Atlanta Jewish Film Festival celebrates 20 years of film; Announces lineup and dates

The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF) is proud to announce the full lineup and official schedule for the 20th-anniversary event, taking place from February 10 through February 27.

The 2020 AJFF features 48 full feature and 16 short films, three World Premieres, five North American Premieres and two U.S. Premieres from 17 countries. Screenings will be presented at theater venues across metro Atlanta, including Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, Regal Perimeter Pointe, UA Tara Cinemas, Landmark Theatres Midtown Art Cinema, the Plaza Theater, and the Woodruff Arts Center. The 2020 selections are highly diverse films – covering everything from intimate and introspective biographies, epic dramas, stories that intersect with other communities, and topics with ripped-from-the-headlines urgency. The annual festival also offers compelling guest speakers and visiting filmmakers, who provide a unique perspective on the film lineup. Special guest speakers will be announced at a later date.

Opening Night kicks off with the World Premiere of Shared Legacies: The African-American Jewish Civil Rights Alliance, an inspiring documentary with strong Atlanta ties and featuring prominent local leaders including Congressman John Lewis, Amb. Andrew Young, Rabbi Alvin Sugarman, Rabbi Peter S. Berg, Martin Luther King III., and many others.

This year’s lineup also brings Atlanta audiences closer to award season by featuring films from the 2020 Oscar shortlist such as Advocate (shortlisted for Best Documentary Feature), The Painted Bird and Those Who Remained (shortlisted for Best International Feature), and “Da Bronx” from The Bronx USA(shortlisted for Best Original Song).

Tickets go on sale via AJFF.org beginning Monday, January 28 at 10:00 AM. Ticket prices include:

  • $36 for Opening Night General Admission (includes complimentary parking and film)
  • $36 for Young Professionals Night, Presented by ACCESS (includes pre-show party and film)
  • $36 for Closing Night (includes complimentary parking, film, and post-screening dessert reception)
  • $16 for General Admission
  • $14 for Seniors (ages 65 & older)/Students (with valid student ID)/Children (aged 12 & under)

Descriptions for the full 2020 lineup are below:

#AnneFrank. Parallel Stories
Atlanta Premiere
Documentary • Italy • 90 minutes
Anne Frank’s immortal words are revived for the hashtag generation via social media, as Oscar-winning Helen Mirren breathes new life into the famous diary. This modern retelling of Anne’s story carries the gifted diarist’s legacy forward in powerful new ways.

Abe
Atlanta Premiere
Narrative • Brazil, USA • 85 minutes
In this lighthearted Sundance dramedy, Noah Schnapp (Stranger Things) is a Brooklyn kid and son of an Israeli mother and Palestinian father. With the aid of a Brazilian chef and food blogger who believes mixing flavors can connect people, Abe hopes to unify his politically fraught, mixed-heritage family over a Thanksgiving feast.

Advocate
Atlanta Premiere
Documentary • Canada, Israel, Switzerland • 114 minutes
In this DocAviv best film winner, a controversial Jewish lawyer pushes Israeli courts to the limit in unwavering defense of Palestinian rights. For nearly 50 years, Lea Tsemel has represented Palestinian prisoners in what she views as a rigged legal system. High-profile court cases are juxtaposed with flashbacks to her leftist awakening and attempt to raise a family, as this outspoken anti-establishment figure is astutely examined.

Africa
Atlanta Premiere
Narrative • Israel • 82 minutes
An Israeli retiree seeks to restore his sense of purpose in this tender, lovingly observed Haifa Film Festival top prize winner. Slipping into the sunset of life isn’t easy for crusty but softhearted Meir, a former engineer who now toils away crafting a bed for his grandson. Devastated when a younger cohort takes over organizing a traditional community ceremony, this low-key gem proves a profound contemplation on aging and transition.

