25 January, 2016

What to See at the 2016 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

The largest Jewish film festival in the world returns for its Sweet Sixteen. Here is a list of titles for you to check out during the 23-day event.

We love that each new year of the Georgia film festival circuit kicks off with the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. The city's most widely attended film event stretches out over three weeks at eight different venues across Midtown Atlanta, Buckhead, Alpharetta, Marietta, Vinings and Sandy Springs. No film festival in the state packs the house as consistently as AJFF and we are looking forward to joining in the opening night ceremonies on Tuesday, January 26 at the Cobb Energy Centre.

This year's lineup is as strong as ever, with films pouring in from all over the world and covering all sorts of thematic ground. Whether you want academic documentaries, Israeli award-winners, Japanese biopics, romantic comedies, musicals or whatever else you can think of—AJFF '16 has it.

We've compiled a long list of films you must see this year! See our picks after the jump.

Opening Night: Remember

Academy Award-winner Christopher Plummer is a dementia-stricken Holocaust survivor out for revenge in master director Atom Egoyan’s supremely suspenseful thriller "Remember."

Closing Night: In Search of Israeli Cuisine

In a gastronomical expedition, celebrity chef-restaurateur Michael Solomonov zigzags Israel to savor a food revolution rooted in centuries-old tradition.

Must See: Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong

Two attractive young strangers forge a magnetic if uncertain connection in "Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong," a charming fish-out-of-water romance with stunning visuals and sparkling banter.

Must See: Atomic Falafel

The next generation squares off against old guard military hardliners to prevent a Middle East nuclear crisis in "Atomic Falafel," a farce that skewers the current Israel-Iran showdown.

Must See: Jeruzalem

Young American tourists visiting Israel are trapped at the center of a biblical apocalypse in "Jeruzalem," a supernatural thriller that maximizes the Old City’s rich atmosphere for nightmarish hyper-visceral effect. Star Yael Grobglas was first seen in AJFF 2012 hit "Rabies."

Must See: A Grain of Truth

A maverick prosecutor finds himself dragged into the investigation of a string of ritual killings rooted in Poland’s anti-Semitic past in the suspenseful detective thriller "A Grain of Truth."

Must See: Mountain

An unbearably isolated Orthodox woman escapes her troubles by turning to the lewd nocturnal life inside an ancient Jerusalem cemetery in "Mountain," the accomplished debut feature of writer-director Yaelle Kayam.

Must See: Persona Non Grata

The audacious true story of the Japanese diplomat who acted against orders to save thousands of Jewish lives from Nazi extermination gets a sweeping, big-screen treatment in the epic biopic "Persona Non Grata."

Must See: Wedding Doll

Sterling performances highlight the sensitive and heartbreaking story of a mentally disabled but strong-willed young Israeli woman who struggles for independence.

Ophir Nominees

Several selections at AJFF each year come from the annual Ophir Awards—the Israeli Oscars. Last year, films like "Fire Birds," "The Kind Words" and "Wedding Doll" dominated the nominations. Other films like "Atomic Falafel," "Jeruzalem" and documentary "Censored Voices" were also among those shortlisted.
  • "Atomic Falafel"
  • "Censored Voices"
  • "Fire Birds"
  • "Jeruzalem"
  • "The Kind Words"
  • "Wedding Doll"

Docs to Watch

This festival is known for powerful documentaries, but the range of subject matter showcased in the nonfiction program continues to surprise. While many Holocaust and Israeli historical docs feature, you'll also find tributes to film legends "By Sidney Lumet" and portraits of little-known artists "Carvalho's Journey."
  • "By Sidney Lumet"
  • "Carvalho's Journey" (pictured)
  • "Censored Voices"
  • "Children of Giant"
  • "East Jerusalem West Jerusalem"

Happy Anniversary!

Anniversary screenings have become more popular in recent years for AJFF and while none of this year's titles are household names, there is plenty of intrigue to be found. John Schlesinger's "Marathon Man" features Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier in an Oscar-nominated role. "The Front" was nominated for its screenplay and features Woody Allen as an actor only. "Singing in the Dark" and "His Wife's Lover" are both celebrated musicals.
  • 40th: "The Front"
  • 40th: "Marathon Man" (pictured)
  • 60th: "Singing in the Dark"
  • 85th: "His Wife's Lover"

Find out more information and get tickets at www.ajff.org.


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