Vince Dooley: The Other Side of the Football
By Gloria Stanley
The fourth annual MAGA Film & Video Festival opened on February
18, 2009, at the Grand Opera House in Macon, Georgia. The festival
kicked off with the special appearance of Gov. Sonny Perdue and
the legendary former University of Georgia athletics director, Vince
Dooley. It was a film festival touchdown!
In his remarks, Gov. Perdue said that Georgia "is the perfect
location for creative people to come to shoot a low-budget film,
with great availability and diverse sceneries. We know that Hollywood
looks at all of these things, which we consider all healthy and
Gov. Perdue also starred in a cameo role as the East Carolina coach
in We Are Marshall (2006). He said, "The role
was so small most of it wound up on the cutting floor; nevertheless,
it was fun."
Hometown stars Carrie Preston (a Macon girl in one of HBO's hottest
shows, True Blood), and screen legend actress and
director Karen Black also made appearances at the festival this
year. Festival board member and organizer, Terrell Sandefur, said
the special guests signify how the event has grown.
The festival's opening screening was the documentary, Vince
Dooley: The Other Side of the Football. The film is based
on Dooley's roles as coach, husband, father, and other personal
endeavors. Dooley led UGA to over 200 wins, six Southeastern Conference
championships, and one National Championship in 1980. Dooley said
his top star athlete was Hershel Walker because of his speed, agility,
The late Andrew Permar produced and directed Dooley's documentary.
Dooley said, "I got to know him very close during that time.
Despite the subject, it's a very good film." He added that
"you can call the film a touchdown but it is more from Andy's
work" than himself.
Permar's wife Debbie, a producer of the film, said she promised
her husband that his project would be completed. She said this event
"is very special and bittersweet." Perdue presented an
award to Debbie before the screening. MAGA was the first public
showing of the documentary.
Red Carpet Reception
Prior to the screening, a red carpet reception was held to meet
and greet the Governor and Dooley. About 200 people were present
including Macon Mayor Robert Reichert; Miriam Paris, Macon City
Council President; Bill Thompson, Deputy Commissioner of Georgia
Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office; and Gabriel Wardell,
Executive Director of ATL Film Festival 365.
Mayor Reichert presented Dooley with the key to the city of Macon,
recognizing him for his accomplishments in academic, athletics,
and personal development.
Reichert said, "I like being mayor of Macon because it gives
me the opportunity to say thank you to the organizers, sponsors,
and promoters of this festival. In just four short years, this festival
has gone from a fledging institution to one of great significance
and great promise."
Paris said, "MAGA is a great opportunity for the City of Macon
to show off its beauty, its culture, and great diversity."
Thompson stated, "We try our best to sponsor and supervise
the types of resources to all the film festivals in the state, but
MAGA definitely, in just four short years, has worked its way to
the top ten."
Festival Growing Up
In its short life, the MAGA film festival has steadily grown. Sanderfur
credits their success to a new marketing strategy to partner with
"Without A Box.com," an online submission website for
filmmakers. As a result, Sandefur said films were submitted "from
all over the world, and they were really, really high-end quality."
He added that this network has given MAGA greater exposure at home
Another sign of growth was the fact that MAGA has expanded beyond
its original venue, Cox Capitol Theatre. Films were also screened
at the Grand Opera House and the historic Douglass Theatre.
For more information see, maconfilmfestival.com.