After Class
Atlanta Premiere
Narrative • SA • 94 minutes
Justin Long leads an all-star cast in this edgy, Big Apple dysfunctional family dramedy about a 30-something college professor forced to defend his reputation. Josh is also beset with multiple family issues—divorcing parents and bickering siblings, among them—in this millennial urban tale that tackles changing social attitudes with humor, candor, and compassion. With Lynn Cohen, Fran Drescher and Richard Schiff.

Alan Pakula: Going For Truth
Southeast Premiere
Documentary • USA • 110 minutes
In this eulogy to a brilliant life tragically cut short, Hollywood remembers the visionary behind many of the 20th century’s most provocative films, including All the President’s Men, Sophie’s Choice and To Kill a Mockingbird. Of Polish-Jewish descent, Pakula’s ethos manifest in stories of heart and suspense, and themes of moral malfeasance. Interviews with cinema luminaries, and copious movie clips, confirm his exceptional reputation and give the reclusive filmmaker his due.

The Art of Waiting
Atlanta Premiere
Narrative • Israel • 91 minutes
In this sweetly funny romance-dramedy, a 30-something Israeli couple has baby fever, putting their marriage to the test in a frenzy to get pregnant. The biological clock ticks as they begin protracted fertility treatments, a physical and emotional rollercoaster of medical procedures and regimented lovemaking. It’s soon clear the road to parenthood is not easy, in this frank portrayal of modern pregnancy.

Aulcie
Atlanta Premiere
Documentary • Israel, USA • 72 minutes
One of Israel’s top athletes captures the nation’s spirit while prevailing against the odds, in this exciting bio of a basketball icon. From Harlem’s courts to Maccabi Tel Aviv ‘76, Aulcie Perry helped Israel win its first European Championship. But fame led to a dramatic downfall, then ultimate redemption, for this superstar who put Israeli basketball on the map.

Back to Maracanã
Atlanta Premiere
Narrative • Brazil, Israel • 92 minutes
Three generations seek to reconcile on a hasty trip to Brazil, in this heartfelt dramedy. Divorced, his business failing, Roberto—a Brazilian expat in Israel—takes his anxious son and impetuous father to Rio to watch Brazil’s World Cup quest. While mending their fraught relationships, the trio’s rocky journey reveals vital life lessons and long-buried secrets.

Black Mercedes
East Coast Premiere
Narrative • Poland • 123 minutes
A young woman’s murder leads a police detective into a murky underworld of sex and intrigue, in this twisting thriller set in Nazi-occupied Warsaw. The chief inspector’s ties to the Polish Underground jeopardize his probe, as he seeks to unravel this noir whodunit layered with hidden identities and startling turns.

Born in Jerusalem and Still Alive
Atlanta Premiere
Narrative • Israel • 83 minutes
In a deft blend of dark comedy and quirky romance, a loveless, neurotic schlemiel finds emotional healing while gigging as a Jerusalem tour guide. When not caring for his doddering father, Ronen copes by offering free tours of famous terror attack sites along Jaffa Road…until he meets high-spirited Asia, an architecture student. Suddenly more alive, Ronen faces a worrying choice, in this droll take on the absurdity of everyday life in Israel.

The Bronx, USA
Southeast Premiere
Documentary • USA • 83 minutes
Seinfeld producer George Shapiro visits old stomping grounds in this star-studded, funny, nostalgic ode to New York’s northernmost borough. Decades after launching a successful showbiz career, Shapiro returns to the Bronx, kibitzing with friends about the glories of their immigrant neighborhood. The class of ’49 Bronx Boys also endearingly encounter students of today, at their high school alma mater. Notable Bronxites reminiscing include Carl Reiner, Gen. Colin Powell, Robert Klein, and Alan Alda, in this heartwarming walk down memory lane.

Bully. Coward. Victim, The Story of Roy Cohn
Atlanta Premiere
Documentary • USA • 94 minutes
An unflinching look at one of the country’s most vilified figures, this riveting profile of the closeted, self-loathing power broker reveals the man behind the Machiavellian mask. From McCarthyism’s chief architect to Trump mentor, Cohn’s amoral career stained U.S. politics. Filmmaker Ivy Meeropol, granddaughter of the Rosenbergs, executed as spies, adds a personal prism to this interrogatory account.

