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Peachtree Valley International Film Festival Showing of

Sep 26, 2009 - Atlanta, Georgia [ click for larger on all images ].

I arrived in Atlanta on Friday, the 25th, and checked into one of the hotels downtown.  Lucked out with my room and had a beautiful view of the city skyline.  There had been floods in the area earlier in the week, but the city had not been affected.  It was cloudy, but you didn't notice that at night!

I was pleasantly surprised by the subway system, MARTA.  It was only $1.75 from the Airport to downtown within one block of the hotel -- a pretty good deal! 

On Saturday morning I took the train to "Five Points", the station that serves "Underground Atlanta".  I'd never been to a 'film festival' before and wasn't sure what to expect...well,  "Underground Atlanta" is located..... underground, right near the City center.  It's a big shopping mall and has the standard shops along with a few more unique items -- you could sit down and a mystic would give you a Tarot card reading (I gave it a thought, but it wasn't in the budget and I already know I'm going bald!).

The actual Festival area was more at ground level. Plenty of banners!

Mr. Angelo Lobo, the producer (on right), and his assistant, Ms. Sharon Aguinaldo, came with a local man, John, who had helped with distributing literature.  They'd arrived earlier in the week to speak with the organizers and also attend some of the 'workshops' that were held on movie making, production, and financing.



The festival had a nice website, but I didn't see as many people as I expected.  It was Saturday afternoon and there was tough competition from College Football, especially when Georgia was playingAir Tran Airlines was one of the Corporate sponsors and a lot of their staff helped at the event.  

This was its second year and it takes time for a festival to gain attention.   Some of the movies played to only a few people.  Our movie, Support? had the biggest 'buzz' on the festival calendar!  From what I could see, we also had the largest crowd of people at a movie, about 25-35 very motivated people. Mr. Vern Mills (left & right images), State Coordinator for F4J Georgia attended. He's been working hard to get parents motivated to work for reform.

Other notables were Mr. Carnell Smith -- he and his daughter were there along with his wife (to the far left).  Carnell had been a victim of Paternity Fraud, forced to pay support for a child that was not his. He started a campaign for reform and to also help other parents with testing. 
"If The Genes Don't Fit, You Must Acquit."

Dr. Sharon Squires (immediately to the left of Angelo), has a Doctorate in Sociology and is an Assistant Professor at California State University. She is concerned with the consequences current Family Law has on our family structure.

These were some quick snap-shots -- sorry to anyone I missed!  I talked to many others and heard some awful stories of how parent/child relationships had been destroyed.  The Movie documented (click to see trailers) so much injustice in our present system and also the financial incentives that drive this destructive behavior in our "Family" courts. 

As one of the smaller Movie Producers, Angelo and his team also have to work second jobs to help support themselves.  Visit the Movie site to buy a T-shirt or make a donation -- it is much appreciated!

I was glad to be one of the parents Angelo interviewed for the film while I was being held in jail and I'm very thankful for his personal commitment to help the general public realize what indignity & injustice occurs everyday in our Court systems.  -- John Murtari   (images and descriptions above free for reuse).