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James Franco helps kick off Atlanta Film Festival

James Franco helps kick off Atlanta Film Festival

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Film Festival kicked off on Wednesday.

Actor James Franco made an appearance at the first night of the festival. He appears in the movie I Am Michael, which premieres at the festival. The movie is about a gay activist who denounces homosexuality and becomes a pastor

The festival runs through March 29. Screenings take place at various locations. Click here for more information.

Click here for a screening schedule.

Atlanta Police Department joins 'The First 48'

Atlanta Police Department joins 'The First 48'

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Police Department Homicide Unit will be featured on the new season of A&E documentary series "The First 48."

The television program follows detectives as they search for clues and interview witnesses in the first two days of a murder investigation. It has profiled police departments across the country, including DeKalb County.

"The First 48" crews filmed Atlanta's Homicide Unit members as they investigated and solved homicides throughout the city.

RELATED | Atlanta Police Department hires 24 new officers

Holy Innocents' picture is 'My Atlanta' contest winner

Holy Innocents' picture is 'My Atlanta' contest winner

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. -- Briana Neal, a Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School junior, has won first place in the high school competition for this year’s My Atlanta Exhibition.

The theme of this year’s show was Embracing Diversity—a theme meant to “communicate the significance of embracing cultural or religious differences,” according to contest guidelines. Neal's winning photo was titled “Poverty.”

Five hundred photos from students at 18 schools were entered in different categories, and judges were Joeff Davis and Gavin Godfrey of the Creative Loafing editorial staff.

The My Atlanta contest is sponsored by Atlanta Celebrates Photography. Photos are on view at the Piedmont Park Community Center during two upcoming Saturdays, Oct. 18 and Oct. 25, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The park is located at 1071 Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30309 (Park Entrance at 12th street).

A Cappella Books to celebrate Gary Shteyngart

A Cappella Books to celebrate Gary Shteyngart

ATLANTA -- A Cappella Books will hold one of its famous Ballroom Book Bashes next month.

Gary Shteyngart will be the honoree, joining the likes of Nick Hornby, George Saunders and Irvine Welsh. The party will celebrate the paperback release of his memoir, Little Failure.

The Ballroom Book Bash will be Thursday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Highland Inn Ballroom.

Tickets are $17 and come with a paperback copy of Little Failure. They can be purchased at acappellabooks.com.

Sean Michaels to read at Highland Inn

Sean Michaels to read at Highland Inn

ATLANTA -- A debut novelist will read from his book about the inventor of the Theremin next month in Virginia-Highland.

Sean Michaels is the author of Us Conductors and also blogs at Said the Gramophone. His Atlanta appearance will be shared with Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel, a local duo that will show off the instrument at the center of the novel.

Us Conductors tells the story of Lev Termen, a Soviet scientist who creates the Theremin and falls in love with its finest player, Clara Rockmore. He builds his name while working as a music teacher in New York City, but soon returns to Russia and is imprisoned in a Siberian gulag before being brought to Moscow to eavesdrop on Joseph Stalin.

Fulton County Aviation Community Cultural Center to open June 19

Fulton County Aviation Community Cultural Center to open June 19

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Fulton County Commissioner Emma I. Darnell, District 5, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners and Fulton County Arts and Culture, will celebrate the Grand Opening of the Fulton County Aviation Community Cultural Center (ACCC) on Thursday, June 19 at 10 a.m.

The grand opening celebration will kick off three days of activities organized to introduce the new facility to the community and increase awareness of the center, its programming and activities. 

The center is located at 3900 Aviation Circle, Atlanta on the grounds of Fulton County Airport – Brown Field.  It is designed as a community gathering place and will focus on the following types of programming:

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has brought back its Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest for 2014.

This year's theme is Plug into Nature, emphasizing the importance of experiencing wildlife and plants firsthand.

All Georgia students in grades kindergarten through 5 are invited to enter the contest. The top 12 winners' posters will be displayed on the DNR's Flickr site and at the Go Fish Education Center in Perry during the first two weeks in May.

Contest entries are due Apr. 16. Three winners will be picked in four categories (kindergarten, grades 1-2, grades 3-4, grade 5).

Visit georgiawildlife.com for more information about the contest.