A Cantor’s Head
Atlanta Premiere
Documentary • USA • 87 minutes
One of the world’s leading cantorial masters departs the bema, prompting questions about the fading tradition of Jewish sacred music. With an outsized Brooklyn persona and phenomenal voice, Cantor Jack Mendelson utterly leaps off the screen. But after 29 years, his synagogue prefers a younger cantor. With emotion, Mendelson and other experts explain a centuries-long art form, and what its loss represents.

Crescendo
Atlanta Premiere
Narrative • Germany • 112 minutes
A famous conductor assembling an orchestra of Israeli and Palestinian youth for a Mideast peace summit, finds a tempest of deep discord. Corralling the young artists, sworn enemies from the Arab-Israeli divide, is easier said than done, in this potent drama, with an amazing cast of non-actors, led by veteran Peter Simonischek.

Dolce Fine Giornata
Atlanta Premiere
Narrative • Brazil • 96 minutes
An impetuous writer recklessly speaks out following a deadly terrorist attack, in this thought-provoking arthouse drama that contemplates the limits of free speech. Polish-Jewish expat Maria lives her golden years in a charming Tuscan villa, while fostering a secret liaison. When she decries Europe’s eroding democratic ideals, she’s unprepared for the hostility she garners, in this superbly crafted, morally complex intersection of artistic license and political discourse.

Exodus
Narrative • USA • 208 minutes
The birth of modern Israel gets the big-budget, Hollywood treatment in this exhilarating epic featuring an all-star ensemble. Paul Newman is Israeli resistance leader Ari Ben Canaan, who defies a British blockade to smuggle Jewish refugees to Palestine. Once ashore, he falls for an American nurse, Kitty (Eva Marie Saint), as they risk their lives for the Zionist cause. Otto Preminger’s lavish production includes standout supporting performances from Lee J. Cobb and Sal Mineo, as well as Ernest Gold’s Academy Award-winning score.

Flawless
Atlanta Premiere
Narrative • Israel • 97 minutes
A sisterhood of outcasts seeks to remake themselves in this provocative, poignant, coming-of-age dramedy, wherein the trio goes to queasy extremes to bankroll cosmetic surgery and prom dresses. This beguiling, cautionary tale of self-discovery and prejudice features a standout performance by the first transgender woman nominated for Israel’s top acting prize.

The Glass Room
North American Premiere
Narrative • Czech Republic, Slovakia • 104 minutes
An iconic home (the stunning Villa Tugendhat) takes center stage as secret affairs and history’s shifting tides shatter a Czech marriage, in this mesmerizing, erotic wartime saga. A wealthy Jewish industrialist and his gentile wife see their dream house become home to passionate, dark desires as 1930s idealism gives way to Hitler. Based on Simon Mawer’s hit novel.

Golda
Atlanta Premiere
Documentary • Germany, Israel • 88 minutes
Israel’s only female prime minister defends her clouded legacy in this engrossing portrait backboned by a surprisingly candid, unaired TV interview buttressed by testimonials from devotees and detractors alike, which charts Golda’s trailblazing rise to power and her tragic demise.

The Great Dictator
Narrative • USA • 125 minutes
The silver screen’s biggest star savagely mocks the 20th century’s worst monster in this bold, satirical tour-de-force. A personal takedown of Hitler even before America’s entry into WWII, Chaplin makes no bones about his utter contempt for the fascist leader. His first true talkie, an audacious amalgam of slapstick, politics, tragedy and romance, culminates in one of cinema’s starkest scenes: the comic actor’s deadly-serious, character-breaking speech pleading for tolerance. Chaplin’s box office hit is ranked among the all-time greatest comedies.

