Find Out How the Films Get to the Theater


There is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into making the festival run smoothly. A key component is our Program Manager, Shellie Schmals, who is in charge of getting the films from the distributor and to the theater. 

On the last day of the festival, we want to pull back the curtain a bit and talk about how she's getting the closing night film from the distributor to the Woodruff Arts Center for this evening's program. 

First, it's important to note, that it's not just Shellie that makes this happen. We receive a lot of production assistance from our sponsors Crawford Media Services and Cinema Concepts.

Have you been enjoying the pre-show cartoon? That's the hard work of a small team from Crawford and SCAD. Beginning in late November with storyboarding and sketching, the designs for this year's animation came to life. With an vision that came from the AJFF team, these creatives took what we gave them and ran with it. The SCAD students spent most of their winter break editing and animating the piece so that it was polished and ready to go.

The animation's next destination is Cinema Concepts. They use the file from Crawford and put it into a format that can be played at each of our theaters. Since all our theaters vary just a bit in the technology they use, this process happens multiple times to make sure that it's optimized for the auditorium that you are sitting in. 

So far, we've just taken you through the first three minutes of your time in the theater. The whole process comes together when we receive the films from the distributors. This is where Shellie comes in.

Coordinating with dozens of independent film companies, she begins in early January making sure that we can get the film in time for its first screening and send it to its next location. Many of these films are on the festival circuit making it important that we ship  on schedule. 

The film tonight, Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem, had a particularly eventful journey.  It was sent to us from the Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival in time for our closing night celebration and then it will be sent up to the Hartford Jewish Film Festival in Connecticut afterwards. 

If you never knew this all went on behind the scenes, that's how we like it. We hope that you have enjoyed all 65 films that we have brought to you this year and we look forward to bringing you new and exciting independent films soon!