2023 Atlanta Film Festival Reveals Full Lineup of Films

Written by Matt Rodriguez

The Atlanta Film Society has revealed the full lineup of 155 creative works that make up the 2023 Atlanta Film Festival. The film festival kicks off Friday, April 21th with the opening night presentation of Nida Manzoor’s action comedy Polite Society at the Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, GA. For 10 days, the festival will showcase 40 feature films, 84 short films, and 27 creative media selections, across both in person and virtual screenings and events.

“We are thrilled to return for our 47th annual festival with both an in-person and virtual format, allowing our films and content to be more accessible than ever,” said Christopher Escobar, Executive Director of the Atlanta Film Festival. “This year’s lineup is once again full of unique programming from a variety of diverse voices from the local Atlanta community and around the world. We can’t wait to welcome audiences back this April.”

This year’s festival includes 17 marquee screenings outlined below that showcase some of the best talent Hollywood has to offer on the independent scene. The full list of films and schedule of events can be found at www.atlantafilmfestival.com. Tickets to individual screenings as well as badges for the entire festival are available for purchase.

The 2023 Atlanta Film Festival runs from April 20 – April 30, 2023.

directed by Eddie Alcazar
United States // 2023 // English // 88 min

Executive produced by Steven Soderbergh and starring Stephen Dorff, DIVINITY is set in an otherworldly human existence, where the creation of a ground-breaking immortality serum named “Divinity” is wreaking havoc. Jaxxon Pierce, the creator’s son (Dorff), now controls and manufactures his father’s once-benevolent dream, and society on the barren planet has been entirely perverted by the supremacy of the drug. When two mysterious brothers arrive with a plan to abduct Pierce with the help of a seductive woman named Nikita, they will all be set hurtling toward true immortality.

Final Cut
directed by Michel Hazanavicius
France // 2022 // French // 111 min

Final Cut follows a director (Duris) making a live, single-take, low-budget zombie movie in which the cast and crew, one by one, actually turn into zombies. More blood-soaked high farce than horror, the film revels in its affectionate embrace of goofy genre fun. Academy Award-winning director Michael Hazanavicius (THE ARTIST) pulls off the improbable, a French-language remake of Shin’ichirô Ueda’s cult hit One Cut of the Dead that milks the film’s hilarious and meta-to-the-max premise for all it’s worth, while also crafting a sly love letter to the art of filmmaking.

Little Brother
directed by Sheridan O’Donnell
United States  // 2023 // English // 94 min

Jake and his brother Pete pile into a busted-up van, headed from Albuquerque to Seattle. Pete has just attempted suicide for the umpteenth time and his concerned parents have recruited Jake to drive Pete home for a family intervention. The brothers are at once uneasy friends and sworn rivals; they’re not just oil and water, they’re fire and gasoline. And now they’ve got 1,400 miles to go and nowhere to hide.

Master Gardener
directed by Paul Schrader
United States // 2022 // English // 107 min

Narvel Roth is the meticulous horticulturist of Gracewood Gardens, a beautiful estate owned by wealthy dowager Mrs. Haverhill. When she orders Roth to take on her troubled great-niece Maya as his apprentice, his life is thrown into chaos and dark secrets from his past emerge. A new film by master writer & director Paul Schrader (FIRST REFORMED, TAXI DRIVER).

Medusa Deluxe
directed by Thomas Hardiman
United Kingdom // 2022 // English // 101 min

MEDUSA DELUXE is a murder mystery set in a competitive hairdressing competition. Extravagance and excess collide, as the death of one of their own sows seeds of division in a community whose passion for hair verges on obsession.

Party Girl
directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer
United States // 1995 // English // 94 min

Plazadrome is a monthly film screening partnership between the Plaza Theatre and Videodrome, Atlanta’s last video store, where Videodrome employees bring store favorites and cinematic curiosities to the big screen. This month’s selection is the Atlanta premiere screening of a brand-new restoration of PARTY GIRL, director Daisey von Scherler Mayer’s 1995 Manhattan cult comedy starring the sublime Parker Posey. Co-hosted by Fun City Editions, who commissioned and oversaw the restoration, this event will feature a Q&A with Fun City founder Jonathan Hertzberg and Millie De Chirico, local film programmer, writer, historian, and host of the weekly film podcast I Saw What You Did.  

directed by Ira Sachs
France // 2023 // English, French // 91 min

In contemporary Paris, German filmmaker Tomas (Franz Rogowski, A HIDDEN LIFE, I WAS AT HOME, BUT…) embraces his sexuality through a torrid love affair with a young woman named Agathe (Adèle Exarchopoulos, MANDIBLES, BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR), an impulse that blurs the lines which define his relationship with his husband, Martin (Ben Whishaw, THE LOBSTER, WOMEN TALKING). When Martin begins an extramarital affair of his own, he successfully gains back his husband’s attention while simultaneously unearthing Tomas’ jealousy. Grappling with contradicting emotions, Tomas must either embrace the confines of his marriage or come to terms with the relationship having run its course. A new film by indie mainstay Ira Sachs (LITTLE MEN, KEEP THE LIGHTS ON)