Hollywood’s II. World War
Southeast Premiere
Documentary • Germany • 90 minutes
Some of Hollywood’s famed filmmakers, including Jewish emigres William Wyler and Billy Wilder, risk everything in a campaign to rally America behind the war effort. Seeking to foil Hitler’s pervasive propaganda, the government sent documentary crews to war zones to collect tales of heroism, the celluloid chronicling the democratic ideals for which the Allies fought.

Holy Silence
Atlanta Premiere
Documentary • USA • 72 minutes
The Catholic Church’s response to the Holocaust is examined via historic film, rare documents and current interviews, revealing a failure of moral authority. Pope Pius XI overtly decried the anti-Semitism of 1938 Germany, but his successor took a starkly different stance. What more might the Church have done to halt the Final Solution and help Europe’s Jews? As the Vatican prepares to open its secret WWII archives in March 2020, this timely exposé examines all sides of a hotly debated topic.

The Humorist
Atlanta Premiere
Narrative • Czech Republic, Latvia, Russia • 101 minutes
A successful but stifled Russian-Jewish comedian cracks under the mounting pressure of personal insecurities and state censorship, in this smart, decidedly non-comedic social satire. After failing as a writer, Boris succeeds doing stand-up, but his creativity is stifled under mid-‘80s Soviet repression. Summoned like a court jester by the KGB, and finally pushed to the edge by the decadence and despotism of the ruling elite, events culminate in a revenge-soaked twist worthy of Shakespeare.

Incitement
Atlanta Premiere
Narrative • Israel • 123 minutes
Israel’s Oscar submission, a riveting psychological thriller, dramatizes the motives behind Prime Minister Rabin’s 1995 assassination. Told through the perpetrator’s eyes, the zealot is egged on by national leaders, religious orthodoxy, and right-wing media. With an unnerving central performance, this rigorously researched portrait was Israel’s Best Film winner.

Jay Myself
Atlanta Premiere
Documentary • USA • 79 minutes
After 50 years amassing random items in his Lower Manhattan mansion, revered photographer Jay Maisel plans to depart his Bowery nest. His iconic work includes magazine and album covers, advertising, and street photography. A compulsive collector, he crammed every corner of “The Bank”—his 72-room dwelling—with copious miscellany. But as it’s emptied, a melancholy Maisel waxes philosophical, resulting in an affectionate ode to a noteworthy life, the attritions of age, and the end of an era.

The Keeper
Atlanta Premiere
Narrative • Germany, United Kingdom • 118 minutes
An ex-Nazi plays soccer for salvation in this rousing, romantic epic true story. No longer a British POW, the Manchester City team hires Bert Trautmann as goalkeeper, where he arouses the interest of the club manager’s daughter, and the post-war ire of fans. Famously playing the ‘56 FA Cup Final with a broken neck, Trautmann’s tale tells of how sports can unite.

Keeping the Faith
Narrative • USA • 128 minutes
Edward Norton helms and co-stars in this sweet, spiritual comedy about an unusual love triangle: a rabbi and priest fall for the same woman. Friends since childhood, Brian (Norton) and Jake (Ben Stiller) are now servants of God. Their lives are upended with the return of Anna (Jenna Elfman), who’s become a high-powered workaholic beauty. Both are enchanted by her, sparking rivalry and dilemmas, in this fresh and funny date movie with a stellar supporting cast: Anne Bancroft, Milos Forman, Ron Rifkin, and Eli Wallach.

Last Week at Ed’s
East Coast Premiere
Documentary • USA • 39 minutes
In this fond farewell to a community fixture, a favorite West Hollywood diner serves its final meals. Since 1947, an eclectic mix of folks ate at Ed’s Coffee Shop, an old-school breakfast and lunch nook, first owned by Ed Blumstein and then his daughter. But after nearly 60 years, it’s closing, a victim of shifting demographics and competition. Hit hard by the news, close-knit staff and loyal customers share memories over last servings of classic comfort food. Former Ed’s regulars, Oscar nominees Lawrence Kasdan and wife Meg, direct this intimate passion project.

