Organizers of the Skyline Film Festival have just finished preparing to hold their event for the second year. Beginning May 19 at the University of North Georgia’s Gainesville campus, the festival is headed by executive directors and film majors Tatianna Pangle and Melissa Simpson. The three-day event will showcase shorts, music videos and feature films from filmmakers of all skill levels from around the world.
The films were selected by a team of UNG student and faculty volunteers, which now exceeds 50 people. By submissions alone, the festival has grown exponentially since its inception in 2016. As of March 28, the organizers received 3,099 submissions from 113 countries. While some of the films have been recognized by other festivals, many of them are from up-and-coming filmmakers who may have never submitted to a festival before.
“No matter their level of experience, we take every submission seriously,” Pangle said.
Preparations for the event began in October 2016 with plans to build on the first year’s festival by adding workshops and panels by industry officials. As the festival grew, the number of volunteers also grew.
Due to Skyline having such a dedicated group of student volunteers, the festival has garnered industry attention it may not have gotten otherwise.
“The Skyline International Film Festival may be run by students, but that doesn’t mean there is any less ambition, drive and passion than other film festivals. We have gained partnerships with festivals all over Georgia because they see that passion in our student volunteers,” Pangle said.
The festival starts with the screening of “American Zealot,” a Kickstarter-funded crime drama, followed by a Q&A with its director, James Mackenzie.
The entire Skyline crew expect the festival to be a success.
“With the Georgia film industry rapidly growing, we hope that the Skyline International Film Festival will help put [the University of] North Georgia on the map,” Simpson said.