Judges Bring Impressive Experience to 2020 SGFF

February 27, 2020

VALDOSTA, GA – Along with the films and panels, the South Georgia Film Festival (SGFF) is bringing film professionals to judge this year’s competitive films. With judges from across the state and the nation, the quality of eyes on this year’s films is impressive.

Some of our visiting filmmakers will also be helping judge films. Brent Simond will be screening his documentary about the country music singer Verlon Thompson, “Sweet Dreams Do Come True,” as well as holding a panel about how he raised the money for the films’ music rights. Simond is a professor at Illinois State University and will be that expertise as a judge.

The forces behind Film Impact Georgia, Molly Coffee and Melissa Simpson, return this year as both panelists and judges. Coffee, a native of Brooks County, has been creating works through her Zombie Cat productions, such animations, puppetry, and set design. Simpson, a graduate of North Georgia, has extensive production and festival experience, most recently with the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. The two will be talking about Film Impact Georgia’s role in preserving local filmmaking in the state with such projects as their bi-annual film grant during the panel on Saturday, March 7.

Award-winning filmmaker and artist, Jeff Shipman, will be joining the SGFF for the first time. With experience shooting music videos and documentaries, Shipman is a Georgia State University graduate.

Coming down from the Mid-Georgia, Tabitha Walker has been in the film and video production industry for the last two decades, along with currently serving as programmer for the Macon Film Festival. Walkers’ Big Hair Productions has worked on corporate videos, network and cable television, and along film productions of various sizes.

John Bring, Valdosta State University alum and writer for the TV show “Supernatural,” won’t be attending the festival in person, but will be serving as a judge as they complete production on his TV show. Bring has vast experience in movie production from being a director, actor, and production assistant on hit TV Shows and independent horror films.

Other VSU alums participating as judges including Ryan Adams from Tift Regional Hospital, Dynasty Tennison with Black News Channel, Marcus McConico of Channel 17, and Christine Jones.

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 Odum Library auditorium this year, located beside the Student Union. Over the three days, visitors can park at both the Oak Street Parking Deck and the University Center parking lot. With numerous panels and screenings across both locations, attendees will find plenty to do.

Returning sponsors to the festival include Georgia Power, Georgia Beer Company, the Georgia Council for the Arts, Valdosta State University, Wild Adventures, the Turner Center for the Arts, Valdosta Main Street, the Valdosta Daily Times, Ashley Street Station, the City of Valdosta, the Williams Hotel Group, and MUBI.

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 Richard Baxter to discuss Columbus, GA new tax incentives for film, Brent Simond of Illinois State University to discuss crowdfunding his documentary on country music, the Georgia Production Partnership’s South Regional meeting, and much more.

Passes to this year’s festival are currently available. The All Access VIP pass, which includes a t-shirt and access to the VIP areas 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 to all screenings and panels.

For more information on the South Georgia Film Festival, visit SouthGeorgiaFilm.com or contact Prof. Jason Brown at 229-219-1298 or jasonebrown@valdosta.edu.

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