Cotton: Hardy and Tight-Knit (ATLFF)

April 7, 2016




For a little shy of 90 minutes, this cajun crispy southern flick takes you on a journey in 3 shorts:

-Hotel Clermont
-The New Orleans Sazerac
-Eat White Dirt

As an Atlanta native #GradyBaby, for me,  the "Hotel Clermont" is as much an institution as the Varsity and the Margaret Mitchell house; and, as infamous as Freaknik, or when Sherman came through and burned it to the ground.

On the outside, the structural dwelling gives ode to the most classiest of vintage hotels of the Victorian era, while the inside feels as gritty as a pot of yellow stone-ground grits, twice cooked and under creamed.  This short film takes us inside on a cinematic tour of this historic hotel.

Fellow Atlantan and Director Heather Hutson follows the lives of hotel residents and patrons of the historic Clermont Lounge during the last days of operation. Hutson captures a range of emotions from the day to day goings on through to the shady shenanigans of the night. The climatic moment was when the city code enforcement goes in to officially shut the hotel down. Although residents expected the day would come, they were not prepared for the moment.

Whew! What a range in emotions. I think I need a drink...

Which brings me to "The New Orleans Sazerac" (Directed by James Martin), our 2nd short of the Cotton series.  See what I did there?


Martin breathes life into this classic coquetier (cocktail) by taking the audience on a journey in time dating back to 1838 when New Orleans Apothecary store owner, Antoine Amedie Peychaud concocted this spirit, making it the first OFFICIAL cocktail.

Over time, the official ingredients of the Sazerac have evolved to compliment the era.

Festival goers will have the opportunity to partake of The Sazerac during the SOUND + VISION experience at the Ponce City Market.

Rounding out the trio of shorts is "Eat White Dirt", literally! I was knee high to a cane stalk when I last encountered a pregnant family member rooted in the bowels of middle Georgia, where the stop signs read WHOA, and the Welcome mats read Welllll...craving and eating this unique 'earth candy'.

In a lighthearted yet informative delivery, Director Adam Forrester tells the story through the eyes of Tammy Wright of Greene County,  Georgia. This picture was brilliantly delivered and revealed the raw truth of an unlikely addiction through humor and an understanding from the voice of scientific research, local historians, and physicians.

Kaolin a natural resource indigenous to the area of Sandersville in Georgia, can be purchased at local hood stores or by rural grocers for the low low.

Cotton as a collective was by far my fave of the festival to date. It tugged at an array of emotions leaving us all wanting more.

On Sunday April 10th, there will be an encore showing. Be sure to check it out.

Jeri Garrison
Sr. Writer


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