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Jokara-Micheaux Film Festival set for August 28-31

The stage is being set for the third annual Jokara- Micheaux Film Festival activities, Aug. 28-31 in three southwest Georgia cities — Blakely, Colquitt, and Camilla.

The four-day festival, Celebrating Film Southern Style, will afford area residents the opportunity to meet celebrities, attend symposiums, view films and become familiar with possibilities in a career in motion pictures.

The event is the brainchild of Ralph Wilcox, director of the Southwest Georgia Film Commission and director of "The Lena Baker Story", a movie filmed in Southwest Georgia.

The "Lena Baker Story", starring Tichina Arnold of "Martin" and "Everybody Hates Chris," Beverly Todd, Peter Coyote, and Michael Rooker, was the opening film at the Atlanta Film Festival and was also shown at the Cannes Market in France.

Wilcox is also the director of Henny Penny Production committed to economic development of the area through training of individuals in all aspects of filmmaking and taking advantage of the richness and uniqueness of Southwest Georgia.

Several other films expected to be an economic boost for the area are already in the works.

Wilcox notes the festival is an experience for the entire family and may serve as an inspiration for anyone that aspires for a career in film.

The films are family-oriented and free. As are the symposiums where participants can learn from seasoned professionals. There will be an autograph signing in Blakely with Arnold, Todd, Rooker and others Saturday morning. Lou Gossett Jr., Best Supporting Oscar winner for "An Officer and a Gentleman," is also scheduled to appear.

The combined efforts of the cities of Blakely, Colquitt and Camilla and the schedule of events have made the Jokara-Micheaux Film Festival a "must see" for everyone.

In addition to screenings, symposiums and receptions, the Flint River Arts Council will host an art show Aug. 29-30 at Camilla's McCree Hall Conference Center, there will be an all-day Block Party Aug. 30 in Blakely and the black-tie celebrity dinner will be Aug. 30 at the Jokara-Micheaux Film Studio in Colquitt, featuring a red carpet screening of "The Lena Baker Story."

There will be a special screening of the award-winning "Amazing Grace" at the Blakely Cineplex and "The First of May" in Camilla.

Southwest Georgia Regional Development Center will provide free bus transportation to and from events. For transportation information call 758-8833.

To make reservations for the celebrity dinner call 758-8188.

For additional information visit www.swgafestival. com, www.swgafilms. com-/henny_penny. htm and "The Lena Baker Story" at title/tt1139662.