#AJFF2019 Opening Night Ceremony

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Alas, the commencement to the 19th Annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival had arrived! And I know I say it often, but #AJFF is my absolute favorite film festival here in Atlanta! Every year I attend, I leave out totally impacted by all of the staff members serving so attentively from beginning to end and more importantly, the opening film selection. Prior to the start of the opening night film, SHOELACES, we were blessed to attend the Pre-Screening Gala in the elegantly large galleria space at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. That night, there was a slew of delicious tastings from local food artisans and restaurants. Among these were,

Baroque Culinary Services

C. Ellet’s Steakhouse

Cafe Sunflower

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Chai Yo Modern Thai

Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse

For All Occasions & More

Il Giallo Osteria & Bar

Imperial Fez Moroccan Restaurant

Kaiser’s Chophouse

Secreto Souther Kitchen & Bar

South City Kitchen Vinings

Watershed on Peachtree

Zafron Restaurant

28 Whole Gluten Free Bakery

Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters

Da Vinci’s Donuts

Tiff’s Treats Cookie Delivery

For the opening film selection, we watched  SHOELACES which is a very heart-warming film! Nominated for 8 Israeli Awards including Best Film, SHOELACES is a brilliant dramedy about an aging mechanic with major health issues including kidney failure who finds himself taking custody of his special-needs son that he abandoned as a child. The story unravels as the two face a series of very difficult challenges with having to learn each other while at the same time, dealing with their own physical and emotional struggles. Eventually, their relationship is beautifully restored as they learn to depend on one another and ultimately, forgive one another as they equally forgive themselves. There is a lot to be learned through this film and what we see in the end is, with practice and perseverance, we can work through the most difficult of situations and master them as efficiently as tying our shoelaces!

For more information about the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, please visit www.ajff.org.

The Premiere of Atlanta's Cinébash

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Saturday, June 23rd from 7 PM - 12 AM, an innovative blend of music, the arts, food and dance, will makes its premiere début celebrating cinema arts and the work of graphic designer Saul Bass. Deceased now 22 years, Saul Bass is forever remembered for his motion picture title sequences, including Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo and Psycho, as well as his promo movie posters for films like Exodus, West Side Story and The Shining. Guests and lovers of the arts alike will gather this year at Cinébash to experience a well-rounded demonstration of Bass' artistry while networking among people in the industry hopefully to leave with a deeper appreciation for this type of craft. DJ Santiago Páramo will set the atmosphere musically along with an assortment of foods from several local restaurants including Taste of Atlanta. Alon's Bakery & Market, 1KEPT, City Barbeque, DAS BBQ, and FLIP Burger.

For more information about the event and to purchase tickets, visit Cinébash 2018

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Exclusive Interview with Filmmaker Pablo Solarz of The Last Suit

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The conclusion of the 2018 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival climaxed with a heart-clinching screening of The Last Suit by Director Pablo Solarz of Argentina. The Last Suit is a narrative about a Jewish 88-year-old tailor by the name of Abraham who sets out on an exhausting journey to reunite with the man who saved his life during the time of the Holocaust. This film, chosen as the celebratory closing at #AJFF2018 was an experience that captivated its viewers as we journeyed with Abraham from trial to triumph. Prior to the screening, we got the chance to speak with Pablo Solarz and hear first hand about what it took to bring this phenomenal project to life.

When asked how he felt to have The Last Suit shown as the closing film for this year’s festival, Pablo says it’s “like a dream” and that he’s very grateful to share this film with such a largely diverse audience. Originally written in 2004, it took over 13+ years to bring such a dream to fruition. His hope is for people to leave with a feeling of humanity and brotherhood; that no one is superior or inferior to the other. Also, Pablo wants people to realize how important it is to keep the memory of such tragedies alive in order to gain consciousness as to what we still see happening today. Both written and directed by Pablo Solarz himself, to date, the film is being viewed in 6 countries including Argentina, Spain, France, Germany, Poland and the U.S.

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For more information on the 2018 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival and the film The Last Suit, please visit ajff.org.


 

 

The 2018 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival Returns!

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Atlanta welcomes the 18th Annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival! This year's festival kicks off January 24th - February 15th and one not to be missed!  Both patrons and first-timers alike can anticipate a total of 192 screenings with an array of films from 27 countries. These heart-felt screenings will be shown at some of the most popular venues in the city including the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Perimeter Point 10, Atlantic Station Stadium, Hollywood Stadium 24, The Springs Cinema & Taphouse, Tara Cinemas 4 and the Woodruf Arts Center. The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival has something for everyone to enjoy and infuses both Jewish culture and timeless modern themes in a very captivating style. I, personally have had the privilege of participating in the film festival for the past two years and admit that AJFF has been my all time favorite film festival yet! AJFF Executive Director, Kenny Blank, encourages followers of the festival to expect a "universality to the stories told in this year's lineup, with both sweeping and epic stories, personal narratives, unconventional perspectives, and stories that intersect with other communities."

