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Big screen expansion 

Atlanta Film and Video Festival doubled attendance in 2001

The sprawling, stadium-seated Regal Cinemas Hollywood 24 doesn't immediately summon images of edgy, independent film, but the suburban megaplex proved to be an auspicious setting for the 25th annual Atlanta Film and Video Festival.

Produced by IMAGE Film & Video Center, the festival doubled attendance from last year, bringing in 13,000 moviegoers. Although the number of films in the fest only increased slightly, festival director Genevieve McGillicuddy says the spike in attendance has to do with more screenings and larger venues like Regal Cinemas Hollywood 24.

"It was little bit of a gamble because we were definitely making the festival a lot bigger than it had been before by having 160 films, doing a lot of multiple screening, and having an intown venue like 7 Stages," she says.

Other venues included the High Museum's Rich Auditorium, the Carter Center, eleven50 and Lefont Garden Hills Cinema.

The festival also kept its batting average high for attracting films that went on to greater buzz. The week kicked off with a screening of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, an indie hit doubtlessly bound for cult status. Other highlights of the fest included the Atlanta premiere of The Journey and the second annual Digital Side-bar, a forum on the impacts of digital media on filmmaking. Event producers also saw a spike in submissions from local filmmakers -- 39 works by Georgia artists were included in the festival.

IMAGE is currently accepting submissions for the 2002 Atlanta Film and Video Festival. Deadline for submission is Feb. 2. For info, see www.imagefv.org.

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