2017 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF)

For the first time ever, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF) has introduced Jury Prizes, to be deliberated by an esteemed panel of filmmakers, journalists and experts.  The inaugural Jury will review a select number of films playing in competition, and then pick winners across six categories, all to be announced at AJFF’s Closing Night. The 17th annual AJFF returns for another expansive 23 days from Tuesday, January 24 through Wednesday, February 15. The films in competition can be found on AJFF.org along with the full lineup and official schedule. Tickets go on sale beginning Wednesday, January 18.

For years, the jury of public opinion has cast their ballots for the annual AJFF Audience Awards. In addition to the existing Audience Awards for Best Narrative, Best Documentary and Best Short, there will be new Jury Prizes in these same categories.

An Emerging Filmmaker Prize will also be awarded to a rising creative talent whose film shows exceptional skill and artistry.

The Building Bridges Prize will honor the film that most exemplifies the mission of AJFF, informed by founder and partner American Jewish Committee, to foster understanding among communities of diverse religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Rounding out the list is the Human Rights Prize, awarded to the film that most powerfully captures the perseverance and strength of those guided by a sense of justice in the face of bigotry, inequality, or persecution.

The complete Inaugural Jury is listed below. Each panel will also include a local student juror from Emory University.

JURY CHAIR
Arik Sokol (Producer, Opus Media Productions)

FEATURES JURY
Eleanor Ringel-Cater (Film Critic, Atlanta Business Chronicle)
Yair Rosenberg (Senior Writer, Tablet)

Films in Competition

Narrative Features Jury Prize:
Beyond the Mountains and Hills
Zacma: Blindness
Fanny’s Journey
Paradise
Past Life
Riphagen: The Untouchable

Documentary Features Jury Prize:
Aida’s Secrets
Big Sonia
Keep Quiet
Mother with a Gun
On the Map
The Settlers

EMERGING FILMMAKERS JURY
Nitzan Gilady (Israeli Filmmaker)
Dr. Nathaniel Kohn (Associate Director, George Foster Peabody Awards)

Films in Competition:
Abulele
A.K.A. Nadia
Beyond the Mountains and Hills
Harmonia
In Between
Olympic Pride, American Prejudice
One Week and a Day
Our Father

BUILDING BRIDGES JURY
Bradley Jacobs (Film Journalist & Communications Strategist)
Melanie Maron Pell (Director of Regional Engagement, American Jewish Committee)

Films in Competition:
90 Minute War
Body and Soul: An American Bridge
Family Commitments
Harmonia
Olympic Pride, American Prejudice
Wrestling Jerusalem

HUMAN RIGHTS JURY
Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt (Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies, Emory University)
Edith Love (National Director of Major Gifts, Center for Civil and
 Human Rights)

Films in Competition:
Across the Waters
The Children of Chance
Forever Pure
The Freedom to Marry
The Jews
Olympic Pride, American Prejudice

SHORTS JURY
Eric Kohn (Chief Critic & Senior Editor, Indiewire)
Deidre McDonald (Founding Artistic Director, BronzeLens Film Festival)

Films in Competition:
An Average Story
Chika, The Dog in the Ghetto
Framed: The Adventures of Zion Man
Irving
Joe’s Violin
The Last Blintz
The Man Who Shot Hollywood
Mr. Bernstein
Wig Shop

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