Atlanta Jewish Film Festival
THE NATION’S LARGEST, BELIEVE IT OR NOT
Atlantans still have to schlep 20 miles outside their city to find hand-rolled, kettle-boiled bagels. But thanks to its thriving film industry, the best Jewish movies are much easier to come by. Nearly 38,000 people would be attending the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF). My job was to write a tagline for the event and a film to kick off opening night.
“NICE, BUT NO.”
The client quickly nixed these taglines for one reason: the AJFF isn’t focused solely on Jewish culture. This was news to me. But having lines the client could react to, even if they rejected them all, led to an insightful conversation about the festival’s role helping people see pieces of themselves in another’s story. By the end of our meeting, I had a clear direction for the next round.
MY HEADPHONES WERE CRANKED…
…as I riffed on celebrating stories, gathering with friends, and far more subtle ways of referencing Jewish culture. A day later, the tagline “Feast on Film” was born. I kept this theme going in the opening night script, exploring how film invites people to be curious about each other’s story, and ultimately, why these human connections are just as vital to life as food and water.
FEAST ON FILM? WE WERE STARVING FOR FOOTAGE.
Using clips from festival films posed all sorts of logistical headaches. So we made our own visuals with type on screen. But when viewers also have to be readers, it’s easy to lose them. I challenged myself to write the script so each line fit on one frame and each thought could be completed in two. I wrote over Hanukkah, rewrote over Christmas, and rang in New Year’s with a tight script in one hand and a celebratory champagne in the other.
THE OLD TESTAMENT STRIKES
A plague (snow!) hit Atlanta and delayed opening night. Even the storm’s name “Snowpocalpyse” suggested it was a sign from above. But once the roads cleared, the house lights dimmed, and the stars came out to feast on film.
Chief Creative Officer: Cathy Carlisi
Director of BrightHouse Pictures: Ashley Maiola
Creative Director: Jeff Harter
Art Director: Pedro Iwamoto
Producer: Carly Cindrich
Post Production: North Avenue Post
Video Editor: Sean Brown