or so, African American, Female (a Yoruba Priestess)

“Redneck Wife”  40’s or so, female, Caucasian (married to “Redneck Husband”)

“Redneck Husband”  40’s or so, male, Caucasian (married to “Redneck Wife”)

Creggory’s Mom  early-40’s (flexible), African American, Female (Creggory’s Mom)

Newscaster for web video - Any age, race, gender

 Possible: “neighborhood children” (various ages, genders, races)

Possible: voice over actors for animated robots (dream scene)


This is a low budget project – a labor of love for most of the artists involved. Actors will receive small “Thank you” stipends, a copy of footage for their reel, and a copy of the finished digital book (expected in December, 2012).  All filming will take place this summer in and around Atlanta, GA.

For more information, please contact Laura Zaylea at and/or visit: . This is an LGBT themed film about interracial relationships, community, small Southern towns, magical dreams/intuition & art-making!

See you at the casting call!


By: Laura Zaylea

Discovering Encuentrate

Sundance season has kicked off 2012 for the independent film world but CinemATL is looking ahead with a local production that will be making noise in the near future.Encuentrate is a film about a young woman, Anais, who alienates herself from her family, her culture and her grandfather’s spiritual teachings because of issues she has with her mother. However, The death of her grandfather brings her face to face with everything she ran away from resulting in Anais discovering a secret.

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EcoFocus Film Festival (Athens, GA) Submisison Deadline Approaching

Dear Filmmakers: The Call for Submissions Deadline for the fourth annual EcoFocus Film Festival has been extended to October 22, 2011. Please see EcoFocus Film Festival for submission details.

The 2012 EcoFocus Film Festival will run March 23-31, 2012 in Athens, Georgia. We accept film submissions in three categories: Environmental Features (50 minutes or more), Short Environmental Films (20 minutes or less), and Family Programming (any-length). Films may be submitted to more than one category. Pleae review our submission details and fill out our on-line entry form. No submission fees!

EcoFocus is an annual celebration of environmental films in Athens, Georgia. Our mission is to screen a diversity of high-quality films that promote discussion and inspire audiences into awareness and action on behalf of the environment.

Inquiries can be directed to: ecofocusfilmfest [at] gmail dot com.

By: Sara Beresford

Advanced Production Assistant Academy for Features and TV Series - September 17th and 18th, 2011

Application Deadline: August 26th, 2011Final Selection Announcement: September 2nd, 2011 Workshop: September 17th and 18th, 2011 FREE to the 35-50 applicants that are chosen to attend the Academy (Underwritten by G.E.M)

This 12 hour per day, two day advanced level bootcamp is for working commercial production assistants, and interns and dayplayers on studio features and TV series, who are looking to take their skills to the next level to improve their chances of advancement and full-time employment on studio features and TV series. Local DGA Assistant Directors and working PA’s on Studio Features and TV Series will be running the bootcamp.

Lingo, procedure, and protocol will be incorporated into every activity throughout the day. Participants will learn to

read, create, and/or understanding all production paperwork – call sheets, production reports, exhibit G’s, time cards, one liners, shooting schedules, vouchers, shot lists, and walkie sign out sheets. Standard equipment that

PA’s interact with, like C-stands, stingers, sandbags, walkies, pop-up tents, video village, and apple boxes, will be used on a regular basis during training. At the end of the two days, a resume class will set participants up for success.


- Potential Participants must register on-line: Register Now

- Once registered -

Potential Participants must submit the following via email to by August 26th, 2011:

- a film resume showing commercial credits, or credits on at least 1 Studio Feature or TV Series

- a letter stating why they should be accepted

- a written recommended by another established PA/AD, or above the line crew person.

None of these requirements guarantee acceptance.

The final choices will be approved by instructors and workshop coordinators.