Ma’ararot: The Israeli Transit Camps
Southeast Premiere
Documentary • Israel • 84 minutes
Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa reveal the intrinsic bigotry and harsh conditions they found upon landfall in 1950s Israel. Arriving during a time of poverty and austerity, Jews seeking shelter in the Promised Land instead were forced into ma’abarot, remote shantytowns of tents and sheds. Already dispirited, they waited days for food, showers and toilets. An ignored chapter of Israeli history, troubling testimony is illustrated with archival film and photos.

The Mamboniks
Atlanta Premiere
Documentary • USA • 90 minutes
Jewish soul and Cuban song mesh on the dance floor in this wistful look at the mambo mania that swept the nation in the ‘50s. Jewish Americans fell for Havana’s hot mix of sultry Latin and Afro-Cuban rhythms in neon-splashed New York, Miami’s art deco hotels, and the Catskills resorts. Against a big band soundtrack, the free-spirited mamboniks colorfully recall their love affair with the Cuban dance craze.

The Mover
Atlanta Premiere
Narrative • Latvia • 87 minutes
Latvia’s Oscar entry, this gripping, ominous drama tells of real worker Žanis Lipke—Latvia’s Schindler—honored for his courage during WWII. Žanis and his wife are unlikely heroes, suffering under the Soviets and Germans. When the Nazis begin moving Jews from a nearby ghetto into forced-labor camps, Žanis embarks on a covert mission to save them from certain death.

My Polish Honeymoon
Atlanta Premiere
Narrative • France • 88 minutes
In this sorrow-tinged romantic comedy, Parisian newlyweds travel to Poland, their honeymoon awkwardly doubling as a bid to reconnect with their Jewish heritage and homeland. Unable to bridge past and present in this strange yet familiar land, the eye-opening journey doesn’t go as planned. Awash with offbeat characters and absurd vignettes, this life-affirming charmer, a Moscow Film Festival FIPRESCI Critics prizewinner, movingly conveys the void sometimes experienced by third-generation survivors.

Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Atlanta Premiere
Documentary • USA • 114 minutes
British-born neurologist and literary giant Oliver Sacks is posthumously feted in this profoundly engaging, deeply personal memoir. Known by the film Awakenings, early fame came from his brilliant writings on cognitive disorders and natural world splendors. Sacks battled drugs, homophobia, and a skeptical medical establishment, and after a terminal diagnosis, vividly faces the meaning of his existence.

The Operative
Atlanta Premiere
Narrative • France, Germany, Israel, USA • 117 minutes
Diane Kruger is an undercover Israeli spy in this complex espionage thriller about a Westerner-turned-rogue Mossad agent caught in international conspiracy. When she vanishes, Thomas (Martin Freeman), a British Jew, retraces her steps: Will her transgressive affair undermine a plot to sabotage Iran’s nuclear plan? This authentic portrayal of modern spy craft is based on the Israeli novel The English Teacher.

The Painted Bird
Atlanta Premiere
Narrative • Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine •169 minutes
A poor, nameless Jewish boy faces humanity’s worst on a trek across war-torn Eastern Europe, in this wrenching, but stunning Holocaust epic, the Czech Oscar entry. Ambling alone in the frantic final days of Nazi occupation, he meets ignorant peasants and ruthless soldiers’ extreme depravity: only meager acts of grace offer hope of catharsis. This unflinching depiction of evil, based on Jerzy Kosiński’s controversial novel, is not for the faint-hearted.

The Passengers
Atlanta Premiere
Documentary • Ethiopia, Israel, USA • 72 minutes
On their community’s behalf, two young Ethiopian men rally support for immigration to Israel. Roughly 9,000 Ethiopian Jews observe religious customs, yet Israel still denies their birthright return. Desperate to be heard, Demoz and Gezi go to America to find advocates for their cause, confronting homesickness, culture shock, and the frustrations of a grassroots effort. Their journey reveals the thorny politics of Ethiopian Jewry and the Zionist ideal.

