The Poison Peach film festival returns to The Imperial Theatre January 3-5 for its sixth run.
The festival was created seven years ago to showcase area talent and to let the community know about Augusta’s diverse network of filmmakers. Since its inauguration, Poison Peach has evolved and grown.
This year the festival will include a wide variety of new films by local filmmakers, as well as submissions from as far away as China, said Augusta filmmaker and the festival’s organizer, Christopher Forbes.
“The first two days are going to be film screenings from 7 p.m. to whenever,” Forbes said. “We have, as we always do each year, the best of Davidson Fine Art students, their award-winning films. We also have a selection of GRU [Georgia Regents University] films this year which we’ve never had before.”
Forbes went on to explain the types of films the audience can expect to see on Friday night: “As far as the Augusta submissions are concerned, it’s a very widespread source,” he explained. “We have student films, we have professional-level independent shorts and we have just a lot of things that people have done around town that are worthwhile. A lot of things are going on. A lot of things are happening.”
There will be only one feature film presented this year, “Confederate Calvary,” and it will be screened on Saturday night. As implied by the name, it is a Civil War drama, written and directed by Forbes. The film also features many actors and re-enactors from Georgia and South Carolina, including Jerry Chesser, Tripp Courtney, John Hudson, Charles Kizer, Will Adams, Stan Fink, Jezibell Anat, Kimberly Campbell, Dave Long and Brad Owens.
In addition to being one of the co-stars in “Confederate Calvary,” Jezibell Anat will have another special role in this year’s Poison Peach. On the third night of the festival, Anat will be filming a few scenes from her stage play turned feature film, “Cabaret Diabolique.” Augusta audiences may remember the Misfit Theatre’s production of the work that Anat co-wrote with her husband, Joseph Zuchowski, from earlier this year. Originally performed on a much smaller stage at Sector 7G, the play has been adapted to the big screen As with a lot of screen adaptations, “Cabaret Diabolique” has had a few modifications made to it. When first written and performed, the story took place in Las Vegas. The setting has been moved to Atlantic City and the play now features all original music written by Anat and Forbes, Anat said. Changes have also been made to some of the dance numbers.
“We only had two dancers in the original show because Sector [7G] is so small,” Anat said. “We now have several teams of dancers, including my dancers from Eastern Star.Some of the choreography is more rock-pop based. There’s one piece that is kind of [Bob] Fosse-esque, because it is now set in Atlantic City. Atlantic City has a lot of New York dancers, so I wanted to have kind of a nod to the Fosse tradition.”
Anyone who wants be a part of the audience for the production event for “Cabaret Diabolique,” is encouraged to do so. It is a free event, but participants will have to sign a release form.
Poison Peach Film Festival
The Imperial Theatre
Single day admission: $12/ $20, both Friday and Saturday; Sunday night’s production event is free.