Filmmakers from across the country and around the world will arrive March 20-29 for the annual Atlanta Film Festival.

The event brings together critically acclaimed actors, filmmakers and professionals in the film industry to watch movies, attend red carpet events and to network. The festival has taken place since 1976, and has been based in a variety of venues and theaters in town, including the Midtown Art Cinema and Eyedrum. For the past two years the festival has been hosted by Plaza Theater and at 7 Stages in Little Five Points.

The Atlanta Film Festival is a membership-based nonprofit arts organization, and the festival seeks to encourage the community to think creatively and constructively through and about film. They offer year round events such as screenings, panels, parties and workshops to filmmakers and film-lovers alike.

Not only does the festival provide a unique opportunity for meeting influential creatives in the film industry, but it also serves as an introduction to Atlanta for many people who have never visited before, and encourages new projects and productions in the city. The festival is one of the largest and longest running film festivals in the nation, bringing in an audience of over 25,000 annually. The selections include independent films, documentaries, animations and short films.

The 2015 festival will feature over two dozen films with ties to Georgia. Included among the films and shorts are works by Anna Spence, Raymond Carr, Jiyoung Lee, Jef Bredemeier, and Plaza’s own Brandon Delaney and others.

Here, we have compiled a list of 10 Featured Films that we think you’ll enjoy. For a comprehensive lineup and to find out more about tickets and passes, go to atlantafilmfestival.com and facebook.com/atlantafilmfestival.

Hope to see you there!

Old South

Old South
In a historically black neighborhood in Athens, Georgia, a college fraternity traditionally known to fly a confederate flag moves in and establishes their presence by staging an antebellum style parade. The documentary follows the neighborhood struggle over three years, while both communities fight to preserve their historical legacies against an evolving cultural backdrop in the South—and the nation as a whole. Director: Danielle Beverly USA, 2015, English, 54 minutes

Dante’s Down the Hatch

Dante’s Down the Hatch
Follow Dante as he closes one of Atlanta’s most magical landmark restaurants, Dante’s Down the Hatch. For 43 years, it was the only place you could dine inside an old pirate ship with live jazz while live crocodiles swam in a moat beneath your feet. Many people chose to make this place a tradition with birthdays, marriage proposals and anniversaries. See why it lasted so long and how it touched so many lives. Director: Jef Bredemeier. USA, 2015, English, 91 minutes

The Long Start to the Journey

The Long Start to the Journey
“The Long Start to the Journey” follows filmmaker Chris Gallaway on his personal attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail and to learn what the trail means to individuals he meets along the way. This is a personal story of struggle and perseverance as well as a historical account of the origins and cultural relevance of the Appalachian Trail. Director: Chris Gallaway. USA, 2015, English, 70 minutes

Frame by Frame

Frame By Frame
“Frame by Frame” is a feature-length documentary that follows four Afghan photojournalists navigating a young and dangerous media landscape. Through cinema verité, powerful photojournalism, and archival footage shot in secret during the Taliban, the film reveals a struggle to capture the truth. Directors: Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli. USA/Afghanistan, 2015, English/Dari, 85 minutes

Big Charity

Big Charity: The Death of America’s Oldest Hospital
One of the casualties of Hurricane Katrina was the abandonment of Charity Hospital, New Orleans’ 300-year-old medical facility that tended to its population regardless of one’s ability to pay. Glustrom’s film delves into the hospital’s history, including those days after the hurricane hit when the government failed to act. It also presents us with harsh realities regarding the death of public medicine in America. Director: Alexander Glustrom. USA, 2014, English, 64 minutes

While We’re Young

While We’re Young
Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts play married fortysomethings in Noah Baumbach’s latest coming-of-middle-age story. After befriending Darby and Jamie (Amanda Seyfried, Adam Driver), a young and unpredictable Brooklynite-couple, Josh and Cornelia find their marriage and careers upended as they struggle to evaluate the importance of acting their age. Director: Noah Baumbach. USA, 2014, English, 97 minutes

The Keeping Room

The Keeping Room
After their father and brother leave to fight in the Civil War, sisters Augusta and Louise (Brit Marling and Hailee Steinfeld) and their slave, Mad, are left to tend to their homestead alone. When two rogue, drunken Union soldiers come looking for trouble, the women must defend themselves as General Sherman’s march quickly approaches. “The Keeping Room” rips genre and gender conventions apart in its showcase of three powerful and resilient southern women. Director: Daniel Barber. USA, 2014, English, 95 minutes

Montedoro

Montedoro
A rich middle aged American woman (Pia Marie Mann) unexpectedly discovers her true origin after her parents have died. Deeply moved, in the midst of an identity crisis, she decides to travel, hoping to find the natural mother she has never known. She goes to a small and remote place in the south of Italy, Montedoro. She finds an apocalyptic scene when she gets there: the village, resting on a majestic hill, is abandoned and nobody seems to live there anymore. Director: Antonello Faretta. Italy, 2015, Italian/English, 88 minutes

Love and Mercy

Love and Mercy
The life of reclusive Beach Boys songwriter and musician Brian Wilson (played by Paul Dano and John Cusack), from his successes with highly-influential orchestral pop albums to his nervous breakdown and subsequent encounter with controversial therapist Dr. Eugene Landy. Director: Bill Pohlad. USA, 2014, English, 120 minutes

Isadora Pennington

Isadora Pennington is a writer and photographer based in Atlanta.