The 2020 Peachtree Village International Film Festival
Celebrating 15 years of accomplishments in independent film!
By Vanessa Hundley, aka DJ Audioprism
Entertainment and Life Scrivener
The 2020 Peachtree Village International Film Festival (PVIFF) takes on a virtual format this year, bringing us four days of independent films, music, and technology from a global array of creators! With $50,000 in cash prizes, Q&A screenings with featured celebrities, brand and studio executives, and workshops and panels meant to engage, this Oscar-qualifying event has raised the voices of many of the world’s best burgeoning entertainment visionaries. It was founded in 2005 by James “JB” Brown and Len Gibson, both powerhouses in business and film industries with a string of accomplishments and accolades to their names. Both have experience in front of, behind and all around the camera, and bring that knowledge and dedication to creating a film festival that embraces the whole filmmaking community with an “it takes a village” perspective.
Any of our readers know that we here at No Strings Attached E-News (NSAEN) are ourselves passionate about shining lights on stories, skills, and expertise of all kinds, especially in the fields of television and film. And so we are thrilled to announce that for 2020, NSAEN is the sponsor of the PVIFF Audience Choice Award! The winner of the award will receive a spotlight interview on The Director’s Chair with Jonathon Thompson, a feature article on their entry and their journey as a filmmaker to this point. We sent a few questions to Len & JB to get a bit of an insider look at the festival and what they are expecting this year!
*The Peachtree Village International Film Festival is celebrating its 15th year this year. Tell us a little about that first year and your inspiration for forming the festival.
JB: The first year was pretty amazing. We set out to intentionally do something that was needed in the film and TV industry in Atlanta and for the World. Len had the idea after talks with Mr. Charles Johnson of the Sweet Auburn Spring Fest and came to me and asked my thoughts. I loved it and we started from that point, 15 years ago.
Len: Our first year was fantastic, it’s always great seeing a dream realized. After touring multiple film festivals with the African American Cinema Gallery (AACG) I had the unique opportunity to see what was missing at festivals around the world. Once I experienced this, one of my goals was to produce a film festival that would not only entertain but educate young filmmakers as well. We achieved this year one with the festival by ensuring our panels, workshops, and our awards ceremony provided as much educational value as it was entertaining. 15 years later we are still striving to offer the very best in educational entertainment.
*In 2020, we have seen a great explosion in the use of online forums due to the pandemic. The PVIFF is an online experience this year — how has the process of setting up a virtual production been for you?
JB: The process has been different obviously in regard to scheduling talent panels, workshops, and our closing night gala. We have multiple teams of people working behind the scenes to ensure that technically things go as planned, or close to it. We’ve been able to observe multiple online platforms and events to see what works and what doesn’t. We are excited that we will have access to the entire world by having the festival online, so I guess you can say the pandemic gave us lemons and we are looking to make lemonade.
Len: The process has been enlightening. Being able to still bring to the world our festival in the midst of the pandemic is a blessing. With having the festival virtual it takes more attention to detail with extreme time management because everything has to be prepared much earlier. It’s challenging but also fun. We’re able to really get a bird’s eye view of what our team is capable of.
*You are a big supporter of independent creators. Tell us about some of the creators we can look forward to seeing in this year’s festival.
JB: We have multiple films. I’d say at least 50 + that we are showing. One in particular is a film called State Of Madness based out of the Dominican Republic. It’s a period piece that happens to be based on a true story. It was extremely well shot and casted.
Len: We have some really strong films of various genres this year. Some of the creators we are excited about are Jevon Dewand, who directed, wrote, and starred in our centerpiece film Hate. Leticia Tonos, who directed our international spotlight film State of Madness. There is also Switched at Love, directed by Jamal Mcwhorter, and short film, Wow, directed by Justice Gamble and Alex Benjamin, and many more.
*The PVIFF is an Official Oscar Qualifying event. What qualifies an event for Oscar consideration?
Len: You have to meet various qualifications such as screening a large percentage of your films in a traditional theater, provide awards for winners, and most importantly you have to receive a nomination by another qualifying festival or a voting Academy Awards member.
*During the festival’s four days, what else can we expect to see between the film selections?
JB: Panels, workshops, a pitch tent, table reads, and our closing night gala.
*Besides submissions, how else can people be involved in this or future festivals?
JB: We are always open for internships and strategic partnerships and sponsors. We continue looking for first look situations with networks and studios that understand one of our strongest capabilities is to aggregate films. We are a film festival so that kind of makes us content rich. We also welcome people’s ideas for productions, and lastly we continue to support the local filmmaking community and educate the youth. We love supporting youth foundations that focus on the arts.
Be sure to mark your calendars and tune in starting October 29 for four days of content designed not just to entertain, but to educate and inspire! You can get more information on everything PVIFF by visiting:
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