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Third Jokara-Micheaux Film Festival dazzling
September 3, 2008

"Bond, James Bond," Ralph Wilcox (right) tells Barton Rice Jr. (left) that he has always wanted that acting part. 
Talking about the city coming to town, Hollywood descended on Colquitt, Blakely and Camilla, August 29-31 for the third Jokara-Micheaux Film Festival. There were stars, producers, directors, writers, authors, cameras and journalists all over the place. The Film Festival has become an annual event, but this was a really special one, since the first full-length movie, The Lena Baker Story, was to premiere right here in Colquitt where most of it was produced in the 22,000 square foot sound stage. 

The opening ceremonies started with a Southern-style breakfast at Tarrer Inn in Colquitt as the celebrities and many of the visitors were welcomed to the area film festival Thursday morning.

After the breakfast, the celebrity guests, symposium panelists and out-oftown visitors were taken to historic Cotton Hall for orientation and showings of special featured screenings. A workshop followed at the Colquitt/Miller Arts Council Building as the filmmakers explained how movies and TV production projects were completed within budget. Another workshop followed after lunch telling the many production services that are offered for filming and TV productions right here in Southwest Georgia.

Co-stars of The Lena Baker Story, Beverly Todd and Tichina Arnold, speak at Film Festival Gala Dinner in Colquitt. Jokara-Micheaux
That evening, the first annual Flint River Arts Show reception was held in Camilla at McRee Hall to give the people in that area a chance to meet some of the celebrities and professionals attending the film festival. More screenings of films and workshops were offered in Camilla on Friday. 

On Friday night, a Celebrity Reception was held in Blakely by invitation only. It was a gala affair as people from the three cities met each other as well as many of the celebrities attending the festival.

On Saturday, Blakely hosted more workshops and featured screenings of movies such as Amazing Grace that was followed by Movieguide founder Dr. Ted Baehr. Along with the film festival activities, Blakely held their EC2055 Block Party with live music by Shane Owens, Sawyer Brown and other artists. The Bed Race and many other activities entertained many others.

The Film Festival ended in style as usual with a black tie Gala Dinner held inside the beautifully decorated Jokara- Micheaux Sound Stage in Colquitt. When Ralph Wilcox is in charge of a gala event, it is a gala event.

Stevie Flowers, events coordinator, who was in charge of events for Stevie Wonder, Denzel Washington and NFL events and Joel Zwick, director of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Full House and Webster; hosted the event. They welcomed the 400 plus guests, and recognized the industry professionals, and star sponsors of the event.

Recording artist, Faye Raye played and sang several of her recordings. U.S. Representative Sanford Bishop gave praise to Ralph Wilcox and all those who helped make this all possible.

During a delicious dinner, the crowd was entertained by Todd Cochran, composer, arranger, musician of The Lena Baker Story and Vince Hollis, saxophonist.

The Southwest Georgia premier showing of the recently finished full-length film of The Lena Baker Story was shown. This was the story of the first and only woman who was sentenced and killed in the Georgia's electric chair in the 1940s.

After the movie, two the costars were introduced. Actress, Tichina Arnold, who played the part of Lena Baker, and actress, Beverly Todd, who played the part of her mother, told of their praise and admiration for Ralph Wilcox and his wife, Brenda.

Bill Thompson, Georgia State Film Commissioner, told how this event and accomplishment was almost unprecedented and was quite an accomplishment.

Dr. Ted Baehr, founder of Movieguide and President of the Christian Film and Television Commission praised those who made this film and all Christian films for the big screen and TV.

Andrea Lauer-Rice, founder/ CEO Lauer Learning, introduced her husband, Barton Rice Jr., executive producer of The Lena Baker Story.

Brenda Cheatem-Wilcox, vice-president of Jokara-Micheaux Production Studio, then introduced her husband, Ralph Wilcox, writer/director/ producer of The Lena Baker Story.

Barton Rice Jr. praised the work and determination of Ralph Wilcox and his crew for making this all happen.

Ralph Wilcox praised the Charles and Catherine B. Rice Foundation as well as all those who had faith in him to make this all happen. Wilcox said, "This is just the beginning."

There was a time of taking photos with the many celebrities, getting autographs and meeting these stars who all praised the work of Wilcox's first movie, The Lena Baker Story.

Southwest Georgia Film Commissioner Ralph Wilcox said, "You ain't see nothing yet. It's going to get bigger and better every year."


For general information, e-mail information@swgafilms.com.
E-mail jhatcher@swgafilms.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 2006 Southwest Georgia Film Commission
Last modified: 11/08/09
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