The latest addition to the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival as it matures in its teen years is a competition for jury-selected prizes.

A panel of 11 judges will deliberate over the merits of the 28 feature films and nine shorts included in the competition and select winners in six categories: best narrative, best documentary, best short, emerging filmmaker, building bridges and human rights.

“Our film festival is an old-school way of keeping us together as a community,” AJFF Executive Director Kenny Blank says.

AJFF Executive Director Kenny Blank.

The first three categories match the existing Audience Awards categories. Those awards still will be given out, and audiences may vote for any of the films being shown, not just those in the juried competition.

The Emerging Filmmaker Prize will go to a rising talent who displays exceptional skill and artistry.

The Building Bridges Prize will honor a film that exemplifies the festival’s mission to foster understanding among communities of diverse religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

The Human Rights Prize will recognize a film that powerfully captures the perseverance and strength in those whose sense of justice guides them in the face of bigotry, inequality or persecution.

Arik Sokol, a producer for Opus Media Productions, is chairing the inaugural AJFF jury. The other experts:

  • Features jury — Eleanor Ringel-Cater, film critic for the Atlanta Business Chronicle, and Yair Rosenberg, senior writer for Tablet.
  • Shorts jury — Eric Kohn, chief critic and senior editor for Indiewire, and Deidre McDonald, founding artistic director of the BronzeLens Film Festival.
  • Emerging filmmakers jury — Nitzan Gilady, filmmaker, and Nathaniel Kohn, associate director of the Peabody Awards.
  • Building bridges jury — Bradley Jacobs, film journalist and communications strategist, and Melanie Maron Pell, director of regional engagement for American Jewish Committee.
  • Human rights jury — Deborah E. Lipstadt, Emory University history professor, and Edith Love, national director of major gifts for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Each jury discussion also will include a local student juror.