Indie filmmakers, festivals benefiting from Georgia’s thriving film industry

Out on Film is one of only two Oscar-qualifying LGBTQ film festivals in the country and six in the world.
Out on Film Festival
Out on Film Festival(Jim Farmer)
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 3:58 PM CDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Georgia’s thriving film industry is having a positive impact on independent filmmakers and the festivals that showcase their work.

As the director Out on Film, Jim Farmer has seen first-hand the benefits of Georgia’s thriving film industry.

“It’s really taken off,” said Farmer about the film festival. “Every year it seems like the submissions double. This year, we’re considering close to 1000 films.”

Out on Film is one of only two Oscar-qualifying LGBTQ film festivals in the country and six in the world. Now in its 35th year, the Atlanta-based festival has grown from 7 days to 11 with 150 films featured.

“I remember roughly about 10 years ago, I tried to pull together a group of LGBTQ filmmakers just for a panel discussion, and I had three people,” Farmer recalled. “I was like, ‘Wow.’ And now I mean, it’s grown so much.”

Farmer said part of his organization’s mission is to attract filmmakers to the metro.

“They’ve loved their experience at the festival,” he added. “They’ve loved Atlanta, and they decided to shoot their next projects here. Some of those people have moved here.”

Daresha Kyi, whose documentary ‘Mama Bears’ will be featured during this year’s upcoming festival, moved to Atlanta from New York five years ago, mostly for a better quality of life. However, she says the state’s booming film industry was an added bonus.

“It’s great to have resources to call upon and say, ‘Hey, do you have a good sound person? Hey, I’m my PA is sick, do you have somebody who could step in today,’” Kyi said. “Whatever it is.”

They’re relationships that compliment different sides of filmmaking

“The industry is great for film festivals because you know, it brings us more filmmakers,” said Farmer. “It’s great for Georgia. It’s great for the community, and filmmakers love being here.”

The 35th anniversary of Out on Film festival is Sept. 22 through Oct. 2. Many of the films will be shown at Midtown’s Landmark Theatres Art Cinema.