A History Issue
by Pamela Cole, Editor -in-Chief
I was tempted to call our latest edition (June 1,
2006) the history issue because there was so much Atlanta
film production history in it. Were delighted to be celebrating
the 30th anniversary of the Atlanta Film Festival (and the founding
of IMAGE) as well as the 25th anniversary of Crawford Communications.
But we should also mention that this year marks the 30th anniversary
of the opening of Lefont Theaters. For years, starting with The
Silver Screen, Lefont Theaters were the only art houses in Atlanta
that would screen those low-grossing independent films. George Lefont
is a film hero in this town and his name has prefaced a string of
venues over the years that Atlanta film lovers have treasured for
their avant-garde appeal: The Screening Room, Lefont Tara, Lefont
Garden Hills Cinema, and Lefont Plaza (the only place in town you
can still catch a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture
Show, the best late-night date movie ever). It is fitting that Mr.
Lefont is receiving an award at the IMAGE Awards Gala this year
for his contributions to the community.
seems also to fitting to mention Mr. Lefonts best friend,
the great Stewart Harnell, founder and CEO of Cinema Concepts. While
Cinema Concepts isnt celebrating a round-number anniversary
this year, the company has been an Atlanta film production institution
for 27 years. Harnell has been extremely generous to the film community
through the years. One of the greatest thrills of my editorial life
was interviewing Harnell at his Cinema Concepts office, when Lefont
casually walked in the door. It was a treat to be in the room with
both of these Atlanta film icons at the same time.
Also being honored at the IMAGE Awards Gala this year
is Dr. Kay Beck, who doesnt like to receive awards, she told
me. We both prefer to stay behind the scenes, which is where youll
find Dr. Beck most of the time, working with the Georgia Film Commission,
the IMAGE Advisory Board, and the Digital Arts and Entertainment
Lab (DAEL) at Georgia State University, tirelessly promoting the
efforts of our film community.
Ill take this opportunity to publicly thank
Dr. Beck for her continuous cheerleading of Southern Screen Report.
I met Kay in 2001, when I served as her graduate research assistant
at Georgia State University, and have claimed her as a friend ever
since. With her support and encouragement, I started Southern Screen
Report as an incubated business at DAEL, where Kay serves ever enthusiastically
as director. In her long career as a film professor, I am sure she
has mentored hundreds of other students the same way she did me.
With Kay Beck on your side, you cannot fail.