Filmmaker Nolan Lundy with writer Beth Clark at last month's mixer event.
Unmanned Imaging’s Nolan Lunsford shows the Octocopter to writer Beth Clark at last month’s mixer event.

By Beth Clark

For those of you wanting to enter Atlanta’s booming film industry, networking events like Eat, Drink, & B-Indie should be on your monthly calendar.

Hosted by the Atlanta Film Festival and sponsored by Stella Artois, this casual monthly mixer is free and offers spirited discussion with Atlanta and Georgia filmmakers on trending industry topics. The mixer is held at Manuel’s Tavern, 602 North Highland Ave., on the third Tuesday of every month from 7:30 to 10 p.m. The event includes panel discussions, guest speakers, and new film equipment demonstrations, as well as opportunities to network and make connections.

Last month’s Eat, Drink & B-Indie was well attended, as evidenced by the packed room at Manuel’s. The fact that entrance is free and there’s complimentary beer to the first 40 attendees doesn’t hurt either.

But it’s more than just beer and a full menu at Manual’s. Eat, Drink, & B-Indie is educational, even if you’re already entrenched in the industry. For instance, it would be too big a task to attempt to educate everyone on all the ins and outs of being a film director, but Eat, Drink, & B-Indie invites a working director to an event to answer audience questions and provide insight. This kind of access to working industry professionals is what you’d expect to find at an annual festivals, but at the mixer you could get it every month. For free.

August’s Eat, Drink, & B-Indie was technical, focusing on the tools that cinematographers use to create moving shots with cameras by using a wheelchair, skateboard, helicopter or even a drone.

Discussing such niche topics benefits the entire filmmaking process; by learning about the advancing drone technology, for example, indie filmmakers can create aerial shots that previously required an expensive crane or helicopter to achieve. Panelists Nolan Lunsford and Brent Bouthiller even brought one of the “Octocopters” they designed with their company, Unmanned Imaging, to show the audience.

Half the fun of Eat, Drink, & B-Indie is striking up conversation with the person sitting next to you. You never know if they’ve got just the skills you need to complete your film or partner for a game-changing invention. So show up, be social, ask questions, and share what you know.

Check out the Atlanta Film Festival website at for upcoming topics and speakers. Arrive early to get a parking space and a seat at the event, because it fills up quickly.


Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.