This year’s event — Aug. 23 through 25 at the Sheraton hotel in downtown Atlanta — will showcase virtually all facets of entertainment.
Billed as the “Southeast’s Premiere” urban celebration of cinema, Peachtree Village has essentially morphed into a magnet of sorts for attracting an interesting mix of celebrities, industry aspirants and average Joes since its humble beginnings.
“It’s been an interesting ride. … A lot of interesting things have happened in getting to this point,” said Len Gibson, the festival’s CEO and co-founder. “And, we’re excited about where things will go from here.”
Gibson crafted a career in production at popular cable networks like MTV, VH1 and HBO. Festival Co-Chairman James “JB” Brown earned his stripes in the music realm, rising through the ranks at legendary urban record label, Def Jam.
The pair’s labor of love celebrates both new and seasoned creative voices in film, TV, music and new media. The Peachtree Village fest’s comprehensive slate of industry-related programming includes interactive workshops and informative panel discussions.
The 2013 event kicks off with an opening night concert in the Sheraton’s Capitol Ballroom featuring a lineup of hip hop and R&B luminaries. Proceeds will benefit the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, which promotes the positive effects of music education on child development and academic performance.
Gibson and Brown held court for media, sponsors and members of the fest’s brain trust at House of Peter Maxfield boutique in Buckhead last week.
The following are excerpts from the conference:
On being different
Brown: “We like our educational component. We’ve been to other festivals … some are parties.
“We do party, too, but we like to make sure we try to link you with the next step — be it distribution for your project or just to [facilitate] some understanding of what you need to get to that next level.”
Gibson: “Things have changed from 10 years ago. It’s strange. Now the phone rings and it could be Vivica Fox or Morris Chestnut … could be anybody on the other end of the line.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about unity … us getting together to take that next step.”
On technology as a tool
Brown: “Benjamin Banneker was charting the stars back in the 1700s.
“What should you be doing with all this technology at our disposal? Or is it dumbing you down?”