By Peter Knegt | Indiewire March 11, 2010 at 11:41AM
The 2010 Atlanta Film Festival has announced its programming lineup, with the fest opening on April 15, 2010 with Stanley Nelson's "Freedom Riders" and closing on Friday April 23, 2010 with the Southeastern premiere of Barr Weissman's "The Secret to a Happy Ending." The seven days in between will present over 150 independent, international short, classic, documentary and animated films are show cased at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, surrounded by a host of daily conversations, celebrations, educational demos and receptions.
Following in the footsteps of strong topical opening night films like "The People Speak" (2009) and "The Lena Baker Story" (2008), the 2010 Atlanta Film Festival will - as aforementioned - open with "Freedom Riders," the story of the historic 1961 Freedom Rides. Nearly 50 years after dozens of college students, both black and white, boarded two buses and risked their lives to challenge Jim Crow's stranglehold on the South and to push a nation to act, "Riders" presents "an account of our nation's conscience awakened by the daring actions of a brave few." Filmmaker Stanley Nelson and noted participants in the Civil Rights movement will be in attendance.
Closing the 2010 Atlanta Film Festival on Friday, April 23, 2010 at the 14th Street Playhouse will be a screening of the documentary "The Secret to a Happy Ending," featuring Athens, Georgia-based band Drive-by Truckers.
"Watching 'Secret to a Happy Ending,' it's clear that the Drive-By Truckers' music, so rich in Southern history and culture, is the perfect manifestation of the Atlanta Film Festival's mission to lead the community in creative and cultural discovery through the moving image," said Atlanta Film Festival 365 Executive Director Gabe Wardell in a statement. "We're all moved by the power of stories." he continued, "Closing with 'Secret to a Happy Ending' allows us to punctuate the southern storytelling tradition with a distinctive Georgia flair."
Director Barr Weissman will be joined on-stage by Drive-By Truckers Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley and Brad Morgan.
For a complete list of the festival's lineup, visit their website.