Meet AJFF: Sari Earl, Board President

09/18/2021

We’re incredibly proud that AJFF attracts some of the most talented, passionate people. From our staff to our volunteers, or even to members of our audience, there’s a huge group of people that make AJFF a world-class cultural event.

This past summer, long-time AJFF volunteer and board member Sari Earl took over the presidency of our board of directors. She will hold this position for the next two-years, having previously served as vice president and chair of the community engagement committee.

How did you come to be involved with AJFF?

American Jewish Committee’s bridge-building brought me into the festival and serving as co-chair of the AJFF community engagement committee with Sherry Frank sealed the deal. Community engagement is the aspect of AJFF that “feeds my soul” and it is central to everything we do at AJFF.

What is the most interesting challenge, in improving AJFF, that you’re excited to help with?

Our board is amazingly diverse in thinking, talent, and reflection of our greater Atlanta community. We have entertainment industry professionals, women and men of color, clergy and leaders of different faith communities, activists and more. They are our greatest ambassadors. I want to work with them to bring new people to the organization, to connect even more diverse communities in authentic, meaningful ways.

What is your fondest memory from being involved with AJFF?

Kenny asking me to serve as president is hard to beat. I’m deeply honored, and especially thrilled to be the first woman president leading the governing board.

How has your experience outside of AJFF played into your work with the festival?

I’m a writer, a creative, and meeting other creatives, supporting filmmakers through our AJFF Filmmaker Fund and festival jury awards—it’s a joy. My former career as a tax attorney with Delta taught me to appreciate working within a caring culture. AJFF is a people-first organization and I’ll do my best to ensure we support our staff, volunteers and community in any way we can.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being involved with AJFF?

It is deeply satisfying to collaborate with people who care a lot and bring their A-game to every AJFF experience. People involved with AJFF are amazing—that’s why so many of us come back year after year—it’s the people!

How do you describe AJFF to those who’ve never experienced it?

AJFF creates the space for challenging, informative, and community-building dialogue and conversations in a fun, “chill” way at the movies.

What is your favorite AJFF film, and why?

In the Q&A for Shared Legacies: The African American Jewish Civil Rights Alliance, we heard from heroes of the civil rights movement and their hope to inspire future leaders. It was unlike other civil rights conversations I’ve heard. It was urgent and a call to action. It was a phenomenal conversation and an unforgettable night!