Renowned Composer Jongnic Bontemps, Who Scored “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts,” Headlines MGA’s 2024 Arts Festival

Author: Sheron Smith
Posted: Monday, March 11, 2024 12:00 AM
Categories: Students | Faculty/Staff | School of Arts and Letters | Events- Students | Events- Public | Pressroom

Macon and Cochran, GA

Jongnic Bontemps

Modern film composer Jongnic Bontemps, also known as JB, headlines the 2024 Arts Festival, hosted by Middle Georgia State University’s School of Arts & Letters and scheduled for March 25-April 15. This year’s festival, the theme of which is “Reel People,” celebrates the filmmakers, composers, creators, and stories that defy the historical homogeneity of Hollywood.

Paramount Pictures tapped Bontemps to score the blockbuster, sci-fi action movie Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. He will screen the film and discuss his score at 6 p.m. Monday, April 8, in the Arts Complex Theater on MGA’s Macon Campus. Like all Arts Festival events, the screening is free and open to the public.

"Our Reel People Arts Festival theme was created in response to the enormous interest in and economic impact of movies and media in Georgia,” said Dr. Mary Wearn, dean of the School of Arts & Letters.  “The film industry in our state generated over $4 billion dollars in 2023 – not including gaming, esports, and other interactive entertainment forms.  The School of Arts & Letters is all about supporting Georgia's creative economy by preparing students to work in film, music production, and other digital media. The Reel People Arts Festival will expose our students and the greater community to the artistry and aesthetics of film and media. Our Arts Fest lineup is broad and eclectic to represent the diverse array of creative opportunities in the sector and to highlight the work of our own faculty and students."  

Originally from Brooklyn, Bontemps is known for his fusion of contemporary sound with timeless emotion. He became the go-to composer for director Steven Caple Jr. while scoring his coming-of-age drama The Land, for which he also orchestrated the song “This Bitter Land” performed by Nas and Erykah Badu. The two then went on to collaborate on the acclaimed film Creed II, for which Bontemps provided rousing additional music. His music can most recently be heard in the Netflix romantic comedy Wedding Season, the CW sci-fi series 4400, and the dramatic feature Last Night in Rozzie directed by Sean Gannet. His soon-to-be-released projects include two for Disney+: the feature film World’s Best for director Roshan Sethi and the six-part series Choir for director Rudy Valdez, as well as the Arkane Studios horror video game Redfall and Jagged Mind for director Kelley Kali.

Other Arts Festival events will be hosted by various School of Arts & Letters faculty members. Events include:


  • A screening and discussion of the film, The Celluloid Closet, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, Douglass Theatre, downtown Macon.
  • Student Art Exhibition from March 28-April 5 in the School of Arts & Letters lobby, Macon Campus.
  • Screening and discussion of the short films She Does Not Smile and An Endoscopy, which were created by MGA faculty member Zardosht Afshari, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28, in the Math Auditorium on the Macon Campus. He will also discuss the films at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, in Walker Hall Auditorium on the Cochran Campus.
  • MGA faculty member Michael Gaffney screens the film and discusses his score for Dear Daughter at 2 p.m. Monday, April 1, in the Math Auditorium on the Macon Campus.
  • Student actors will present the comedy By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, at 6 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, April 2-4, in the Arts Complex Theatre, Macon Campus.
  • The Honors Student Association will host a video game trailer from noon to 3 p.m. Monday, April 8, on the Cochran Campus, and then again on Monday, April 15, same times, on the Macon Campus. More details to come.
  • The MGA Chamber Singers will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, in the Arts Complex Rehearsal Hall on the Macon Campus.
  • Student actors will present Moonlight and Magnolias at 7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, April 9-11, in Russell Hall Auditorium, Cochran Campus.
  • Student Art Exhibition Reception and Awards will take place at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at Peacock Gallery, Cochran Campus.
  • The MGA Percussion Ensemble will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11, in the Arts Complex Theatre.
  • A School of Arts & Letters-hosted second screening of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will take place at 6 p.m. Monday, April 15, in Walker Hall Auditorium, Cochran Campus.


The MGA Arts Festival is generously supported by the Linda Harriet Lane Fund, a component fund of the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, and in partnership with the Douglass Theatre. Additional support comes from the MGA Honors Program. More details about all events are at