Friday, January 16, 2009

Shalom, Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

A few of my Edelman colleagues are working with the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, which kicked off activities in "The ATL" earlier this week with a fun party at Fox Sports Grill followed by a premiere screening at Regal Cinemas at Atlantic Station. After wrapping up an afternoon of press interviews with client Cirque du Soleil (this Edelman client pitched their big top at the same site), I enthusiastically joined the film festival fun for their opening night.

This year's Festival includes the "first time outside France" debut of "Hello, Goodbye," a romantic comedy starring GĂ©rard Depardieau (a.k.a. The Big ... French ... OAF! from "Greencard") as a Paris gynecologist whose wife requests a holiday in Israel to celebrate their new "empty nest" status from the marriage of their only son.

Upon arriving in Tel Aviv, it's clear she is looking for a longer-term relocation (and renewed faith for them both, after decades of swearing off their Jewish roots), and chaos ensues (well, sort of) after all their belongings from the move are lost at sea. It was a sweet story with a few cringe-inducing scenes involving the 50+ Depardieau character signing up for a date with a mohel (ouch!). If you can find it, this film is worth a look.

I'm looking forward to several other films in the festival, starting with the new documentary "Run For Your Life" regarding the creator of the New York City Marathon (disclosure: Edelman client). Apparently an Olympian is supposed to appear at the Q&A for the screening during the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (will post more when confirmed). The trailer hints that Olympic champion Frank Shorter (listen to this outstanding Shorter recording from NPR), and Olympic commentator Jim McKay, are among those with cameos on the big screen.

There is also a William H. Macy comedy titled "Bart Got A Room" that looks priceless.
These days a flood of great films are on my "to be screened" list, starting with "Gran Torino" and the Golden Globe winner "Slumdog Millionaire," about which my sister raved. "The Wrestler" is probably one to watch, too. Over the holidays I stumbled onto "Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles," which is excellent (it took me back to Beijing and some of the fun Chinese bureaucracy we grew to love while in the Olympic city.

Happy screenings to you!

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