Polite Society
directed by Nida Manzoor
United Kingdom // 2023 // English // 103 min

Ria Khan believes that she must save her older sister Lena from her impending marriage. After enlisting her friends’ help, she attempts to pull off the most ambitious of all wedding heists, in the name of independence and sisterhood.

directed by Zachary Wigon
United States // 2022 // English // 96 min

Confined to a claustrophobic hotel room, the heir to a hotel empire (Christopher Abbott, POSSESSOR, GIRLS) and the dominatrix who has primed him for success (Margaret Qualley, ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD) become locked in a battle of wits and wills as he tries to end his relationship with her.

directed by Pietro Marcello
France, Italy, Germany, Russia // 2022 // French // 100 min

Pietro Marcello, one of contemporary cinema’s most versatile talents, follows his dramatic breakthrough Martin Eden with an enchanting period fable based on a beloved 1923 novel by Russian writer Alexander Grin. Beginning as the tale of a sensitive brute (Räphael Terry) who returns home from World War I to his rural French village to discover his wife has died and that he must take care of their baby daughter, Juliette, the film blossoms into a pastoral portrait of Juliette as a young woman (Juliette Jouan) reckoning with a local witch’s prophecy for her future and falling for the modern man (Louis Garrel) who literally drops from the sky. In his first film made in France, Marcello proves again he is as comfortable in the realm of folklore as he is in creative nonfiction, delicately interweaving realist drama, ethereal romance, and musical flights of fancy.

Showing Up
directed by Kelly Reichardt
United States // 2022 // English // 108 min

A sculptor preparing to open a new show must balance her creative life with the daily dramas of family and friends, in Kelly Reichardt’s vibrant and captivatingly funny portrait of art and craft. Stars Academy Award nominee Hong Chau (THE WHALE, THE MENU), André “André 3000” Benjamin of Outkast, and five-time Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams.

The Cow Who Sang a Song Into The Future
directed by Francisca Alegria
Chile // 2022 // Spanish // 98 min

A choir of creatures introduces a world delicately constructed by fantasy, mystery, and magical realism in Francisca Alegría’s poignant and stunning debut feature. It begins in a river in the south of Chile where fish are dying due to pollution from a nearby factory. Amid their floating bodies, long-deceased Magdalena (Mia Maestro, Frida, The Motorcycle Diaries) bubbles up to the surface gasping for air, bringing with her old wounds and a wave of family secrets. This shocking return sends her widowed husband into turmoil and prompts their daughter Cecilia to return home to the family’s dairy farm with her own children. Magdalena’s presence reverberates among her family, instigating fits of laughter and despair in equal measure with all but Cecilia’s eldest child, who finds much-needed comfort in their grandmother’s love and unconditional understanding during a time of transition. A lyrical rumination on family, nature, renewal, and resurrection, The Cow Who Sang A Song Into The Future is an ambitious proposal for acceptance and healing, suggesting that the dead return when they are most needed.

Being Mary Tyler Moore
directed by James Adolphus
United States // 2023 // English // 119 min

With unprecedented access to Mary Tyler Moore’s vast archive, Being Mary Tyler Moore chronicles the screen icon whose storied career spanned sixty years. Weaving Moore’s personal narrative with the beats of her professional accomplishments, the film highlights her groundbreaking roles and the indelible impact she had on generations of women who came after her.

Judy Blume Forever
directed by Davina Pardo, Leah Wolchok
United States // 2023 // English // 97 min

Judy Blume and the generations of readers who have sparked to her work. It will examine her impact on pop culture and the occasional controversies over her frankness about puberty and sex.

Kokomo City
directed by D. Smith
United States // 2023 // English  // 73 min

A raw depiction of the lives of four black trans sex workers as they confront the dichotomy between the black community and themselves.

My Last Nerve
directed by Adam LaBrie
USA // 2023 // English  // 90 min

Fueled by his fathers torturous disease, a son stakes his scientific career on a new cure that could change how we treat pain.

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie
directed by Davis Guggenheim
United States // 2023 // English // 95 min

Incorporating  documentary, archival and scripted elements, STILL recounts Michael J. Fox’s extraordinary story in his own words — the improbable tale of an undersized kid from a Canadian army base who rose to the heights of stardom in 1980s Hollywood. The account of Fox’s public life, full of nostalgic thrills and cinematic gloss, unspools alongside his never-before-seen private journey, including the years that followed his diagnosis, at 29, with Parkinson’s disease. Intimate and honest, and produced with unprecedented access to Fox and his family, STILL chronicles Fox’s personal and professional triumphs and travails, and explores what happens when an incurable optimist confronts an incurable disease.

About the author

Matt Rodriguez

Owner and Chief Editor of Shakefire.