AJFF In Conversation: The Podcast

About the Show

In this bi-weekly podcast series, the voices of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival engage listeners in an entertaining, illuminating and stimulating discussion around a variety of themes and topics rooted in Jewish cinema. Hosted by AJFF’s Sara Glassberg and Brad Pilcher, each episode will feature a special guest, and showcase exemplary films, from past AJFF favorites, to hidden gems, new releases and classics.

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Latest Episodes

  July 1, 2021
Welcome Back, Playback!
Returning on July 12, Playback will feature eight films around the theme of "reunion", and tickets have just gone on sale. So join Sara as she chats with AJFF Film Programming Manager Shellie Schmals, and learn even more about AJFF's own version of March Madness... in... July.

  June 24, 2021
AJFF Summer 2021 Preview
Heading into the depths of summer there’s a lot going on at AJFF. From Selects to Connects to Playback, we have a World War II spy doc, a gripping portrait of gay adoption, and seven weeks of films matching up to win your vote. Sara and Brad will help you navigate it all, so you don’t miss a minute of AJFF over the next few weeks.

  June 17, 2021
In Search of the Jewish Blockbuster
Summer movie season is officially here, which made us wonder whether there are, in fact, any Jewish blockbusters? What would that even look like? Returning to the podcast to help us sort this out is Senior Editor of Collider, and our resident expert on summer movies, Matt Goldberg.

  June 3, 2021
What to Watch: June 2021
It's the beginning of another month, so it's time to figure out what to stream (or venture to theaters for) over the next few weeks. Listen along as Sara and Brad dissect what to watch for June 2021!

  May 13, 2021
Film 101: Appreciating the Cinema Arts
It's pop quiz time, with film terms and definitions. Brad and Sara wanted to take another episode to dive even deeper into some of the terminology of cinema. So join your hosts as they offer some additional definitions and unconventional examples of everything from editing to cinematography and to the ever elusive mise-en-scène.

  April 29, 2021
Film 101: Appreciating the Cinema Arts
Discriminating audiences know a great work of cinema when they see it. And festivalgoers have high expectations for the quality of film we present annually at AJFF and year-round programs. But what are the ingredients and traits that make for exceptional filmmaking? An expert in hard-to-find cult gems from her perch with TCM Underground, Turner Classic Movies programmer Millie De Chirico joins our latest podcast.

  April 29, 2021
Road to the Oscars: From AJFF to the Big Night
The pinnacle of the awards season has now come to a close, with the 93rd Academy Awards. Israeli short, White Eye, which was nominated for Best Live-Action Short Film at the Oscars and screened at the most recent 2021 edition of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. For this episode of our In Conversation podcast, host Sara Glassberg had the opportunity to speak with the film’s director, Tomer Shushan.

  April 22, 2021
ATLFF Preview & Film Festivals in COVID Times
As the pandemic continues to reshape the ways we experience arts and entertainment, films festivals are among those reimagining how to connect with and best serve audiences. For an insider look at how festivals are pivoting, we’ve invited the Atlanta Film Society’s executive Director Chris Escobar to share his perspective, plus a sneak preview of the 45th edition of the Atlanta Film Festival.

  April 15, 2021
What to Watch in April
Welcome back to a new season of AJFF In Conversation: The Jewish Film Podcast. From Hollywood historical dramas to classic sitcoms and past AJFF documentaries, this month’s episode includes a variety of suggestions for your viewing pleasure both at-home or, finally, in theatres.

  March 5, 2021
All About the AJFF Jury
Each year, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival bestows special recognition to outstanding films and filmmakers participating in its annual international celebration of the cinema arts. Learn about which AJFF films are in contention this year, our impressive roster of jurors, plus a preview of the big Awards Show.

  February 13, 2021
AJFF at the Drive-In
Though audiences will experience most of this year’s Atlanta Jewish Film Festival in the Virtual Cinema, organizers were also committed to finding fun and innovative ways to safely bring the community together. Thus, plans for a night at the drive-in were born!

  February 11, 2021
Professors' Picks!
By now, you may have perused the 2021 AJFF lineup. With such a diverse array of international and independent movies to pick from, it’s not always easy to choose. So we turn to two trusted voices: Emory Film Studies Chair Dr. Matthew Bernstein as well as AJFF Film Evaluation Co-Chair and Emory Spanish and Jewish Studies Professor Dr. Hazel Gold.

  January 30, 2021
A Chat with AJFF Leadership
Our hybrid 21st edition of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is nearly here! With so much to explore and anticipate, there is no better way to usher in the annual festival than to hear directly from our very own festival leadership.

