AJFF Cinderella Stories with Menemsha Films

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: from long and lucrative theatrical runs to Academy Awards recognition to continuing to build bridges of understanding along the festival circuit. Many of these AJFF Cinderella stories 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. Together with Neil, Shellie and Sara will not only discuss the successes around films like cross-cultural comedy Dough starring Jonathan Pryce, or sports documentary Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel, but also films that are just beginning their journeys, like 2020 opening night film, Shared Legacies: The African American-Jewish Civil Rights Alliance, all of which world premiered at AJFF in years past. Plus, hear from Neil about Menemsha’s own journey as well, from its beginnings as a film distribution company to its new streaming platform Chai Flicks, and everything beyond and in between.

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Show Notes

Our guests for this episode: Neil Friedman, founder and president of Menemsha Films, the distributor behind a slew of AJFF films over the years. Earlier this year, Menemsha launched Chaiflicks, or as JTA dubbed it, the "Jewish Netflix", a subscription streaming service for Jewish films.

Films and TV shows mentioned in the episode:

Dough (2014) – Amazon | Blu-ray

Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel (2017) – Amazon | Blu-ray

Shared Legacies: The African-American Jewish Civil Rights Alliance (2020)

The Women's Balcony (2016) – Amazon | Blu-ray

The music for our episode is provided by the incomparable Joe Alterman. Specifically, our into and outro music is "Pure Imagination" off his album, "Give Me the Simple Life", and our interlude music is "Over the Rainbow" from "More Cornbread (Live)". Check him out on Spofity or wherever you get your music.

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