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The opening ceremony this year will commence with a media reception on the evening of January 24th followed by an exclusive documentary screening of Sammy Davis Jr.'s I've Gotta Be Me. This documentary highlights the Harlem-mite's legendary journey as a singer, dancer, artist and entertainer during the time of racial persecutions and the dire need to break through such barriers during his era. This, along with many other amazing screenings will be available throughout the city for on-goers to enjoy up until February, 15th (as the festival concludes).

For more information on AJFF and ticketing, please visit www.ajff.org.

DRESS LIKE A GENT

 

 

The 2017 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival in Review

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Wednesday, February 15th marked the close of this year's grand Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF). With over 37,500 film lovers in attendance and a total of 202 screenings showcased over the span of 23 days, this year's film festival has been a huge success! This year, facilitators of AJFF deliberately focused on enhancing audience experience and accessibility to draw in more participation both local and otherwise. As a second year participant at AJFF, I was totally excited to see which film selections would be shown this year and excited about engaging with other die-hard AJFF fans! Beginning with the opening night at the Cobb Energy Centre where guests gathered together in a classy place, enjoying all of the delectable food items there to the brilliant Alone in Berlin opening night film, nothing has been a disappointment! 

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This year, AJFF announced for the first time, Jury Award Winners delegated among various categories including best Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Short, Emerging Filmmaker, Building Bridges and Human Rights. Details and results for these awarding films can be found via www.ajff.org. Beyond that, I think it's is important to mention that this film festival is a high-quality event from start to completion, which makes you feel like you've not only learned something about the culture, but also gained a greater appreciation for the diversity and history of Jewish community as a whole.  And closing night was just as spectacular!

The finale screening for AJFF this year was the comedic drama known as The Women's Balcony. This film tells the story about a close-knit synagogue congregation that is torn apart after their dedicated women's balcony collapses during a Bar-Mitzpah. In utter shock including the rabbi's wife ending up in a coma, the congregation is swiftly engaged by the young Charismatic Rabbi David, who at first, appears to want to help them.  Gradually, they realize Rabbi David's legalistic, fundamentalist ways only end up doing the congregation more damage than good. Finally, the women of the congregation speak out and peacefully protest their objection to his directives which proves to turn matters favorably for both the men and women involved. 

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A great closing film choice followed by a kingly dessert reception lacing the upstairs and downstairs lobbies of The Woodruff Arts Centre, there is no better way that I could imagine finalizing such an excellent film festival like this one!

For more information about #AJFF2017, please visit www.ajff.org. Desserts for the closing reception were provided by Icing Cake Designs & Sweets Boutique.

Also, be sure to checkout these photos from the closing ceremony all Courtesy of Rhema Word Enterprises

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#AJFF2017 Film Review | Aida's Secrets

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Aida's Secrets is yet another stunningly  captivating film and documentary showcased at this year's Atlanta Jewish Film Festival! The story involves two estranged brothers Izak and Shepsel, who were never told about one another, both born during the post-war era in separate displaced persons camps. Separated from their Polish mother Aida and 65 years later, the brothers find themselves reunited, in hopes of putting the missing pieces back together concerning their uncertain heritage. While visually-impaired Shephsel ends up in Canada and his brother Izak, is shipped away to Israel for adoption, an investigation spearheaded by Izak's family, successfully, brings the two together to rejoin their mother Aida. This documentary is a story of redemption, hope, and particulary, Aida's Secrets is a film about how unconditional love prevails in spite of decades of unresolved questions. 

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Filmmakers Alon and Shaul Schwarz, capture the beauty of this family's story and teach us the importance of courageously confronting circumstances experienced with those closest to us in order to redeem lost, yet highly valuable time.  For more information about #AJFF2017, please visit www.ajff.org.

It's Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong - #AJFF2016

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The annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival hosted one of several screenings of the 2015 film "Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong" at Atlantic Station Regal Cinemas. Written and directed by Emily Ting, this romance comedy tells the story of two complete strangers who meet randomly at an outdoor birthday party in Hong Kong. The one, a Chinese American girl (Ruby) played by Jamie Chun and the other, an American guy (Josh) played by Brian Greenberg  who now resides in the city for work. The two build a mutual attraction over the course of two encounters as Josh helps Ruby get more acclimated with the city. The both share similar interests and spark one another's deepest ambition. The conflict is the fact that the both are in relationships and have to come to terms with the fact that the direction of their pre-existing relationship becomes questionable due to their growing infatuation with one another.

Check out the trailer below:

For more on the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, please visit www.ajff.org.

DRESS LIKE A GENT