  January 20, 2021
Get Ready to Fest!
The 21st edition of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is right around the corner. It’s going to be a film festival unlike any other. As anticipation builds, so do the burning questions. How will this year’s film festival be different, and what do I need to do to get ready? Get the inside scoop on what to expect!

  December 28, 2020
Film in Georgia: 2020 and a Look Forward
With the COVID crisis continuing to hinder Hollywood’s return to business, we close this challenging year with a look back at how local film and TV productions have been impacted. Our latest podcast also looks ahead to questions now facing the creative industries, such as studio COVID safety protocols and upcoming action in the legislature.

  December 16, 2020
Festival of Lights on Film
While Christmas movies are a genre of their own, it’s hard to credibly name one Hollywood offering that could be called a Hanukkah classic. Could it be that the only "true" Hanukkah movies in existence are Adam Sandler’s animated comedy Eight Crazy Nights and lesser known cult classic The Hebrew Hammer?

  December 10, 2020
What About Shorts?
AJFF has long proudly given a platform to shorts, a subgenre every bit as powerful, compelling and innovative as any feature-length film. With another banner year of short films on tap for our 21st annual festival in February, we welcome two amazing guests: filmmaker and former Sundance programmer Roberta Munroe, author of How Not to Make a Short Film, as well as Emory film professor and shorts film curator Nsenga Burton.

  December 2, 2020
Be Our Guest
AJFF seeks to foster and amplify conversations around the film arts and other important issues. Festival screenings often feature the participation of filmmakers, actors, academics, authors, journalists and other experts. We share insights into AJFF’s guest programming philosophy with Programming Co-Chairs: journalist Dave Schechter and Emory Ethics professor Jonathan Crane.

  November 25, 2020
Jewish Film & TV To Be Thankful For
In a year that has been filled with unprecedented challenges, it’s all the more important to find things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Fortunately, when it comes to the world of Jewish film and television, there’s plenty to be grateful for. Plus, if you’re looking for some entertainment options to complete your holiday plans, we’ve got some outstanding recommendations.

  November 12, 2020
AJFF Cinderella Stories with Menemsha
Over the past twenty years, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival has showcased countless films from all around the world that have gone on to have incredible, impressive journeys. Many of these come from film distributor, Menemsha Films. There is no better guest to help us uncover and understand these films’ journeys than Menemsha’s very own founder and president, Neil Friedman, and with AJFF Film Programming Manager Shellie Schmals co-hosting.

  November 4, 2020
Aaron Wolf: One Filmmaker's Journey
A longtime friend of the AJFF, Aaron Wolf has an eclectic young Hollywood career both in front of and behind the camera. Based in Los Angeles, Aaron has not only made a name for himself, but instills his work with a generous spirt and Jewish ethos. For a fresh and inspiring perspective on an emerging industry talent, join host Sara Glassberg for her conversation with Aaron about his personal and creative journey.

  October 27, 2020
Oy the Horror!
Halloween is here, a perfect time to spook ourselves with an immersion into the world of horror movies that tell uniquely Jewish stories. From monsters and myths, to themes of religious or cultural identity, the collection of cinematic Jewish horror is surprising in its breadth and depth.

  October 14, 2020
Passion & Politics: The Storytelling of Aaron Sorkin
As we continue the election season conversation around movies and shows that put politics front and center, our very special guest is an Emmy-winning television writer, producer, and former political operative. After serving Al Gore in the White House, Eli Attie earned script credits on 21 episodes of Aaron Sorkin’s much-beloved political drama series The West Wing.

  September 30, 2020
Profiles in Political Leadership
As we prepare to cast ballots in perhaps the most consequential election in U.S. history, what can cinematic profiles in leadership tell us about picking our future elected officials? We’ll go beyond ideology and policy to examine what the movies can reveal about the indispensable qualities of successful leaders, and lessons we can learn from historical figures.

  September 23, 2020
Out On Film: Sneak Peek
The fall festival season is already in full swing right here in Atlanta, including Out on Film, one of the oldest LGBTQ+ film festivals in the United States. In our latest podcast, we’ll get a preview of the festival's 33rd annual edition, including a couple of Jewish-themed titles our AJFF audiences won’t want to miss.

  September 16, 2020
How to Build a Film Festival
The seasons are changing. And with the arrival of fall comes the most exciting and consequential time of year in the cinema industry: the major fall film festivals and the unofficial kickoff to awards season. It's also a major source of films for AJFF.

