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Film Festival Roundup: Santa Barbara International, Reel Abilities, Athena Film Festival and More Announce Full Lineups

Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup.

Gemma Arteton in Their Finest

“Their Finest”

Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.

Lineup Announcements

– The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has announced its lineup for the 32nd edition, which will run February 1 – 11. The festival will offer a vast array of films representing 50+ countries, 51 world premieres and 64 US premieres, along with tributes with the year’s top talent, panel discussions, and free community education and outreach programs. The festival will kick off on February 1 with the world premiere of “Charged.” The fest will also feature “Heal the Living” as its international gala and “Their Finest” as it closing night offering. 

SBIFF will also play home to a number of tributes, with honorees including Denzel Washington, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, Isabelle Huppert and many more, previously announced accolades.

To find out more about the full lineup, plus information on tributes and SBIFF’s robust panel lineup, check out their official website.

– JCC Manhattan has announced its official lineup of feature films for the 9th Annual ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival in New York.

The 2017 festival will take place at close to 30 venues throughout the city from March 2 – 8, making it the most accessible festival in the country. Over 100 film screenings, representing 15 countries, will screen at JCC Manhattan and a variety of other prestigious locations, including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of the Moving Image, and New York Public Library branches. New venues to join the festival this year include Alamo Drafthouses in Yonkers and Williamsburg, as well as BRIC in downtown Brooklyn, among others.

The ReelAbilities Film Festival seeks to promote awareness of the stories and artistic expressions of people with different abilities by celebrating the diversity of the shared human experience through engaging films and events. The festival also seeks to raise the level of inclusion and authentic portrayals of people with disabilities in cinema, who are the most underrepresented minority in American media. Following these showings, the NY festival selections travel to satellite festivals in over 15 cities annually in the U.S. and Canada.

The festival will open with Len Collin’s “Sanctuary” and close out with Leslie McCleave’s “How Sweet the Sound: The Blind Boys of Alabama.” To find out more about the full lineup, check out their official website.

– The Athena Film Festival (AFF) has announced its 2017 lineup, featuring a selection of narrative, documentary, and short films. The festival also announced panel discussions and other programs that are included in the slate. The Athena Film Festival showcases films about powerful and courageous women leaders in real life and the fictional world; it is a weekend dedicated to elevating female voices and stories that inspire and empower a new generation of filmmakers and individuals.

The seventh annual festival, co-founded by the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College and Women and Hollywood, will take place February 9 – 12 at Barnard College in New York City.

The festival will close with the New York Premiere of documentary “Dolores,” directed by Peter Bratt. The Centerpiece Film will be the documentary “City of Joy,” directed and written by Madeleine Gavin. Other lineup highlights include “Queen of Katwe,” “The Fits,” “Custody,” “Strange Weather” and “Denial.” This year’s Athena Film Festival will feature a special television preview of the upcoming Hulu series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” starring Elisabeth Moss and directed by Reed Morano.

To find out more about the full lineup, check out their official website. Additional screenings, panels and special events will be announced in the coming weeks.

– The Oscar qualifying New York International Children’s Film Festival has announced their 2017 opening weekend lineup. The 20th anniversary of the festival will run from February 24 – March 19. Established in 1997, the Festival is the nation’s largest for children and teens and will present animated, live action, documentary, and experimental shorts and features from approximately 30 countries.

The festival’s Opening Weekend boasts three highly-acclaimed debuts. Friday, February 24 will showcase the East Coast, English-language premiere of “My Life as a Zucchini.” Preceding that feature is an Opening Night screening for younger audiences, the North American premiere of “Revolting Rhymes,” a wickedly delightful adaptation of Roald Dahl’s satirical reimagining of classic fairy tales. To find out more information about the festival and its lineup and events, check out their official website.

– The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF) has unveiled its full lineup and official schedule of films for the 17th annual event, returning for another 23 days from January 24 – February 15. The 2017 AJFF will present a record number 202 screenings, including 75 films from 24 countries, at multiple venues in Atlanta. In keeping with AJFF’s mission to generate community dialogue through film, festival screenings include post-film Q&A conversation with filmmakers, actors, academics and other experts, creating a larger experience beyond a traditional movie outing.

AJFF’s Opening Night film is the moving “Alone in Berlin,” which is based on a true story of grieving parents (Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleeson) driven by the loss of their son to resist the Nazi regime.

The festival features many World, North American, U.S. and Southeast premieres including the gripping story of survival and rescue “Across the Waters,” a North American Premiere; the tender coming of age drama “The Children of Chance,” a North American Premiere; the timely and cautionary tale of nationalism and demagoguery “Forever Pure,” a U.S. Premiere; and short film “Schube Strong,” a World Premiere featuring a resilient Atlanta, Ga., family and their courageous battle with cancer, and the generational effects of a genetic gene mutation.

To find out more about the full lineup, check out their official website.

Other Announcements

– South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals (taking place March 10 – 19) has announced its next batch of Featured Speakers for the 2017 event, including “Game of Thrones” co-creators and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, CNN political commentator Van Jones, organizational author Marie “KonMarie” Kondo, futurist Ray Kurzweil, SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan and more. Once again showcasing the creative cross-collaboration SXSW is known for, these speakers are leaders in the tech, film, television, business, literature, government and journalism fields.

SXSW Conference programming is organized into 24 Tracks divided between Interactive, Film, Music, and Convergence, presented in a variety of session formats.

To find out more about the existing lineup, check out their official website.

Submissions and Guidelines

– The Nantucket Film Festival has announced its new submission dates. Check out their informational flier below.

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