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AJFF Announces Inaugural Jury for 2017 AJFF


We are very excited to announce that what’s new for 2017 includes the introduction of our first-ever Jury Prizes, to be deliberated by an esteemed panel of filmmakers, journalists and experts. The inaugural Jury will review a select number of films playing in competition, and then pick winners across six categories, all to be announced at AJFF’s Closing Night on February 15.

For years, the jury of public opinion has cast their ballots for the annual AJFF Audience Awards. In addition to the existing Audience Awards for Best Narrative, Best Documentary and Best Short, there will be new Jury Prizes in these same categories.

An Emerging Filmmaker Prize will also be awarded to a rising creative talent, whose film shows exceptional skill and artistry. The Building Bridges Prize will honor the film that most exemplifies the mission of AJFF, informed by founder and partner American Jewish Committee, to foster understanding among communities of diverse religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Rounding out the list is the Human Rights Prize, awarded to the film that most powerfully captures the perseverance and strength in those whose sense of justice guides them in the face of bigotry, inequality and/or persecution.

So, who is on the jury for the 2017 AJFF, and what films are in competition?


Jury Chair
Arik Sokol (Producer, Opus Media Productions)

Eleanor Ringel-Cater (Film Critic, Atlanta Business Chronicle)
Yair Rosenberg (Senior Writer, Tablet)

Films in Competition

Narrative Jury Prize:

Documentary Jury Prize:


Nitzan Gilady (Filmmaker)
Dr. Nathaniel Kohn (Associate Director, George Foster Peabody Awards)

Films in Competition


Bradley Jacobs (Film Journalist & Communications Strategist)
Melanie Maron Pell (Director of Regional Engagement, American Jewish Committee)

Films in Competition


Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt (Emory University)
Edith Love (National Director of Major Gifts, Center for Civil and 
Human Rights)

Films in Competition


Eric Kohn (Chief Critic & Senior Editor, Indiewire)
Deidre McDonald (Founding Artistic Director, BronzeLens Film Festival)

Films in Competition

And, of course, be sure to cast your vote for the Audience Awards during the 23-day festival! Ballots will be handed out at each screening.


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