The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is handing out jury-selected prizes for the second year.
Six to eight films are in competition in each of six categories: narrative, documentary, short (40 minutes or shorter), emerging filmmaker, building bridges and human rights.
The first three categories match the audience awards, which can go to any of the films in the festival, not just those in the juried competition. The nominees:
- Narrative — “1945,” “Budapest Noir,” “Bye Bye Germany,” “The Last Suit,” “Longing,” “Saving Neta,” “Scaffolding” and “The Testament.” Serving on the jury are filmmaker Dan Mirvish, journalist Scott Orlin and Emory University graduate student Sara Grasberg.
- Documentary — “Above the Drowning Sea,” “Death in the Terminal,” “GI Jews,” “Gilbert,” “Heading Home,” “Itzhak,” “The Mighty Atom” and “Remember Baghdad.” Serving on the jury are filmmaker Nina Gilden Seavey, filmmaker Brantly Watts and University of West Georgia student Taylor Hartley.
- Short — “Across the Line,” “Devil Wears a Suit,” “On My Way Out,” “Open Your Eyes,” “The Outer Circle,” “Rebel,” “Stitchers: Tapestry of Spirit” and “Wendy’s Shabbat.” The jurors are filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper, film critic Curt Holman and University of North Georgia student Melissa Simpson.
The Emerging Filmmaker Jury Prize recognizes a rising director who displays exceptional skill and artistry. The nominees are Alexandre Dean, “Bombshell”; Sophie Brooks, “The Boy Downstairs”; Ofir Raul Graizer, “The Cakemaker”; Rachel Israel, “Keep the Change”; Nicolas Bedos, “Mr. & Mrs. Adelman”; and Astrid Schult, “Winter Hunt.” The jurors are film reporter Alicia Malone, Tyler Perry Studios President Steve Mensch and Savannah College of Art and Design graduate student Gentry Parks.
The Building Bridges Jury Prize honors a film that exemplifies the festival’s mission to foster understanding among communities of diverse religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The nominees are “The Cakemaker,” “The Cousin,” “Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas,” “Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds,” “A Quiet Heart” and “Shalom Bollywood.” Judging the competition are film critic Shawn Levy, American Jewish Committee official Melanie Maron Pell and SCAD graduate student Alex Preston.
The Human Rights Jury Prize goes to the film that most powerfully captures the perseverance and strength of those whose sense of justice guides them in the face of bigotry, inequality and persecution. The nominees are “An Act of Defiance,” “A Bag of Marbles,” “The Body Collector,” “Death in the Terminal,” “The Invisibles,” “Playing God” and “The Twinning Reaction.” The jury consists of Emory professor and novelist Catherine Dana, film critic Jessica Ritchey and University of North Georgia student Joseph Tiller.