While there are several annual film festivals in the Augusta area, the Poison Peach Film Festival has been going at it the longest.
“We’re so excited. This is our 10th Poison Peach,” said Jezibell Anat, who has directed several of the films in this year’s festival, which will be Jan. 5-7 at the Imperial Theatre.
Poison Peach focuses primarily on locally grown cinema with familiar faces returning as well as new faces appearing for a varied lineup. There’s a mix of film; some are family-friendly while others have a more mature audience in mind.
“This year, the entries filled up really quickly,” said Anat. “We had a lot of different stories. There’s horror, western, sci-fi, family drama; there are medieval scenes and some animation. There’s a lot of variety.”
Even within genres, there was variety, she said.
The horror films came in several subcategories including some more gory ones and ones that were more thriller in nature. Included in the horror genre is Roger Letizia’s film What Would Linnea Do?
Linnea refers to scream queen Linnea Quigley who was featured in Blood River, which premiered at Poison Peach in 2014. What Would Linnea Do? will be presented at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 6.
One of the featured films this year is an anthology created by Wages of Cine. Twelve directing teams, some individuals and some duos, were selected to create an overall piece called Old Man of the Rooks. In 2016, Arte Factum was created using a similar process through Wages of Cine.
Anat said the anthology had a mix of veteran directors as well as some newer directors.
Old Man of the Rooks is recommended for a more mature audience and will be presented at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 6.
In the family-friendly category are offerings on the opening night as well as at the close of the film festival.
The event opens with a short film showcase from 7 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 5. Six short films will be part of the showcase.
And the festival closes with a western world premiere double feature of two of Christopher Forbes’ films – The Last Days of Billy the Kid and Jesse James V. The Black Train. The double feature begins at 7 p.m.
Anat said the films have a different vantage point than others focusing on the same two men.
“Jesse James is the hero in his own state so he’s both hero and villain at the same time,” said Anat.
Tickets to the festival are $13 per day or $20 for the weekend.
For more information, visit the Imperial Theatre at imperialtheatre.com.