Picture of His Life
Atlanta Premiere
Documentary • Canada, Israel, USA • 72 minutes
A daring Israeli underwater photographer spends 40 years taking stunning close-ups of aquatic wildlife, but one fearsome challenge eludes him: swimming beside a polar bear while filming the encounter. This breathtaking portrait reveals a fervent artist and activist risking life and limb in pursuit of singular beauty.

The Rabbi Goes West
Atlanta Premiere
Documentary • USA • 78 minutes
An idealistic rabbi brings Hasidic Judaism to Big Sky country, getting a mixed reaction from locals. Rabbi Chaim Bruk and family left Brooklyn’s bustle for Bozeman, Montana. Founding the state’s first Chabad center, he sets out to affix a mezuzah on every Jewish doorpost, but his big persona and proselytizing tactics are challenged by rabbis and Jewish neighbors. When neo-Nazism looms, ideological differences are set aside. Gorgeous scenery lends a stunning backdrop to this appealing profile of religious pioneers in the American West.

Rewind
Southeast Premiere
Documentary • USA • 87 minutes
An abuse survivor exhumes his past in a forensic search for healing, in this brave, no-holds-barred investigation of trauma in a Jewish American family. All his younger life, Sasha’s father obsessively recorded the family’s every move. Once frisky and bright, Sasha becomes angry and isolated, and the innocuous footage proves a sinister archive of secrets. Amid a high-stakes court battle and media firestorm, family and mental health and legal experts are enlisted to reconstruct a history of child sexual abuse, as cathartic and instructive, as it is disturbing.

Saul & Ruby, To Life!
Atlanta Premiere
Documentary • Canada, Poland, USA • 80 minutes
An inseparable pair of sprightly Holocaust survivors brings their musical message of peace and healing from assisted living facilities in Florida to the world stage, in this uniquely uplifting tribute to the human spirit. Forging a musical journey from total obscurity, Saul Dreier was just 89 when he picked up drumsticks and founded the Holocaust Survivor Band. Everyone, his wife and rabbi, too, thought he was crazy. But Saul had a dream: to share with the world the music that sustained him during his internment in concentration camps. Along with accordion player Ruby Sosnowicz, an archivist of Jewish music, the klezmer duo performed in Jewish community and retirement centers around Florida in front of small but devoted audiences. With their joyful sound and infectious love of life, Saul and Ruby soon took their music, their stories, and their message of strength and love to larger venues across the country. With anti-Semitic rhetoric on the rise, Saul and Ruby wanted their raspy voices to be heard more than ever. So they set about making a life-long dream come true: to bring their music back to where both men suffered painful loss, their birthplace of Poland, to honor their own families and the countess other mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters who suffered and died there. Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning documentarian Tod Lending expertly weaves comedy and tragedy in this funny, poignant and, above all, life-affirming celebration of family, friendship, heartache, resilience and hope.

Serial (Bad) Weddings 2
Southeast Premiere
Narrative • France • 98 minutes
A bourgeois French couple must again get past their biases and accept their multicultural family, in this outrageously funny sequel to the 2015 AJFF and international box office hit. Tackling all-too-real issues of bigotry and intolerance, this decidedly politically incorrect comedy dismantles tribal stereotypes with a big heart and go-for-broke humor.

