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Indy-fim-legend Mink Stole was in town for a special guest screening of John Waters' "Hair Spray."

Indie film legend Mink Stole was in attendance at the Macon Film Festival for a special guest screening of John Waters’ “Hairspray.” Photo courtesy of the Macon Film Festival

The 8th Annual Macon Film Festival (MaGa), a Knight Arts grantee, ended yesterday. Whether people showed up due to a love for filmmaking, the chance to rub elbows with the stars, or just to drink the MaGa-tinis, the effect was just the same. The film festival was, by all accounts, a big success. Over the weekend, my social feeds (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) were filled with pictures from the festival, so I thought “What better way to sum up MaGa #8 than with a round-up of online commentary?” I think it’s fascinating to look at an event through the online content created around it. Maybe you do, too? Either way, this is a portion of what I found.

Blogging is still cool. Filmmakers wrote about their films and their participation in the festival. Jonathan Hickman blogged about the film he helped write and edit called “The Man Who Ate New Orleans” on DailyFilmFix.com. I caught the screening on Friday, and I give it two thumbs up. Emmy-winner Cady McClain discussed being in Macon for the screening of “How We Got Away With It” on her personal blog, CadyMcClain.com. She’s an associate producer on the film, directed by Jon Lindstrom. Local blogger Angel Collins shared her experiences with daily blog posts about the festival. MaGa was definitely a hit in the blogsphere. (Is it still okay to say “blogosphere?”)

Journalists love MaGa, too. Students from Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism (CCJ) were heavily involved in interviewing the filmmakers and in live-tweeting the event. They even storified it. (Or is it spelled “storyfied?” My spell check tells me both are incorrect, so feel free to enlighten me in the comments.) CCJ’s partners in collaboration, Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) and The Telegraph (Macon.com) didn’t miss a beat. Burgess Brown, a CCJ student, covered the event for Georgia Public Broadcasting, with a piece titled “Soap Star Comes To Macon Film Festival.” Debbie Blankenship wrote a story for The Telegraph titled “Annual Macon Film Festival draws stars, filmmakers and move lovers.” And, local television station, 13WMAZ posted a video simply titled “Macon Film Festival Comes to Town.” It’s what PR professionals would call “lots of earned media.”

Here on KnightArts.org, I wrote a blog post about the kick-off screening of “The Buddy Holly Story.” Knight Foundation Program Director for Macon Beverly Blake also wrote a post on the role the film festival plays in community building. Read it here. It’s particularly relevant, because along with showcasing great filmmaking, the Macon Film Festival is doing something more — establishing a presence for Macon, online and off, that will hopefully resonate in the movie industry. A quick Google search for “Macon Film Festival” tells a story of Macon that is positive and inviting. I encourage any filmmakers reading this blog to give Macon extra consideration for an upcoming project. Not only is the city full of unique architecture and camera-friendly locations, but the community is openly inviting you by throwing a big party for you every year. Ask anyone who’s attended the Macon Film Festival and they will tell you, “Macon is a filmmaker’s city.”

Learn more about the Macon Film Festival at www.MaconFilmFestival.com.

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