It’s like Sundance and Cannes…only more kosher.
Entering its 12th year, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is set to take to the screens February 8 – 29, 2012. The event is Atlanta’s largest film festival attracting over 26,000 moviegoers and film buffs. This year’s romp is slated to offer 70 films (52 features and 18 shorts); a record number for the 2nd largest Jewish film festival in the nation. These films explore the human condition through cinema in entertaining, informative, and inspiring ways that truly echo the American Jewish Committee’s mission of “building bridges of understanding”.
Completing the festival experience are a series of special event screenings and the opportunity to dialogue with directors, actors, scholars and other guest speakers. The festival kicks off February 8th at The Fabulous Fox Theater with a VIP Opening Reception and screening of WWII dramedy My Best Enemy in the Egyptian Ballroom. On February 9th, the festival hosts Young Professionals Night at STRIP Atlantic Station followed by a screening of the Israeli campy horror film Rabies. On February 10th, food trucks will be on hand at Atlantic Station to complement the story of immigrant street cart vendors at the screening of The Apple Pushers. And on February 12th, a special screening of the coming of age romance Dirty Dancing will be shown at Lefont Sandy Springs to commemorate the film’s 25th anniversary.
With 70 films ranging from drama, comedy, suspense, and action, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. Some of our top picks that we can’t wait to see include:
My Best Enemy
Suspense. Betrayal. Romance. Reversed identities. These are the ingredients that make up MY BEST ENEMY, a handsomely mounted WWII thriller. In this twist-filled, action-packed caper, the brash son of a wealthy Jewish Viennese art dealer turns the tables on Nazi antagonists. As Hitler’s army invades Austria, Victor Kaufmann (Moritz Bleibtreu) is betrayed by lifelong friend Rudi Smekal (Georg Friedrich), now a Third Reich stooge. In an audacious plot, the Jewish prisoner and aspiring Nazi swap identities while vying both to recover a priceless Michelangelo drawing intended as a gift from the Führer to Mussolini, and for the beautiful, vibrant Lena (Ursula Strauss).
RABIES is the ultimate popcorn flick—a sexy survivalist thriller, a campy, clever whodunit, a devilishly fun heart stopper, and the first horror movie from Israel. Subverting expectations at every turn, the action opens in a remote forest as a guilt-ridden brother and sister flee home only to become ensnared in the trap of a psychopathic serial killer. Rescue efforts soon involve a group of unsuspecting tennis players, a grizzled park ranger and his dog, and a pair of rogue cops. An impressive cast of Israel’s top talent is gradually drawn into a whirlwind of dark secrets, mix-ups and bloody mayhem. Describing RABIES as a twisted parable on fear and rage in Israeli society, first-time directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado shot this slick homage to American B-movies in just 19 days on a shoestring budget.
The Apple Pushers
THE APPLE PUSHERS is the uplifting story of immigrant street cart vendors and an urban initiative to bring nutritional food to those who need it most. Attempting to address a lack of access to fresh and affordable produce, New York City launched an experiment in which “Green Carts” bearing fruits and vegetables would be deployed to “food deserts,” low-income neighborhoods where obesity rates are skyrocketing. In the face of entrenched political opposition, immigrant small business owners (including a Russian Jew who fled anti-Semitism) align with health advocates to take on this tough task with dignity and sacrifice, overcoming extraordinary challenges to carve out an economic niche. Narrated by Oscar nominee Edward Norton, THE APPLE PUSHERS chronicles public-private efforts to mitigate a national health crisis through the intersection of entrepreneurship and the American Dream.
We can’t wait to experience the 12th Annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. We had the opportunity to meet with the festival organizers for a preview of the upcoming festival and have to say that they’ve put together an experience worthy of all the glitz and glam of those other film festivals. So score your tickets for one of the many films being shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. They’re sure to sell out fast!
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival | February 8 – 29, 2012 | Various Locations | Twitter | Facebook