The 2023 Atlanta Film Festival + Creative Conference (ATLFF), founded in 1976 and operated by the Atlanta Film Society, celebrated its 47th edition. Combining Hollywood and independent films, it featured a total of 115 creative works (from nearly 10,000 submissions).
The final lineup of 40 feature-length films, 84 short films, and 27 creative media selections revealed the festival’s efforts to represent diversity. Of these selections, 49% are directed by filmmakers who identify as female or non-binary, and 47% are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC). The festival includes five specialty tracks: New Mavericks, celebrating film from female and gender non-conforming directors and leads; ¡CineMás!, focusing on Latin American culture; Noire, uplifting Black filmmakers, Pink Peach, featuring films with LGBTQ stories and characters, and Georgia Films, highlighting productions with ties to the state of Georgia.
In 2023, Latinx film was represented with 16 movies. From these, only two were long-format films, produced in the United States, and both were documentaries. “JessZilla” (2023), directed by Emily Sheskin, tells the story of Jesselyn Silva, a 15-year-old girl from New Jersey, who is a national boxing champion aspiring to reach the cusp when she faces a cancer diagnosis. In “Silent Beauty” (2022), director Jasmin Mara López tells her story of childhood sexual abuse and the process of healing.
The remaining 14 short films (mostly documentaries) included the representation of three Latin American countries: “Blue” (Mexico), “Cristo Negro” (Panama), “I Seek Your Help to Bury a Man” (Brazil). Access the complete list of ATLFF’s Latinx films here.