Shared Legacies: The African-American Jewish Civil Rights Alliance
World Premiere
Documentary • USA • 95 minutes
The crucial historical lessons of Black-Jewish cooperation are revisited and revived in this utterly fascinating, urgent call to action. The modern alliance between African-Americans and Jewish Americans dates to the NAACP founding in 1909. Since then, both groups have endured segregation and racism, from the codified bigotry of southern Jim Crow laws, to blatant bias in real estate, employment, higher education and politics. Common cause was found in the turbulent ‘60s Civil Rights era, as Jewish leaders backed Dr. King’s efforts at racial equality and harmony. Yet, the relationship has frayed in recent years, as a once mighty bond of support and respect has seemingly faded, been forgotten or ignored. Pivotal events come alive through a treasure trove of archival materials, narrated by eyewitnesses, activists, Holocaust survivors, and leaders of the movement, including prominent Atlantans such as Congressman John Lewis, Amb. Andrew Young, Rabbi Alvin Sugarman, Rabbi Peter S. Berg, Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr., members of the King family, and many others. With divisive seeds of hate taking root anew in the American landscape, a new generation also affirms their pledge to actively promote the values of social justice. This potent, inspiring story of unity, empathy and partnership validates the ubiquity of the human experience, and how freedom and equality for all can be achieved only when people come together.

Standing Up, Falling Down
Atlanta Premiere
Narrative • USA • 91 minutes
Emmy-winner Ben Schwartz of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, and the legendary Billy Crystal, topline this bittersweet, warmly funny buddy comedy about an unlikely intergenerational friendship between a struggling stand-up comic and an older, disillusioned barfly. After years of trying and failing to break into the Los Angeles comedy scene, thirty-something Scott (Schwartz) reluctantly moves back in with his parents (Kevin Dunn and Debra Monk) on Long Island, tail between his legs. Wracked with self-doubt and panicked at the prospect of having to find a soul-crushing “real” job, he soon realizes that life did not stand still without him. Not only have all his friends moved on to start families of their own, he must confront his unresolved feelings toward his hometown ex-girlfriend, Becky (Eloise Mumford), now happily married. But he finds a surprising kindred spirit in Marty (Crystal, playing decidedly against type), a larger-than-life, charming but desperately lonely dermatologist obsessed with karaoke and swigging away his troubles every night at the local bar. Before long, the two imbibing buddies form a real bond over their shared feelings of loss, remorse and inadequacy. As Scott works to overcome his fear of pursuing his dreams and returning to the stage, together they find the strength to commence confronting their long festering regrets. Buoyed by the easy-going chemistry between Schwartz and Crystal, and powered by a top-notch supporting cast that includes Grace Gummer and Nate Corddry, the simple pleasures of this heart-and-soul comedy are a reminder that redemption can be found in the unlikeliest of places.

Those Who Remained
Atlanta Premiere
Narrative • Hungary • 87 minutes
Two emotionally fragile Holocaust survivors form a tenuous bond in this exquisitely crafted Hungarian drama. Having lost his family, a middle-aged doctor’s haunted survival is upended by a precocious patient, a needy teenage girl, who forms a proxy relationship with him. As a new Stalinist threat takes shape, these unlikely soulmates discover in each other a reason to go on.

Underground Ballet
North American Premiere
Documentary • Israel • 53 minutes
Her career cut short, a Russian-Israeli ballet trainer keeps her mother’s legacy alive by launching a dance studio in a most unlikely place. In 1991, Nadya Timofeyeva hastily moved to Jerusalem with her mom, a ballerina-choreographer for Moscow’s Bolshoi. For income, they opened a dance school tucked under Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium’s bleachers. While rowdy fans above cheer the soccer footwork of Beitar Jerusalem, students below do dazzling dance moves, in a surreal intersection of sport and art.

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
Atlanta Premiere
Narrative • Germany, Switzerland • 119 minutes
A German-Jewish girl takes uneasy steps into adulthood, as world events intrude on her carefree life. When her father suddenly vanishes, and her family hurries from Germany, Anna begins to realize things will never be the same, in this superbly rendered historical family drama.

Wolkenbruch’s Wondrous Journey Into the Arms of a Shiksa
East Coast Premiere
Narrative • Switzerland • 93 minutes
A henpecked Orthodox college student incurs the ire of his overbearing mom after falling for a gorgeous gentile, in this raucous, Swiss rom-com Oscar entry that pokes fun at intergenerational cultural tensions.

For additional information, visit AJFF.org. Stay connected via social media on Twitter, Facebook, andInstagram and use #AJFF2020.

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