AJFF Playback Documentaries Week Three Results

The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival’s 20th anniversary season continues online with an interactive film contest. We invite you, our loyal audience, to cast a vote for your favorite films from our festival vault, and help determine which will claim the title of “2020 AJFF Playback Winner" in the categories of short, documentary, and narrative.

39 Pounds of Love vs. The Freedom to Marry


39 Pounds of Love
Dir: Dani Menkin • USA • 2005 • 74 mins • English, Hebrew, Spanish, with subtitles

This poignant and inspiring story profiles an extraordinary Israeli man who redefines the word "survivor." Diagnosed with a dangerous and severe form of muscular dystrophy, doctors predicted Ami Ankilewitz would never survive childhood. Now the 34-years-old, weighing a shocking 39 pounds and paralyzed except for one finger, defies his extreme physical limitations to carry on a life of vitality in Tel Aviv, working from his wheelchair as a computer animator. Further testing his fragile health, Ami travels to the United States, for a cross-country road trip with friends. The film follows the emotional odyssey in which he confronts painful chapters of his past, while also fulfilling the dreams of a lifetime. Shortlisted for the Best Documentary Feature Academy Award, this portrait of sheer determination is unflinching and inspirational as Ami himself. Featured at the 2006 AJFF.


The Freedom to Marry
Dir: Eddie Rosenstein • USA • 2016 • 86 mins • English

This thrilling and inspiring insiders' look at one of the great civil rights movements of today reveals the inner workings and key players of the marriage equality movement. The historic Obergefell v. Hodges case represents the culmination of a decades-long struggle to guarantee the right of same-sex couples to marry. Among those leading the fight for justice is attorney and gay rights advocate Evan Wolfson, whose Pittsburgh Jewish upbringing informed his passion for social justice, and who is considered by many the architect of LGBT marriage equality. In tracking the climactic countdown to the landmark Supreme Court decision, filmmaker Eddie Rosenstein turns a foregone outcome into a nail-biting and emotional conclusion. Offering crucial insight into the vision, patience and commitment required to battle for social justice, the film is a reminder of the never-ending crusade against discrimination. Featured at the 2017 AJFF.

See the Results on Who Gets to Advance to the Next Round