  September 1, 2020
Movies In Harmony: Black-Jewish Music on Screen
Collaborative yet sometimes complicated, the relationship between Black artists and Jewish producers in the middle of the 20th century helped to shepherd the rise of jazz, blues, and rock & roll. Discover the true story behind such labels as Blue Note Records and Chess Records, as we discuss how these stories have been portrayed on the silver screen.

  August 19, 2020
The "Greats" Debate
Every art form has its classics. Cinema is no different. But when it comes to classic Jewish film, does everyone agree on the presumed greats? As you might imagine, when it comes to movies (and especially Jewish movies), no two opinions are the same. It’s deeply personal. It's highly subjective. And, it’s a source of cathartic fun to surface all-time favorite Jewish films and filmmakers, while also venting over those that might be considered overrated.

  August 4, 2020
More Than Mrs. Maisel: The Best Jewish TV Shows
There’s a new Golden Age of Television upon us, with the lines between the small screen and the big screen increasingly blurred. And for AJFF fans, this year’s Emmy nominations are proof of the awesome assortment of Jewish television that has gone mainstream. Sara and Brad go through their personal picks for the greatest Jewish TV shows of all time, from contemporary critical darlings to classics and hidden gems.

  July 21, 2020
Stan Lee and Beyond
Superhero mythology is deeply rooted in Jewish culture. After all, it was Jewish artists who built the comic book industry and influenced the superhero movie blockbusters of today. We'll consider how some of our most cherished superheroes came to be, and how actors like Gal Gadot and Paul Rudd portrayed and embodied these characters on the big screen.

  July 7, 2020
Book to Screen
By now, listeners of AJFF In Conversation: The Podcast know that, like you, our hosts Sara and Brad love movies. But they are also big bibliophiles! Sara and Brad explore the intersection of a shared joy for books and cinema. From book-to-film adaptations to books about Jewish film, and more...join us for a cover-to-cover conversation on all things page to screen.

  June 23, 2020
Olympic Pride, American Prejudice with Deborah Riley Draper
Filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper joins hosts Sara and Brad for a candid, eye-opening conversation centered around her documentary Olympic Pride, American Prejudice. We’ll discuss the film’s historical context, issues of racial inequality and injustice, as well as Deborah’s filmmaking career and the power of cinema to educate and create change.

  June 9, 2020
Lights, Camera, Feminist Call-to-Action!
AJFF has long shared strong female narratives through film. How do these stories intersect with Judaism and Jewish life? What are some memorable films that reveal the everyday realities of Jewish women around the world, and serve as a vehicle for understanding and action.

  May 26, 2020
Revenge of the Jewish Cinema!
What exactly is the Jewish notion of vengeance, and how has the concept been handled across Jewish media? Has it been portrayed with nuance and complexity, or has it mostly been a means of on-screen violence and exploitation? Explore just how revenge plays out in the 2013 Israeli film Big Bad Wolves, Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, and Amazon Prime's new original series, Hunters.

  May 12, 2020
Am I Allowed to Laugh at This?
Cinema has offered numerous satirical takes on history's darkest chapter, often controversial and sometimes considered in questionable taste. Film scholar Eddy Von Mueller joins AJFF In Conversation podcast hosts Sara and Brad as they grapple with the taboo topic of Holocaust humor, discussing Chaplin's The Great Dictator and Taika Waititi's Jojo Rabbit, among other films.

  April 28, 2020
Matzo at the Movies
What is the relationship between food and the Jewish experience, and how has that relationship been cooked up on the movie screen? What are the quintessential Jewish foods, their role in cinematic stories, and most memorably delicious onscreen representations? Join hosts Sara and Brad, and special guest Shannon Sarna as they explore these questions. There's a LOX to talk about, so you'll definitely want to SCHMEAR this episode!

  April 14, 2020
Movies to Self-Isolate By, Part 2
We’re back with part 2 of our conversation about recommended movies to watch while cooped up flattening the curve. Dr. Matthew Bernstein of Emory University returns to join our hosts Sara and Brad, and you, for a deep dive into some uplifting, inspiring, and maybe even somewhat challenging Jewish movies you should seek out while sequestered at home. They’ll make you laugh, smile, and think. Or at least this episode will.

  April 10, 2020
Movies to Self-Isolate By, Part 1
So, you've finished watching all of Netflix (or so it seems). What are the best Jewish movies that can help pass the time while practicing social distancing? Join hosts Sara and Brad, and special guest Dr. Matthew Bernstein of Emory University, for this first-ever edition of AJFF In Conversation: The Podcast. You’ll hear about some of the most entertaining Jewish movies you should seek out while sequestered at home. From escapist fun to thought-provoking dramas, after listening to this you will have plenty of options!