The Atlanta Film Society's Filmmaker-in-Residence program is an initiative to formally support local, accomplished filmmakers with the aim of making their lives as career filmmakers more viable.
Filmmakers-in-Residence are selected from Atlanta Film Festival alumni who live in the metro-Atlanta area. The three-year residency gives access to resources, support and attention to the filmmaker. In exchange, Residents are required to make public presentation of their core work, perform educational service to the community and serve as ambassadors of the Atlanta Film Society to the public.
Ebony Blanding (b. Atlanta, GA. 1985) is a writer and filmmaker living and working in Atlanta, Georgia. Blanding’s work elucidates women and people of color existing in fullness cinematically. She formed independent art film house, House of June, with filmmaker and fellow film student, Amber L.N. Bournett, to explicate art-house films with black and brown actors and crew in notable roles in-front of and behind the camera. Their work has screened at Atlanta Film Festival, Daughters: Celebrating Emerging Female Filmmakers of Color, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, among others. Additionally, they have presented their films at educational institutions including Spelman and Emory University. Blanding uses moving pictures and narratives as ascensions to glorify black renaissance and believes the creation of complex and beautifully simplistic characters of color in film are an artistic act of activism.
A congregation of artistic personas and firebrand talent, Danielle Deadwyler's spunk and ingenuity reflects on stages, screens, and pages. The Atlanta native's artistry is rooted in theatre, dance, and creative writing. She has produced and starred in performance art, sonic projects, theatre productions, music videos, short films, web series, and exhibited works in various community and gallery platforms. The professional actor has been seen in productions with Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre, Horizon Theatre, Synchronicity Theatre, Theatrical Outfit, Aurora Theatre and the Tony Award winning Alliance Theatre. She is the Creative Loafing Atlanta 2013 Critics Pick for Best Actress and the 2015 Suzi Bass Award winner for Outstanding Lead Actress in a play. In Fall 2013, she presented (dis)possessed: the live mixtape, a one-woman theatrical performance art project she conceived, at Spelman College’s Museum of Fine Art as a part of their Black Box series. On the screen, she debuted in the made-for-television movie, "A Cross to Bear." She has gone on to guest star on BET’s "Being Mary Jane," OWN's "Greenleaf," and Tyler Perry’s/OWN "The Haves & The Have Nots" (as Quita Maxwell), among other projects. As an emerging filmmaker/producer, Deadwyler’s first short film "Brummagem" (2011) was a semi-finalist in the first annual Creative Loafing Atlanta shorts contest. Her video, "Do Not Resuscitate," was a WonderRoot Local Film Night finalist (2013), while the short video for her multimedia project "MuhfuckaNeva(Luvd)Uhs: Real Live Girl" was the Jury award winner (2015). She also starred in and co-produced the Atlanta Film Festival Selection and American Black Film Festival 2014 HBO Shorts Official Selection "Ir/Reconcilable."
Jason Drakeford is a passionate filmmaker creating documentaries inside of virtual reality and 'fixed view' films, focusing on impactful and visually engaging stories. A few highlights of his work include "Interrupture", a VR film premiering at the Atlanta Film Festival, the documentary "Ken Jacobs: A Pioneer of Avant-Garde Film" premiering at the Independent New York Film Festival and screening at Wonderroot Film Festival last year. Most recently he directed the VR film "Fossil Hunters of the Gobi" for the American Museum of Natural History, which was recently awarded a Vimeo Staff Pick and screening at this years Atlanta Film Festival. His background is in video series production, documentary filmmaking, and video journalism, and a few of his clients and collaborators include The New York Times, The American Museum of Natural History, David Bowie, The Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective, Penguin Books, Adult Swim, Showtime, MTV, and Time Magazine.
Brian Lonano makes bizarre short films with titles like “ATTACKAZOIDS!”, “Gwilliam”, and “CROW HAND!!!” His films embrace a trashy sentiment and utilize DIY practical effects. Brian's been very fortunate to screen at the Atlanta Film Festival three years in a row as well as festivals like SXSW, Slamdance, Fantastic Fest, Fantasia and many more. His recent film "Gwilliam" won such prestigious awards as the "Trash and Transgression Award" at the Sydney Underground Film Festival and the "Wrongest Film" Award at the Sick n' Wrong Film Festival. He loves making films with his loyal and hard working crew; he loves his wife and frequent collaborator Victoria Cook, and he loves to eat doughnuts.