The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, the biggest film festival in metro Atlanta, has announced its 2016 schedule — 77 feature films screened in 23 days at eight venues.
The 2016 event, running Jan. 26 through Feb. 17, opens with Remember (2015, 95 minutes), a December release directed by Atom Egoyan (the Oscar-nominated The Sweet Hereafter). It features Christopher Plummer as a Holocaust survivor dealing with dementia and seeking revenge on his Nazi tormentor. Martin Landau also stars. It screens at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
The festival closes with the documentary In Search of Israeli Cuisine (2015, 97 mins), in which Michael Solomonov — a celebrity chef, restaurateur and James Beard Award winner — travels to Israel, his homeland, to examine its cultural heritage. This screening, at the Woodruff Arts Center’s Symphony Hall, will be followed by samples of Israeli cuisine.
The 77 films in the fest come from 26 countries and include five world premieres, nine North American premieres and four American premieres.
“This is a cultural celebration and an artistic showcase meant to feed the soul and the mind, as well as entertain,” says Kenny Blank, AJFF executive director. “It is more than just a night at the movies. It is a curated experience that engages and inspires diverse audiences with film through a Jewish lens.”
The AJFF, now in its 16th year, has become the largest of the 200 Jewish film festivals in the world, with 2015 attendance topping 38,600 moviegoers.
To help those moviegoers navigate the selections, Emory University’s Matthew Bernstein and newsman Bob Bahr will host a “best bests” conversation Jan. 3 at Temple Sinai ($25), on the documentaries and short films. An earlier session dealt with the feature films.
Festival tickets ($9-$13 for individual films, $18 for special events) go on sale Jan. 10 via the AJFF website or the box office at 678.701.6104. All ticket prices include taxes, but a $2.50 fee is added to phone orders. Tickets can be purchased at the theater venues during festival hours only.
The films will screen at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, GTC Merchants Walk in Marietta, Lefont Sandy Springs, Regal Atlantic Station, Regal Avalon in Alpharetta, SCADshow (formerly the 14th Street Playhouse in Midtown), UA Tara Cinemas and Symphony Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center.
- A 40th anniversary screening of Woody Allen’s The Front (95 mins), a McCarthy-era comedy in which Allen comes to the aid of a blacklisted screenwriter.
- A 40th anniversary screening of Marathon Man (125 mins) starring Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier in a story about a grad student saddled with family demons and unwittingly snared in a conspiracy of stolen gems and Nazis.
- An 85th anniversary screening of His Wife’s Lover (1931, 80 mins), the first Jewish musical-comedy talking picture.
- Three films will look at terrorism (Je suis Charlie, 92 mins), immigration (Children of Giant, 85 mins) and reproductive rights (The Law, 90 mins), respectively, in response to recent terrorist attacks and as a prelude to U.S. elections.
- Biographies on filmmaker Sidney Lumet, Yiddish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer and philosopher Hannah Arendt.
- Two biographies of Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin, in the 20th anniversary year of his assassination — Rabin in His Own Words and Rabin, the Last Day.