48 or so hours into my trip to Atlanta to partake in the Atlanta International Film Festival, I have completed duties as both a jurist and a panelist. A first time experience on both ends, I am grateful to have had such a cherry popped within the warm arms of Atlanta’s southern hospitality. My time in the U.S. South is limited to Florida-with-family vacations, so this trip was a first on that end is well. And I have to say – even if in just 2 days – I was pretty happy with the outcome: 27C (80F?) temperatures that make going back to Montreal extremely unappealing; $3 packs of cigarettes, and the ability to smoke said cigarettes in bars; friendly faces pretty much everywhere that didn’t at all come across as film-festival-pseudo-hospitality (not to judge that, as I’ve exhibited it myself when on the other side of the fence); and, lastly but (not?) leastly, late night ventures to an (ironic?) strip club with a very mixed crowd celebrating a fifty-plus stripper named Blondie who likes to demonstrate her ability to crush beer cans with only her breasts.
On the actual film festival front, my screening time was limited (beyond the 40+ short films I saw for the jury duties), and I’ll save any energy regarding that for a dispatch on the main indiewire site next week. The actual jury deliberations were smooth (but, again, that’s all I’ll note as the awards won’t announced until next week), and my panel – which I just returned from – was not at all the disaster I expected it to be, in regard to myself and my public speaking capabilities that is, so I’d say Atlanta was a success.
I also ventured off into the city itself, and I’ll save those observations for a photo post when I return to the land of as-yet-unmelted snow. Until then, I’m off to enjoy my last night in the south.