Featured on Access Atlanta, JapanFest's two-day festival gives crowds of more than 17,000 people a chance to taste varied Japanese cuisine, watch live performances from Japanese musicians and artists, and practice traditional arts in hands-on exhibits. The tunes of Grammy-winning recording artist Yukiko Matsuyama, whose compositions feature the traditional stringed koto, drift through the air as festival-goers watch the hands of professional calligrapher Kotaro Hachinohe bring a large paint-sodden brush down on paper in bold strokes. Pairs of guests can practice the art of petal positioning at the Japanese flower-arranging exhibit, then carefully prune miniature trees at the bonsai demonstration, pruning branches as gingerly as generals clipping budding turrets from the potted tanks in their offices. A range of other participants fills the center's showroom, including anime collectors, kimono crafters, and sake sellers. After perusing the swarm of exhibitors, visitors can reboot with traditional Japanese fare from vendors such as Kotobuki Cafe and Sushi Niko Niko.
Sprawled across a huge field in Fairburn, roughly 13 miles southwest of the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, the festival teems with life, noise, and the PG-13 debauchery of nearly 1,000 costumed rakes, harlequins, ne'er-do-wells, knights, wenches, and the ever unpredictable royal treasury accountants. Catch jousting, falconry shows, and surprise inquisitions to make sure you're having a good time. Take up a sword and have a blast repressing the local Irish, or dress up your niece and nephew for a crusade to bring endless laughter and good times to frowny infidels. On the weekend of April 24 and 25, visitors can enjoy Irish dancing and a highlander pipe-and-drum band, while on Mother's Day weekend (May 8 and 9), the first 100 moms through the gate will receive free flowers.
Every day, hotels across the United States discard partially used bars of soap while people in poverty-stricken countries across the globe suffer from a lack of basic hygienic materials. Through the Global Soap Project, roughly 1,000 American hotels recycle their used soap into 30,000 brand-new bars per week. The organization's efficient soap conversion process delivers fresh bars to 28 different countries based on the greatest need.
The Atlanta Film Festival has been supplying the cinemasses with quality international indie flicks for nearly four decades, dropping many of the films into the Academy Awards circuit. Festivals past hosted neo-classics such as Primer and Hustle & Flow, and this year the celluloid cup runs over with more than 125 features, shorts, documentaries, and space hip-hoperas. Young Goethe in Love (in German, with English subtitles) visits the polymath before his influential literary debut, and explores the roots of his gloomy charisma. On Wednesday, Kto Ya (Who Am I?) (in Russian, with English subtitles) ties an existential Gordian knot with an amnesiac, undocumented young man whose unverifiable existence consternates a police chief. In The First Grader, based on a true story, an 84-year-old Kenyan war veteran enrolls himself in elementary school after taking his government's egalitarian education doctrine at face value.
Bravo hits the road with reality-television powerhouses, delivering an interactive Real Housewives gathering at the spacious Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Four Real Housewives from four cities—Alex from New York City, Marysol from Miami, Melissa from New Jersey, and NeNe from Atlanta—discuss their most talked about on-screen moments, answer audience questions, and share cast secrets, such as pressing gossip and gym-locker combinations. Orchestra seats place reality-television junkies in the middle of the venue, and the VIP ticket seats guests in the first 10 rows. In addition to up-close viewing, the VIP ticket includes an exclusive reception hosted by The Real Housewives with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, a separate red-carpet entrance to the venue, and a limited-edition tour laminate with matching lanyard. Attendees must be over 21 or a master of fake mustaches to participate in the Red Carpet package.