Submissions Opening for 2024 South Georgia Film Festival

April 5, 2023

VALDOSTA, GA – Filmmakers can begin submitting for the 2024 South Georgia Film Festival April 17. In preparation for the 8th Annual event, the festival will begin accepting submission via FilmFreeway for feature films, short films from professionals and students.

“Our festival depends on the amazing films and filmmakers sharing their work,” said Jason Brown, South Georgia Film Festival Director. “As the industry continues to grow here in Georgia, we are working to nurture those native and independent voices along with shining a light on how those in our community can be involved.”

To encourage more early submissions, feature films (anything over 50 minutes) are only $5 until August 4, and all shorts (professional, student, narrative, documentary) are free for the same period. Submission costs go up as the festival approaches, with the Early Deadline being September 30 and Regular Deadline Dec. 18, 2023. The submission page is

The festival has eight defined categories: Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Animated Short, Narrative Short, Documentary Short, Graduate Student, Undergraduate Student, and High School Aged Student. Along with awards in all of these categories, the South Georgia Film Festival also distributes other awards to recognize filmmakers’ hard work.

The 2023 festival concluded this past March with Costa Karalis’s film CHIPPED winning the award for Best in Fest. Karalis was part of a large contingent of filmmakers who graduated from Florida State University but now live in the Atlanta area. Filmmakers from as far as Nashville, TN and as near as Bemiss participated in the festival. Attendees discussed enjoying the variety of films, as well as the educational opportunities of the panels and the many networking opportunities.

After the festival, public voting determined the winner of the Best Poster competition, which went to Trinity Ansah and her film OVERCOME. Winners from around the world were recognized at the end of the festival. The festival maintains a presence on IMDB where the public can view a list past and present winners.

The 2024 South Georgia Film Festival will be held March 1, 2, & 3 in Valdosta, GA. Details will be released regarding participating panelists and filmmakers at

The South Georgia Film Festival is proudly sponsored by Georgia Power, Valdosta State University, South Georgia Studios, the Georgia Film Office, the Valdosta Mall, Wild Adventures Theme Park, Workhorse Cinema, VLPRA,, the City of Valdosta, and Film Impact Georgia.

For more information on the South Georgia Film Festival, visit or . Contact Prof. Jason Brown at 229-219-1298 or

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South Georgia Film Festival Announces Judges for 2019 Competition

South Georgia Film Festival Announces Judges for 2019 Competition

February 25, 2018

VALDOSTA, GA – Filled with local and regional media professionals, the South Georgia Film Festival announces the judges for this year’s 2019 expanded competition – including feature films and best in fest awards. This year’s judges include filmmakers Tara Ansley, Luke Pilgrim and Brad Kennedy of Sozo Bear Films, Brandi Nicole Payne of Seed & Spark, and many more.

This year’s South Georgia Film Festival judges will be looking at films in the categories of – Feature (movies over 45 minutes in length), High School (films made by filmmakers attending secondary schools or under the age of 18), College (films made by students attending a college or university), and Shorts (movies under 15 minutes made by professionals). Due to the influences of previous judges, this year a trophy will be awarded for Best in Fest, to the best film regardless of category.

Winners in each category will receive a trophy created by Harmon Awards in Valdosta, along with a day pass to Wild Adventures theme park and a Chromecast provided by streaming service MUBI. Winners in the High School and College categories will also be eligible for scholarships to Valdosta State University thanks to the University Admissions office.

Partially due to the increase in the number of films screened and attention to the festival, this year there will be thirteen judges. Along with the trophies, every year the judges have the freedom to recognize films with other awards, such as best actress, best production design, or best editing.

“We bring together a strong collection of professionals to survey our festival’s films,” Jason Brown, South Georgia Film Festival director said. “They find what’s exciting and worthy of recognition and we want to support that.”

This year’s judges run the gamut of professional experiences.  Filmmakers Brad Kennedy and Luke Pilgrim of Sozo Bear Films in Dahlonega, GA return to the South Georgia Film Festival for a second year to talk about how they use storytelling in their production work for business clients. Actress and filmmaker Brandi Nicole Payne will be serving as a judge this year. Payne works with the streaming platform Seed & Spark and will be giving a presentation on Crowdfunding, Saturday March 2. Tris Sicignano returns for a second year to the South Georgia Film Festival and will be on the Women in Media panel Friday, March 1. Tris’s work as the co-founder of SurgeTV has brought her in touch with thousands of media makers across the Southeast.

VSU’s own Terrell Sandefur returns after a year where he has expanded his presence in Georgia Film. As the Managing Director of, Terrell hosted the tremendously successful Georgie Film Industry party at the Sundance Film Festival for a second year in a row. Another returning Georgia filmmaker, Brantly Jackson continues to work as the Program and Outreach Manager for Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta and will be taking her latest film “Spoon” to festivals this Spring.

