Step aside, folks. There's a new film series in town, and it's all about the local characters we know—or wish we knew—and love. Homespun Series, a project started by husband-and-wife duo Jon and Brantly Watts, brings the stories of Atlanta folks to light, in the most interesting way possible: the big screen. The series of short documentary films, each about five to 10 minutes in length, aims to profile some of ATL's quirkier folks, while entertaining some of us regular folks.
Jon and Brantly were first struck with the idea during their screening of AKA Blondie, when someone approached them, saying, "I felt Atlanta in your film; it was like a second character." It was then, Brantly explained, that she and Jon realized, "People often think of Atlanta as a generic city, but once you've been here for a while, you see pieces of Atlanta everywhere, especially in characters. It's visceral, raw and underground." And so they began searching for the characters who oozed Atlanta (metaphorically).
And in their first screening of said characters, which takes place September 18 at the Plaza Theatre, Homespun Series will include the following three short documentaries, each by different local filmmakers and featuring ATL-original music.
Machine Gun Mary
Directed by: Jon Watts
This is the story of Mary Matia, a local 22-year-old boxer, who has only been training for two years. Affectionately called "Machine Gun Mary" for her intensity and never-ending stamina in the ring, Mary is a contender for the 2016 Olympic Games.
Directed by: Takashi Doscher
A director who has seen the likes of Sundance Film Festival, Takashi Doscher tells the tale of father and son clocksmiths, who have repaired and restored antique clocks for over 40 years. Capturing that old Southern nostalgia, the film follows the pair as they give a refreshing perspective on the most valuable of resources…time.
Directed by: Brantly Watts
"Shawn Knight has an interesting philosophy on art," Brantly explained. And in this short film, she explored the story behind this trash-to-treasure assemblage sculptor, who challenges our perception of the discarded and broken.
Though September 18th will be Homespun Series' first screening, they are planning to hold them quarterly. Each time, featuring three or so new character profiles by local filmmakers. And the main goal? To help us figure out Atlanta. As Brantly recalled, "I love this city. I genuinely love Atlanta, but it took me a minute to figure it out. But once I did, I loved it." As do we.
Photography courtesy of Homespun Series.