Posts Tagged With: #122

Augusta film festival

And yet we did the Augusta Jewish Film Festival again for another year. This time I don’t think I saw as many movies as the first year, but I also don’t remember watching anything particularly good.  I am starting to think that some of these film festivals only seem to get the worst films.  Certainly I was not overly impressed.  I would do anything to have some decent films for once!

Would you ever willingly go back to a selection committee with questionable standards?

Completed : 2017

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Selection Committee

This is a different selection committee, but yet again a film based one. I served on Southern Circuit’s film committee although I will say I did not find it nearly as good as the selection of films we have at the Jewish film festival. The quality was not there and it almost seemed that for several of them that they were not even trying to make a decent movie. Unlike the AJFF, Southern Circuit assigned the movies to the reviewers and gave us a much shorter amount of time to do our reviews. I had 4 movies and a week to do them in. That is a little bit much. I only saw one that was worth anything and I didn’t even think that was the best movie in the world. I expect when I see a movie, that people know their audience and know what the heck they are doing and are not trying to be overly cute. I was definitely not impressed by what I saw.

These guys by the way give the best swag.

Did anyone else see any movies worth while?

Completed : 2017

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Selection Committee – also again

I only sat on one term this year because I was again trying to get back into medical school. I barely completed the movies or the meetings, however I did nearly get into it when a very offensive transsexual movie was screened and I was told I didn’t know what I was talking about so I had to come out as transsexual in front of the entire selection committee. Then my bravery was commented on and they put it back up to get more eyes on it. I don’t remember the details of the movie but I wrote up a rather long response which I was intending to read at the meeting but then my gall bladder ruptured and I missed the meeting because I was being prepped for emergency surgery. Luckily it was printed out and read at the meeting.

I didn’t know if anything I saw made it to the finalist list until the list came out. I saw “Doing Jewish” which was good and “Wrestling Jerusalem” which the man was very talented to be able to do.

Did anyone on the evaluation committee see any good movies that they can recommend?

Completed  : 2016

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Selection Committee – Augusta

One of the most awesome things really is finding yourself a volunteer opportunity that is so great that you just want to keep doing it over and over again. When I moved to Augusta, I got on the Augusta Jewish Film Festival committee. This wasn’t as hard to get on as the Atlanta one, however I still had a bunch of fun watching some of the movies. Unlike the other selection committee, there were not nearly as many meetings. Unfortunately there were also not nearly as many movies to watch or screen as the film festival is much smaller, but it was still great.

I was even able to screen one of the films I had purchased a ticket to for Atlanta which allowed me to send that ticket to a person who would not have been able to attend. Plus it allowed me to not have to drive down to Atlanta to watch it in person which saved me about 300 miles on my car as well as a tankful of gas.

As always, a great experience. I love being on these type of selection committees!

Completed  : 2015

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Selection Committee (again!)

While I was unable to do the full three terms of the wonderful Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, I was able to see a few movies which makes me feel at least a little better about having to abandon it completely to go to medical school.  Unfortunately with the surprise push towards starting me in medical school an entire month early, I was unable to catch all but the minimum amount of films, which, to be honest I do not think any of them actually made it to the finals.

However with all of that, I still do not regret one single film I watched because of all of this, so much has contributed to my Jewish identity and has, whether I like it or not, continued to separate me from my religion of origin.  Of course these films solidified my identity more than going to Israel ever did or having a bar mitzvah ever did.  My lack of being able to watch more films with the film festival means I had to watch more Jewish films on my own although luckily that means I was able to do it on my own time which has caused me to almost completely finish the 50 greatest Jewish films of all time.  I think I got more out of the Film Festival though just because of the intensity. And the more I do these film festivals, the more I understand things like how people are selected for things like medical school, etc, and I can do it in a way that is educational for me!

I have already purchased some tickets to the AJFF for this year. In search of Israeli cuisine (closing night and there is food!), Jeruzalem, Singing in the dark, That Daughter’s Crazy, and The Venice Ghetto. I might also have to buy some tickets for an Israeli who is getting into down during the festival. If you are in the area, and want to go to the festival, remember the films are selling out fast!

Anyone have other suggestions on films for me to catch before they sell out?

Completed  : 2015

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Selection Committee Film Festival

One of my personal things to do was to ideally have some input into a film festival on a genre that I care about, so I applied to be on the 2015 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival Evaluation Committee. I had been to the 2012, 2013, and 2014 festivals, and was a little disappointed with the 2014 LGBT lineup that I needed to be a part of it. Which is also cool because my rabbi was on it for a while.

Sitting on the selection committee for the film festival actually is not that bad. Really the worst things are probably the movies that one needs to sit through in order to get to the good ones, then arguing over whether or not to include the movies.

Amount of Films to be screened for the 2015 festival : 478
Amount of Films to be shown at the festival : I think it is about 63 or so.

I did not see all the films, I did however see 100 which is pretty respectable. For each term, you had to watch 20. There were three terms.

The movies really ranged from very professional to amateurish.

I have a list of reviews on my librarything.com which has a section for Jewish Studies Films and I normally write a review for every Jewish movie I see, however since many submissions seemed to not be “Jewish” films, I stopped writing for all of them. Basically if I could not complete a film, I wrote the eval at AJFF only. If I finished the movie, I wrote a private review and if the movie was rejected and I felt it was still Jewishly relevant I made it public. If I felt it was not a Jewish film, I just moved my review to IMDB if the movie was listed and deleted it from LT. If it was accepted and screened at the festival the review tag was just AJFF like those of years past. I just at a certain point didn’t want to dilute other movies that I did see since I have to use my librarything list for recommendations for people converting.

I really recommend the following if you go to the festival…

Dancing Arabs – Narrative

Horses of God – Narrative but based on a true story

Sacred Sperm – Documentary on… of all things… masturbation and such in the Hassidic community.

Here are movies I want to catch, but I didn’t screen:

Above and Beyond : Birth of the Israeli Air Force – I wanted to see this when we screened it, but I can’t remember why I couldn’t make it. I know it was a Sunday screening. I think I just ran out of time to get there. No one had a bad word to say about the movie. None. It’s opening night so I hope I can catch it.

Facing Fear – I completely didn’t even know this was coming. It’s a short so I am not sure if I am willing to watch the other shorts in order to catch it, but it had an LGBT theme.

Serial Bad Weddings – The writeup didn’t sound interesting but when people were discussing the movie, I thought it sounded interesting.

There were some good movies that I screened that did make it in. Not that many as my love of a movie pretty much meant no one was going to like it.

Here are movies that did not make it into the festival but I doubt we have heard the last of.

Triangles: Survivors of the Holocaust – LGBT survivors of the Holocaust. I really fought for the film as it is a story that needs to be told. If you can catch it, do so.

The Shepsalach – I thought this was so funny, but it is so controversial based on some of the lyrics. As an observant Jew, I thought it was hilarious, but some of the liberal Jews thought it was highly offensive. I am a firm believer that you should be able to laugh at your own religion. If you search for “The Shepsalach” on youtube, you will find pieces of the movie.

I think if nothing else this entire process of serving on a selection committee has taught me how to

Have you ever served on a selection committee? For what?

Completed: 2014

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