New to the South Georgia Film Festival is Melissa Simpson, the Executive Director of Film Impact Georgia, a non-profit designed to promote native filmmakers here in Georgia. Simpson is a graduate of the University of North Georgia and works with both the Atlanta Film Festival and Rome Film Festivals.

This year’s other judges include Professor Jeff Marker of the University of North Georgia, Prof. Chris Medjesky of University of Findlay, Event Coordinator and Film Programmer Charles Judson, along with local media personality Marcus McConico of Channel 17 and Jessica Ganas formerly of Red Door Records. The majority of judges will be attending the festival screening films or participating on panels.

Along with the judges able to attend the festival, numerous volunteer screeners helped choose which films appeared at this year’s event. This year’s screeners included TV Producer/Editor Robert Huntley, VSU’s Director of New Media Center Kyle Culpepper, local filmmaker Zane Ally, Alan Hancock College Associate Professor Chris Hite, PA Indie Shorts Film Festival Director Samantha Kolesnik, and filmmaker Justin Litton. Along with these professionals, the VSU student film festival organization run by Jennifer Rainer made their recommendations in the high school and short categories as well.

Festival screenings will take place at the VSU Student Union Theater at the corner of Baytree and North Oak Street. The festival added the use of the Mass Media Screening room, on the corner of Patterson and Brookwood. Over the three days, visitors can park at both the Oak Street Parking Deck and the University Center parking lot. With over a dozen panels and workshops across both locations, attendees will find plenty to do.

This year’s festival continues to connect with partners in the Valdosta community, including Valdosta State University, Georgia Power, Wild Adventures, the Turner Center for the Arts, WAITR, Valdosta Main Street, the Valdosta Daily Times, the City of Valdosta, Miss Kate’s Tours and Coca-Cola. Promoting entrepreneurship through filmmaking, the festival continues to promote the regional film industry with panelists discussing both the craft and industrial impact of film for local businesses. This year’s festival has also includes panelists Brandi Nicole Payne of Seed & Spark to discuss Crowdfunding, producer Tara Ansley, actor Ian Anderson, along with many others.

Passes to this year’s festival are currently available. The All Access VIP pass, which includes a t-shirt, access to the VIP areas, and a ticket to Thursday’s Georgia Production Partnership event costs $100. The Festival Pass which offers access to all screenings, panels and daily events are $40. Day Passes are $15 for all screenings and panels. Both High School and College students can get a free Day Pass with their school id. Tickets are available through the website.

For more information on the South Georgia Film Festival, visit or contact Prof. Jason Brown at 229-219-1298 or

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Luke Pilgrim (left) and Brad Kennedy (right) of Sozo Bear Films










Brandi Nicole Payne, filmmaker/Seed & Spark







Terrell Sandefur,





Brantly Jackson Watts, Filmmaker







Marcus McConico, host of City Focus on Channel 17




Films Selected for 2018 South Georgia Film Festival

With a great group of submissions this year, the South Georgia Film Festival has selected the following films for this year’s 2018 festival.

        High School
Beach Renourishment by Philip Ignatoff
Daydreamer by Kat Garrido
Enough is Enough by Michelle Espinoza
Global Dynamics: A Robot Doc by Derek Walker
One Year by Ashley Kramer
Operation Omega by Michaela Smoak
Straight Out of Money by Joshua Miller
Urban Lightning by Casey Boone
Utforska by Gabby Fiszman
Wrecked by Savanna Barrett

19 Years – The Story of Dick Rockey, Tom Odom and Valdosta State Football by David Johnson
Anime Weekend Atlanta 2017 by Jeska Bald
The First Month by Laura Holliday
The Glove by Levi Johnson
Headlock by John Dierre
Limit by Javad Daraei
The Prisoner’s Session by Max Steele
Rickey’s Story by Trey Leonard
Shut-In by Ryan Bryant

Alamo Downs by Chris Gierowski
All Skate, Everybody Skate by Nicole Triche
The Apology Service by Luke Pilgrim & Brad Kennedy
Birthday Cake by Brantly Jackson Watts
The Butcher by Kyle Taubken
Cursed World Problems by Chris Gierowski
Elvis and the Golden Ticket by Palmer Edward
Good Hair by Fray Forde & Catherine D Holly
Harm by Christian Argamasilla
Hide by Jason Kock
The Little Chapel by Richard Schertzer
Matthew’s Gift by Jon Watts
Sunnyside Drive by Luke Pilgrim & Brad Kennedy
Western Jubilee by Donna Guthrie


Feature Films

The 12 Lives of Sissy Carlyle by Fran Burst Terranella
Rodents of Unusual Size by Quinn Costello, Chris Metzler & Jeff Springer


Look for more information about panels and times in the coming days.