If you haven’t purchased tickets to the movies you want to see at this year’s Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, you might be out of luck.
More than 10,000 tickets were sold Jan. 5, the day they went on sale.
Festival executive director Kenny Blank encouraged film fans to keep checking the festival’s website at AJFF.org for the release of more tickets and returns to sold-out films.
“If you check 24 to 48 hours before a screening, you might be able to snap one or two tickets up,” he said.
The only way to get into some of the more popular films is to show up at the venue the day of the screening and add your name to a waiting list. Luckily, there are so many films on offer that if you buy tickets now, you’ll get to see something interesting.
With 65 films from 20 countries, it also makes the AJFF, which runs Jan. 29 through Feb. 20, the biggest film festival in the city and the second largest Jewish film festival in the country. Nearly 32,000 attended screenings during last year’s festival.
“We have a very loyal and enthusiastic audience, and they stake out this event early on to make sure they get tickets,” Blank said. “We’re offering more screenings of the popular films and have secured larger auditoriums.”
Jewish Film Festival facts
What: Founded in 2000, the festival bills itself as the biggest film event in metro Atlanta and the second largest Jewish film festival in the country. Nearly 32,000 film fans attended the festival’s showings in 2013. The 2014 festival presents 65 films – 52 features and 13 shorts – from 20 countries.
When: Jan. 29-Feb. 20
Where: Eight different venues scattered around metro Atlanta, including Lefont Sandy Springs theaters, UA Tara Cinemas, Regal North Point, Regal Atlantic Station and the Cobb Energy Centre, which is hosting the Opening Night Gala and showing of “Run Boy Run.” Tickets are available at theater box offices and online at www.AJFF.org.
How much: Prices vary.
Of special note: The festival plans a special panel discussion on two films that tell similar stories, but from different sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One of the two, Omar, is the first film fully financed and produced within the Palestinian film industry, the festival says. The event, Bethlehem vs. Omar: Conflict and Context, will take place Feb. 16 at Regal Atlantic Station.
To accommodate the crowds, the festival expanded to more venues around Atlanta, including the Cobb Energy Centre, UA Tara Cinema, GTC Merchants Walk, Regal North Point, Lefont Sandy Springs, Westside Cultural Arts Center, Regal Atlantic Station and the Woodruff Arts Center.
Some of the most anticipate films include 50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus, about a Philadelphia couple who saved children from the Nazi concentration camps; The Baby, a documentary about a woman recalling forbidden memories of her past; Bethlehem, a cliffhanger about an Israeli intelligence agent and a conflicted Palestinian informant; Hunting Elephants, a bank heist caper; the documentary Mel Brooks: Make A Noise about the comedian and director; When Jews Were Funny, a documentary about cultural identity: a 25th anniversary screening of Driving Miss Daisy with a panel of local actors and experts; and Omar, a nominee for this year’s Best Foreign Film Academy Award, about a young Palestinian baker living under Israeli occupation.
The festivities kick off Jan. 29 with an Opening Night Gala at the Cobb Energy Centre, featuring a screening of the Polish drama Run Boy Run.
“Every year we strive to make the festival better for our audience,” Blank said. “Festivalgoers will have more opportunities to see the most sought-after films than ever before. We want everyone to experience these meaningful and entertaining films that might not ever play in Atlanta otherwise.”
For a complete list of films, venues and to purchase tickets, visit AJFF.org.