Organizers, filmmakers ‘thrilled’ with ninth Macon Film Festival

alopez@macon.comMarch 2, 2014 

Diane Bou-Chedid, a visiting filmmaker from Byblos, Lebanon, embraced Dolan Maples, a 20-year Macon resident, Sunday afternoon.

Maples watched Bou-Chedid’s film, “Echoes,” and she spent several days in Macon along with dozens of other out-of-town filmmakers.

“It’s just so neat to meet all these people,” said Maples, a Macon Film Festival volunteer who manned the entrance at the Cox Capitol Theatre.

The ninth annual Macon Film Festival came to a close Sunday night with the screening of the Oscar-nominated feature, “Nebraska,” which was up for Best Picture at the 86th Academy Awards.

Macon Film Festival organizers said more people attended screenings this year than last year, but more importantly, connections among filmmakers were made and Macon was showcased in a positive light.

“I think it’s been our best one to date,” said Terrell Sandefur, president of the Macon Film Festival. “I’m thrilled.”

Sandefur met with actor Matthew Modine at the Marketplace Cafe downtown Sunday afternoon, and he said Modine is interested in filming in Macon.

“He’s been very complimentary,” Sandefur said. “He’s been doing some site locations while he’s here, and that would be incredible to have him come back to do a film after he’s experienced what the film festival has to offer.”

Festival awards were presented Saturday night. “Tu Seras Un Homme,” a French film, won Best in Show.

Best Music Documentary went to “When My Sorrow Died: The Legend of Armen Ra & The Theramin.”

“It feels good,“ said Robert Nazar Arjoyan, the film’s director. “It’s just a nice additional validation that people dig the movie.”

Arjoyan said the Macon Film Festival is tied with the Toronto Pomegranate Film Festival as the best he’s ever visited.

“I like Macon a lot,” Arjoyan said, “it’s very fun, very filmmaker friendly,”

“It’s very peaceful, quiet, beautiful,” Bou-Chedid said.

Her film won the festival award for Best Student Short. She said she would like to return next year, even just to volunteer if she has nothing to screen.

“A part of me is going to stay here,” Bou-Chedid said.

To contact writer Andres David Lopez, call 477-4382.

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