Atlanta Film Society Filmmaker-In-Residence Program

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.

Are you an Atlanta-based Atlanta Film Festival alumnus interested in participating? Apply here for consideration!

Senior Filmmakers-In-Residence


Jon Watts and Brantly Jackson Watts are a husband-and-wife team, but also distinctly talented, individual filmmakers. Jon is primarily a Director and Producer. Brantly is a Writer, Director and Producer. Together, they operate Half Pint Productions, LLC, an Atlanta-based film production company. In 2012, they premiered their highly anticipated documentary feature, "AKA Blondie," at the Atlanta Film Festival. In 2014, they launched Homespun Series, a collection of short character-driven documentary films focused on Atlanta’s underground cultural backdrop. At the 2014 ATLFF, they were announced as the Festival's inaugural Filmmakers-in-Residence.



Marisa "Ginger" Tontaveetong is an animator from Bangkok, Thailand based in Atlanta, Georgia. Currently finishing up her MFA in Animation at Savannah College of Art and Design-Atlanta, she is also the executive director of ASIFA-Atlanta (International Animation Society affiliated with UNESCO), SIGGRAPH S3 committee member, and co-director of Oscar long-listed animated short "Starlight." With a B.Tech in computer graphics/ multimedia and over 10+ years as web designer/developer working with companies globally such as Unilever in Singapore, she also runs a blog called with a monthly rate of 7-10,000 views focus on soft skill resources for animators and artists including entertainment law, contracts, and film festival tips. She has also been the art director on Atlanta's Global Game Jam's 1st place team in 2014, semifinalist of Adobe Design Achievement Award for both motion media in 2015 and animation in 2014, chosen for the ADOBE ICO-D mentorship program and's 110  students who represent the future of film, media and entertainment for 2015. Along with coordinating various children's animation workshop for ASIFA-Atlanta and the Atlanta Film Society for schools all over Atlanta, she has lead creative panels at the Atlanta Film Festival, Dragoncon and invited to speak at various colleges such as Maryland College of Institute of Technology and Bangkok University International College.  



Tiny, redheaded and loud, Jared Callahan tries to be kind to all people. Born into a family of storytellers, he made skateboard movies in high school before studying Media Communication & Production at Point Loma Nazarene University, where he fell in love with moviemaking. Jared crewed projects for over a decade, working on great stuff with friends. First Assistant Director on "Short Term 12" (Sundance Grand Jury Prize for Short Filmmaking 2009) and the feature "I Am Not A Hipster" (premiered at Sundance 2012), Jared then got a master’s degree and mentored teens into his thirties. Two years ago he quit his day job to pursue important stories that need to be told and manage his production company (which is making more projects than is probably healthy to be making at one time). Jared’s directorial feature debut, "Janey Makes a Play," comes out in theaters and online in June 2016. 


Molly Coffee began her journey into film working in the art department on shows like "The Walking Dead", "The Carbonaro Effect" and "Atlanta". She has always championed independent film and the local puppet community. Her first love is fabrication and the building of worlds when it comes to filmmaking as she begins her transition from identifying as a production designer to a director. Molly is the creator/director of the stop-motion film "Frowning", the puppet short film "Magic The Gathering The Musical", the pilot "Peppers Place" and is the owner of the independent production company Zombie Cat Productions.  She also records weekly podcasts with her co-conspirator Charles Thomas called Atlanta Film Chat where they focus on what Atlanta can do to make the local film community stronger.  She is also a member of the national network of women filmmakers, Film Fatales.


Babacar Ndiaye is a Chicago-born and Atlanta-based filmmaker and visual artist. His work covers many diverse platforms from documentary film to graphic novels. Babacar has worked on numerous film and television projects for clients such as TruTV, Adult Swim, and VH1, as well as music videos for clients like Def Jam and Capitol Records. His latest film, "More Than Music: Senegal," is currently screening in multiple festivals and has been featured by NPR, Kickstarter and numerous other outlets. Babacar has a B.A. in International Affairs from UGA and an M.A. in Film, Television and Digital Production from Georgia State University. 



Marcus Rosentrater is a commercial animator, independent filmmaker and community-based film curator in Atlanta, GA. For Floyd County Productions, Marcus is employed as the animation director for FX Networks' hit show “Archer”. Independently, he has co-directed and edited feature length and short form non-fiction documentary films. His work has been screened in over 50 cities internationally, earning several awards, and has been highlighted in global publications such as Esquire, LA Times, Wired and Time. In addition to making films, Marcus also curates and exhibits rare, experimental, non-fiction and essay films through the Atlanta based year-round series, Contraband Cinema.



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.jpg


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.

Previous Filmmakers-In-Residence



Micah Stansell and Whitney Stansell work in a variety of media, ranging from textiles, sculpture, painting, and drawing to single and multi-channel film and video works and installation. Inspired by both the visual and oral history of their families and the places that they have called home, their heartbreaking yet joyful work exudes a unity that is rare in any coupling, especially one that works together. Micah received an MFA in Digital Filmmaking and the Arts from Georgia State University and has received several awards for his work, most recently a 2011 Artadia Award, 2010 Working Artist Project Award from the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, a Special Jury Prize for Innovative Filmmaking at the 2009 Atlanta Film Festival, and a 2008 Student Academy Award Nomination for his graduate work. The Stansells' work has been reviewed in numerous publications including Art in America, Moviemaker Magazine, and The Atlanta Journal Constitution.