The Atlanta Film Festival has a long-standing love affair with puppetry. A city devoted to the art form, Atlanta is home to the Center for Puppetry Arts, the nation’s largest organization dedicated to puppetry. In November, the Center will open its brand new 14 million dollar expansion, The Worlds of Puppetry Museum. It will feature two galleries—one devoted to the Global Collection and one dedicated to the Jim Henson Collection, the world’s most comprehensive collection of Henson’s puppets and artifacts.
For the last several years, puppetry shorts, special presentations, live events and installations have counted among ATLFF's most popular attractions—and we owe an immense deal of gratitude to Beau Brown, our special Puppetry Programmer. Working with Elizabeth Leary, Beau helps curate and plan ATLFF's striking puppet programing.
Beau is Director of Atlanta's Puppet Slam, The Puckin' Fuppet Show; officially recognized and sponsored by the national Puppet Slam Network. Additionally, Beau works as the Community Coordinator for the Center for Puppetry Arts, the Puppetry Track Director for Dragon Con and the National Puppet Slam Curator and Host. As a filmmaker and lead puppeteer for New Puppet Order, Beau has made several short films—many of which have been seen in ATLFF's annual Touch the Puppet Head presentation.
In 2015, ATLFF had an exceptionally strong puppetry program. While our puppetry shorts block boasted films from Australia, Spain, USA and the United Kingdom, we also featured Heather Henson's Handmade Puppet Dreams, a selection of short puppet films by independent artists exploring their hand made craft specifically for the camera. If you made it to our spectacular "Game of Thrones" party, you saw many puppets making their way through the crowd—including a larger-than-life dragon!
Since 2013, the Touch the Puppet Head special presentation has been a consistent late-night hit at each ATLFF. Mixing live performances with eccentric puppet films, Touch the Puppet head has seen performances by Lee Bryan, Raymond Carr, Gavin Cummins, Alex Griffin, Jason Hines, Joshua Holden, Charles Kelso, Charles Pillsbury, Carla Rhodes, Dana Samborski, Gregg Van Laningham and Zeb L. West, among others. In 2015, the world premiere of ATLFF's first independent TV pilot showcase, "Pepper's Place," took place at Touch the Puppet Head.
What will 2016's Puppetry Program look like? That's up to you! Submit your puppetry short films now and maybe we can pull some strings.
We are now accepting submissions for the Puppetry Short category and all other categories for the 2016 Atlanta Film Festival. The Regular Deadline is September 18.