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Georgia Film Festival 2021


For the second consecutive year, The Georgia Film Festival presented by the University of North Georgia was held virtually.

Over the course of the weekend, the event held live watch parties for each of the films. However, those unable to watch in real-time will be able to have access to the archived films at their own pleasure until 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 11.

Several awards were handed out at the conclusion of the festival.

  • Best Georgia Short: Kamikaze directed by Esteban Valdez and Carrie Tupper.
  • Best Nighthawk Short: Reflections directed by Amisha Nair.
  • Honorable Mention: Mamas directed by Taja Sparks.

The stand-out film of the event, which also took home the top award of “Best of the Fest,” was The Plymouth Period. Directed by Syracuse film student Jake Shiptenko, the narrative feature follows a character named Charlie as he spends a day reconnecting with old friends during his first visit back from college.

Shiptenko is originally from Norcross, Georgia and used this film as his thesis. He brought his crew down from New York to his parents’ home in Atlanta for filming.

“I’m a huge fan of dialogue. For this film I wanted to get a series of conversations over the course of one day which I called the Plymouth period, which to me describes the feeling of coming back home.” – Jake Shiptenko.

For Syracuse University it is very unusual for students to make feature-length films for their thesis, but this project was something Shiptenko was very passionate about. “It was definitely a big undertaking. I got the idea during my freshman year and was originally planning to make it after I graduated, but as the years went on it made the most sense to capitalize on using the equipment from the university, and I had the help of my friends so I just went ahead and shot the film as my thesis.” Said Shiptenko.

While The Plymouth Period will be the project most remembered from the festival, there were still plenty of other standout showings.

  • Homebound is a short which follows the real life of a man named Troy who deals with agoraphobia after a boating accident.
  • Look Away, Look Away is a documentary that dives deep into how southern culture is still being affected by the Civil War.
  • Three Men Named Mantas a short film directed by UNG’s own Assistant Professor of Film and Digital Media, James Mackenzie.

There are a variety of projects from the festival that offer something for everyone. The event staff encourages anyone who missed out to check out some of the films before they are gone at

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Georgia Film Festival 2021