Producer and entrepreneur Autumn Bailey is a tireless advocate for the "little people" who make up the Georgia Entertainment Industry.
In addition to furnishing networking opportunities for up-and-comers to meet and mingle with professionals in Georgia's booming film and television industry in a relaxing and fun environment at the immensely popular monthly mixer called Get Connected, serving as the Director of Panels at the Peachtree Village International Film Festival where experience professionals share their expertise with aspiring filmmakers, and managing Autumn Bailey Entertainment, where she produces documentaries, shorts, features and unscripted television shows, Autumn is the driving force behind the newest event on Georgia's social calendar: The Georgia Entertainment Gala, described as a "night of immaculate elegance showcasing the immense talent that Georgia has to offer in the entertainment industry...an awards ceremony created to honor the excellence of Georgia's film and music industry professionals, live entertainment, and the world's most tantalizing complimentary cocktails and hors d'oeuvres."
1. What is the Georgia Entertainment Gala? How does this fit into your other networking projects ?
This Gala is designed to bring the Georgia Entertainment Industry out for a night of entertainment and fun. I love the indie community and I feel we are all one part of one giant industry family. I see so many folks doing amazing work that never get recognized. So many people contribute to the success we are experiencing in the state.
When the Georgia World Congress Center approached me about producing an event, I said "Why not an upscale event that shines the spotlight on folks who support production and entertainment in Georgia?"
In some ways, this is the logical extension of Get Connected. Were it not for the monthly event, there would not be a Gala. Get Connected is the mother of the Georgia Entertainment Gala.
Also, the Gala is an opportunity to give back to the community. The event is a fundraiser to benefit the art program of Bethune Elementary School, a Title-One school located in downtown Atlanta's "Vine City." It is a predominately African-American school, which encourages students to strive for academic excellence. The art program uses a Discipline Based Art Education (DBAE) that enriches students' learning by connecting art concepts to core subjects that incorporate history, aesthetics, art criticism and production.
2. How to you answer those who believe we don't need another awards show? What will set the GEG apart? What can the audience expect, in other words, why should someone pony up the cash to attend this event?
I agree. There are too many awards shows. That said, there has never been a show that focuses on the indie community in Georgia. We are celebrating the "little people" as folks with big names do not get the props they deserve. We are showcasing up-and-comers who aren't household names...yet. But they could be the next Will Packer, Tyler Perry, or Ted Turner.
We are also showcasing a few folks who already have a big name, just to say "thank you for helping us move ahead."
I hope the Gala will bring everybody together.
3. Who are some of the nominees? What was the nomination process, and how are the winners determined? (Disclosure: I was invited to submit a list of nominees for consideration.)
We have nominees from all backgrounds. To nominate candidates, we reached out to folks from all kinds of backgrounds inside the entertainment industry and a few in the business world. Winners will be determined by a host committee who will vote for the winner in each category.
The complete list is on our Facebook page:
Outstanding Achievement Award
Della Cole & Bob Harter, Co-Owners & Instructors At Your ACT Acting Classes (Atlanta)
Ken Feinberg, Director Creative Studios of Atlanta (Atlanta)
Brigitta Hangartner, Humanitarian (Athens)
Brian Poe, Attorney (Atlanta)
Georgia Entertainment Industry People to Watch Award
Danny Williams, Actor (Atlanta)
James Kicklighter, Director (Savannah)
Nicole Lyons, Producer/Professional Race Car Driver (Atlanta)
Jackie Carpenter, Writer (Atlanta)
Georgia Best Actor Award
Brad James, Actor (Atlanta)
Rhoda Griffis, Actress (Atlanta)
Jeff Rose, Actor (Atlanta)
Alpha Trivette, Actor (Atlanta)
Georgia Rising Star Award
Al G Sillah, Director (Atlanta)
Kristin Wright, Writer (Atlanta)
Candace Mabry, Actress (Atlanta)
Clive Bailey, Casting Director (Atlanta)
Georgia Best Independent Award (Film, Short, Web Series)
Tabari Sturdivant, Director/Writer/Producer (Atlanta)
Harry Musselwhite, Director/Writer/Producer (Atlanta)
Donnie Leapheart, Director/Writer/Producer (Atlanta)
Georgia Community Leader Award Georgia
Akoyka Chenzira, Teacher/Filmmaker (Atlanta)
Mark Ezra Stokes, Community Liaison (Savannah)
Macon Film Festival Board
Nate Kohn Professor, Filmmaker, (Athens)
Matt Still, Record Producer (Atlanta)
Jazze Pha, Record Producer (Atlanta)
Rasheeda, Rapper (Atlanta)
Angie Aparo, Singer, Songwriter (Atlanta)
Georgia Soul Council, Band (Atlanta)
STUDIO 11-11-11 BEST SHORT Film Award
The Chronicles of Nathan Gregory
Boost of Love
Georgia Entertainment Industry Outstanding Contribution to the Award (Winners)
Clayton County Film, Sports & Entertainment Office
Zac Brown, Band
Georgia Highlight Award (Winners) - Sponsored by Audi
Joy Pervis, Agent
Catherine Brewton, Music Executive
Joel Katz, Attorney
Ian Somerhalder, Actor
4. Tell us about the event hosts.
Sarah Wayne Callies is best known for her roles as Sara Tancredi in the Fox television series "Prison Break" and Lori Grimes in Georgia-shot "The Walking Dead." Brian White is an American Actor best known in features like Brick, Stomp the Yard, Cabin in the Woods, and a variety of Tyler Perry projects including Good Deeds.
5. Things have never been better economically for the production industry in Georgia. So many local filmmakers still feel like outsiders. How can they get a piece of the action?
What I have been trying to do with Get Connected is allow filmmakers an outlet to showcase their work and also seek funding to help them take their dreams to the next level.
Get Connected has helped many filmmakers submit their films to festivals al over the world. We funded our first short film (Red by Kristin Wright & Jeff Shipman) that just got officially selected at Macon film festival. Our goal is to educate filmmakers and offer assistance so that they will not feel like outsiders.
In the new year starting in March, Get Connected will be at a new venue that will allow us to have more guest speakers and hands-on training to help filmmakers move ahead.
6. What drives your involvement in so many projects? What inspires you? What is your philosophy?
I am an Indie filmmaker and a business woman. I am part owner of an online Indie website like called www.iflixtv.com. It's like Netflix and we give filmmakers a distribution outlet to showcase their films.
I am also in the process of opening a theater in Africa that will showcase indie films and other studio films.
I am inspired by helping the people because I feel we are often overlooked. We have dreams and goals just like the next person. I am happy when somebody says they got a job or found their crew or a project got funded. That keeps me going and pushes me to keep doing Get Connected.
My philosophy is we are one industry family. If we come as one we can do so much to all rise to the top. At the same time, with GOD's will, all things are possible.
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