It’s a wrap: 36,000+ attend 2018 AJFF

death in the terminal

TOP PHOTO: Death in the Terminal, which looks at a 2015 terrorist attack at an Israeli bus station and its aftermath, won the Documentary and Human Rights jury prizes.

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THE 2018 ATLANTA JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL — 23 days long, with more than 190 screenings at seven venues — attracted more than 36,000 moviegoers, according to festival organizers. Closing night at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, featuring the Southeast premiere of writer-director Pablo Solarz’ The Last Suit, attracted a record-setting crowd of more than 1,600.

As usual, a number of awards were handed out, too. The winners:

NARRATIVE JURY PRIZE (for a feature-length fiction film): The Testament, director Amichai Greenberg’s 2018 story about an uncompromising Holocaust researcher who uncovers a long-buried secret about his family history.

DOCUMENTARY JURY PRIZE (for a feature-length nonfiction film): Death in the Terminal, Israeli directors Tali Shemesh and Asaf Sudry’s 2017 look at a 2015 terrorist attack at an Israeli bus station, and the paranoia-fueled confusion that followed.

 “On My Way Out: The Secret Life of Nani and Popi,” from Canada.

“On My Way Out: The Secret Life of Nani and Popi,” from Canada.

SHORTS JURY PRIZE (run time of 40 minutes or less): On My Way Out: The Secret Life of Nani and Popi, Canadian directors Brandon and Skyler Gross’ 2017 piece about an ostensibly happy couple marking six decades of marriage and uncovering a painful truth.

EMERGING FILMMAKER JURY PRIZE: Winter Hunt, German filmmaker Astrid Schult’s 2017 psychological thriller about a young woman who seeks reprisal against a suspected ex-Nazi.

BUILDING BRIDGES JURY PRIZE (fosters understanding among communities of diverse religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds): Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds: The Conductor Zubin Mehta, German director Bettina Ehrhardt’s profile of the India-born maestro most often associated with the Israeli Philharmonic.

HUMAN RIGHTS JURY PRIZE: Death in the Terminal, again.

 “The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm,” from American director Amy Schatz.

“The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm,” from American director Amy Schatz.

AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST NARRATIVE: The Last Suit, a 2017 film about a cantankerous, aging Jewish tailor who leaves his life in Argentina for a journey back in time and halfway around the world to find the man who saved him from death at Auschwitz.

AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY: Itzhak, director Alison Chemick’s 2017 impressionist, fly-on-the-wall portrait of Itzhak Perlman, the Iraeli-born master violinist.

AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST SHORT: The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm, American director Amy Schatz’s 19-minute piece from 2017, about a young boy’s tender questions, his great-grandfather’s tattooed arm and the intimate, emotional conversation about tragedy and perseverance that ensues.

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