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Showing posts from January, 2014

What to see at the 2014 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

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Oscar-nominees, Israeli blockbusters, European documentaries and everything in between— Here are 27 films worth checking out at the Southeast’s largest film festival. At fourteen years old, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is in a great place. Now the largest film festival in the Southeastern United States, I fully expect it to be declared the largest Jewish film festival in world when ticket sales are finalized next month. The sprawling three-week event has always been a source of excellent programming, with plenty of movies to appeal to people across the board. Estimates for the number of non-Jewish festival-goers hover at around 25% of total attendees, but there is definitely room for growth there. Good films abound at AJFF, and good films are good whether you are Jewish or not! I’ve been attending for half-a-decade and this year’s lineup looks to be the strongest I’ve seen yet. From opening night selection “Run Boy Run” to closing night documentary, “Next Year Jerusalem”—there is

"Her" wins Best Picture from the Georgia Film Critics Association

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“Gravity,” “12 Years a Slave” and the Spike Jonze love story each won three awards; “American Hustle” recognized for Best Ensemble. Joaquin Phoenix stars in “Her,” winner of the 2013 Georgia Film Critics Award for Best Picture. The Georgia Film Critics Association has wrapped up their third year by announcing the winners for their 2013 awards. “12 Years a Slave” led the nominations with ten mentions earlier this week , but it was “Her” that won the top prize. Spike Jonze wasn’t even nominated for Best Director, but did win an award for Best Original Screenplay, as did Arcade Fire for the film’s score. “Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave” also won three awards each. Alfonso CuarĂ³n won Best Director for “Gravity” and the film also snagged Best Cinematography and Production Design awards. “12 Years a Slave” won three acting awards—Best Actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor, Best Supporting Actor for Michael Fassbender and Best Supporting Actress for Lupita Nyong’o—but lost Best Ensemble to “American Hu

Macon Film Festival releases 2014 Narrative, Student and Music lineup

The 9th Annual Macon Film Festival doesn’t start for just under eight weeks, but preparations are well underway in central Georgia. Last week, the festival released the Documentary and Animation lineups . Now, the entire lineup has been revealed, including the Narrative Features, Narrative Shorts, Student Shorts, Music Videos and Music Documentaries. Several selections are familiar to the Georgia circuit. Mike Brune’s “Congratulations!” is one of my favorite Georgia indie films of all time and screened last year at the Atlanta Film Festival and the Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham. “Desires of the Heart” comes from frequent MAGA filmmaker James Kicklighter. “Brothers Hypnotic” and “Scarred but Smarter: Life n Times of Drivin n Cryin” have played to much success at the Savannah Film Festival and the Atlanta Film Festival, respectively. MAGA kicks off on February 27th and runs through March 2nd. Georgia Film Critics Association Best Documentary nominee, “Muscle Shoals,” will feature

Georgia Film Critics announce nominees for 2013 awards

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“12 Years a Slave” leads in nominations, but indie films “Upstream Color,” “Short Term 12” and “The Spectacular Now” make a splash. Though they may be one of the later regional critics groups to release their year-end lists, the Georgia Film Critics Association always manages to give a tip-of-the-hat to the unexpected. Now wrapping up it’s third awards season, the GFCA’s ten members have put together a list of films that mixes the expected Oscar heavy-hitters with some of the year’s most celebrated independent releases. “12 Years a Slave” leads the way with ten nominations, followed by “American Hustle” and “Inside Llewyn Davis” each with seven nods. The tide then turns a little bit, with “Upstream Color” joining “Gravity” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” with six nominations each. Festival darling “Short Term 12” follows with five mentions. “Her,” “Mud” and “The Spectacular Now” round out the remaining Best Picture nominees. A few highlights include Amy Seimetz (“Upstream Color”) in bot