The documentary City of Joy about the first class of women students at a leadership in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo will be shown at the 41st Annual Atlanta Film Festival. Photo courtesy of Access Atlanta.

“Masterpiece.” “Brilliant!” “A must see.”

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Most of the year’s best movies got their start at film festivals. Before becoming an Oscar winner, Moonlight took top honors at film festivals around the country–and now, films for and by women will take their turn.

The Atlanta Film Festival (ATLFF) is the place for women to premiere the next blockbuster. Over the course of 10 days, over 100 films, many directed by, featuring, and starring women of color, will be shown at Atlanta’s oldest celebration of cinema. “This year, we’re very proud to say that over half of our programming is directed by women,” said ATLFF’s marketing director Cameron McAllister.

For the last four decades, the Academy Award qualifying festival has been showcasing new independent, international, animated, documentary, and short films to audiences. Out of the 60,000 submissions from around the world, many of this year’s top picks have Black women at the helm. “Nearly 40 percent of the films are directed by people of color,” says McAllister. “That’s something we’re really proud of, especially with Atlanta being such a diverse city.”

One of the most gripping is Waiting for B, the story of a group of die hard fans who camp outside in the streets near Brazil’s San Paola arena awaiting for the chance to be closer to Beyonce–two months in advance.

Screenshot from the documentary Waiting For B 

The Festival’s week-long Creative Conference features more than 40 panels designed to inspire the next generation of filmmakers–teaching them everything about the biz, from screenwriting to producing to funding and distribution. This means more films telling our stories will be hitting the big screen.

With 85% of the ATLFF’s programming created by women, there’s something for everyone. Catch the films and festival events at Atlanta’s Druid Hills Presbyterian Church, the Plaza, and 7 Stages, along with other sites around the city. The Atlanta Film Festival kicked off on March 24, 2017 and continues through April 2, 2017. You can purchase tickets at atlantafilmfestival.com.

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Tiffani Greenaway is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, a New York city parenting blog. Her tips have been seen on Yahoo Parenting, Mommy Noire, and Fit Pregnancy. Find more of Tiffani’s work at mymommyvents.com.

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