AJFF Announces 2019 Opening and Closing Night Films


The full lineup for the 2019 AJFF will be unveiled on January 10 and we can't wait for you to see everything in store for this year! But, as in years past, we've got something extra special planned for our Opening, Closing, and Young Professionals Nights. We thought we'd fill you in a little early on these films.

Opening Night (Wednesday, February 6)

The 19th annual edition of AJFF kicks off on Wednesday, February 6, at 7:30 PM at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre with the Atlanta premiere of the Israeli dramedy Shoelaces. Nominated for eight Israeli Academy Awards including Best Film, this tender family story follows the complicated relationship between an irascible father and his special-needs son, while raising serious questions about society’s attitudes towards the disabled and the importance of human connection. Actor Nevo Kimchi gives an outstanding performance as the son Gadi, filling his role with humor, optimism, and charm that is not frequently seen in the depiction of special-needs characters. Kimchi will also take part in a Q&A discussion after the screening. Opening Night general admission tickets are $36 and include complimentary parking plus the screening and post-film Q&A.

Closing Night (Tuesday, February 26)

The festival closes out with great food and even better conversation with a screening of Chewdaism: A Taste of Jewish Montreal on Tuesday, February 26, at 7:00 PM at the Byers Theater at City Springs. In this nosh-umentary, Canadian funnymen and best friends return to their hometown to explore their heritage by eating their way across the city. Comedy duo Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman are creators and co-stars of YidLife Crisis, a successful Yiddish language web series exploring, with charm and jocular snark, the burning questions and absurdities of contemporary Jewish life. Now nearing middle age and their own proverbial YidLife Crisis, they're back in Montreal to delve into a hundred years of the city's rich Jewish history…and to stuff themselves with its even richer Jewish food. Batalion and Elman will treat moviegoers to a post-screening Q&A discussion and a post-screening food tasting that begins at 9:00 PM. Tickets are $36 and include complimentary parking, the screening, and a post-screening food tasting. For those that are unable to attend the evening showing, there will be a matinee screening earlier in the day at 2:25 PM also with a post-screening Q&A. Tickets for the matinee will be $13.

Young Professionals Night, Presented by ACCESS (Saturday, February 16)

On Saturday, February 16, AJFF will feature the North American premiere of Leona at Young Professionals Night, presented by ACCESS, the young leadership division of American Jewish Committee, at the Woodruff Arts Center. The night begins with a pre-screening party at 6:30 PM and will be followed by the film at 8:00 PM. Making the transition into adulthood, a young woman from Mexico City finds herself torn between her Syrian-Jewish family and a forbidden love, in this delicate, melancholic romance. The story dives into the divide between generations and different cultures but becomes a hopeful journey of self-discovery and female empowerment. Audience members can look forward to a post-film Q&A discussion with filmmaker Isaac Cherem and lead actress, Naian González Norvind. Tickets are $36 and include the party and screening.

In Case You Missed It...

Take a look at our sneak peek of some other films that will be a part of the festival this year. Stay tuned for the full lineup reveal on January 10!