Thursday, August 23, 2012

Film In Chattanooga

Despite Chattanooga's powerhouse arts scene, film was overlooked for years. That is changing, however, and Chattanooga is developing an exciting film community. The Chattanooga Pulse recently ran an article covering some of the great options in Chattanooga, including:

Chattanooga State Professional Film and Television Program, "The only film program in the area that focuses on hands-on training for students interested in working in film" and geared towards preparing local professionals to work on the increasing number of projects Hollywood is bringing to the South.

Chattamovies is best described by "
Founder Jimmy Lee as 'a group of movie makers that have our own individual projects going on [that] work as a group, too. The two main goals of the group are for people to network and find other people to help them make something.'”

Mise En Scenesters which Pulse writer John Devore as his "personal favorite Chattanooga film group" With screenings that are "frequently quirky and strange, always containing films Chattanooga never gets to see, and the entire event is more entertaining than a typical night at the movies by a factor of 50." It also hopes to open an art house movie theater in Chattanooga, as it currently works on a pop up model for its regular showings.

We would add a few items to the list of great film opportunities in Chattanooga:

MES founder Chris Dortch at a summer screening
There have been several small film festivals in town to celebrate the achievements of local film makers. In April 2012 The Broad Street Film Festival focused on the works of students at Bryan College, Covenant College, UT at Chattanooga, Southern Adventist University and Chattanooga State. Lee University hosts an annual film festival featuring its students' short films. 

The Back Row Film Series, promoted by the Arts and Education Council is a "multi-venue, innovative series of film screenings and panel discussions, designed to promote awareness, conversation and debate about a variety of issues affecting our community."

For years, the Arts and Education Council has also hosted a twice-a-year an independent film series in coordination with the downtown Carmike Majestic theater. The show "a new film each week for 12 weeks The Spring Series runs from January through April, and the Fall Series runs from September through November."

Chattanooga Film Society's standing room-only showing of "Reel Old School,"
a documentary by local film makers John Cotton and Bradey Effler

The Shaking Ray Levi Society is one of Chattanooga's longest-running organizations with film initiatives, started in 1986 as "a collective-run non-profit that supports, produces and presents diverse genres of music, film and performance art through festivals, recordings and the Internet. The SRLS is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of non-traditional artists and arts advocates who will continue to challenge local audiences and enhance the cultural growth of Chattanooga, Tennessee."

And of course, any list about Chattanooga would be incomplete without mentioning the Chattanooga Film Society, a nonprofit founded in 2009 that "promotes professional film and television production across the region, supports independent filmmaking locally, coordinates local film education efforts, and is currently working on the launch of a major destination film festival in Chattanooga."

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