Brookhaven Reporter - February 2024

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Brookhaven Reporter A

FEBRUARY 2024 Vol. 16 No. 2 ■




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BROOKHAVEN Peachtree Creek Greenway


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SANDY SPRINGS New projects predicted for city despite high interest rates By Bob Pepalis Sandy Springs Economic Development Manager Caroline Kinchler said there are stirrings of new developments in studio the city,will despite high A modular art be installed interest rates. after the stone house is demolished on the Abernathy Arts Center Kinchler said during a 11 (Courtesy meeting that Atelier 7 Architects) applications will be coming in this year asking for the Sandy Springs Development Authority’s assistance. She said she was aware of “soft conversations” about projects the development authority might be able to help get started sooner rather than later. The city’s economic development department is working to fine-tune its application for projects and guidelines for the development authority to consider at its next meeting, Kinchler said. The department also started a project with Georgia Tech Public Policy students

A rendering of Veterans Park.

to perform a comprehensive review of the city’s incentive program. The A rendering of Veterans Park. students will be broadly looking at best practices by other economic development organizations in Georgia and nationally, she said. They are expected to deliver a draft report at the end of March. The students are specifically examining commercial property improvement grants, which she said was discussed briefly at a development authority meeting last year. The City Springs Master Plan recommends determining if that type of grant would be Caroline Kinchler feasible, and practical, and help achieve the goals of the city and the development authority. Development authority members elected Chip Collins to serve as their chairman, with Councilman John Paulson to be the vice chairman. Members of the authority are Collins, Paulson, Toshia Battle, Hardy Dorsey, Joe Houseman, Sunny Park, and Ed Ukaonu.

City wants $2M from state for intersection project By Bob Pepalis Sandy Springs is asking the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) for $2 million to complete funding of its Boylston-Hammond intersection and streetscape project. The project will realign the intersection and install sidewalks and paths on the west side of Boylston Drive, completing the pedestrian network between Hammond and Hildebrand Drives. Construction is expected to start this summer, Public Works Director Marty Martin told the Sandy Springs City Council at its Jan. 16 meeting. “The project will continue to spur economic development by creating a safer transportation environment,” Martin said. “The intersection of Hammond and Boylston is not currently aligned creating both operational delays and associated with those operational delays, safety issues.”

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He said the proposed sidewalk and side paths are part of the city’s larger vision to build a walkable, bikeable community. The city has approximately $3.5 million for the project from its capital improvement funds, but it’s expected to cost $5.5 million to complete. The city council approved applying to the SRTA for a $1.1 million loan and a $900,000 grant. The funds would come from the 2024 Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank program in the form of a low-interest loan and a grant. Eligible projects must enhance mobility and drive economic development, according to the city council agenda memo. Martin said they expect to learn in June whether the city will get the construction loan and grant. The project is just to the west of the section of Hammond Drive, which is being widened to four lanes, he said. ROUGHDRAFTATLANTA.COM

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Officials address delays, rising costs for new North Springs High By Bob Pepalis Construction of the North Springs High School is a month behind schedule due to bid delays and rising construction costs, according to officials with Fulton County Schools. Fulton County Board of Education members Dr. Michelle Morancie and Katha Stuart held a joint community meeting on Jan. 17 at Holcomb Bridge Middle School with school district administrators giving a presentation on the high school and

answering questions. “It is absolutely being built. So, all the rumors out there that it is not going to happen, they’re simply not true,” Superintendent Mike Looney said. A formal invitation for bids for the site work will be made the week of Jan. 21 with a 30-day deadline for those bids, FCS Chief Operations Officer Noel Maloof told parents. Evaluating the bids will take approximately 60 days, after which Looney will present staff recommendations to the school board. The 90-day bid process will be Five members of the Sandy Springs City Council attended the FCS board members’ community meeting to hear about construction plans and to offer their support and assistance. From left, Andy Bauman, Melissa Mular, Melody Kelley, Jody Reichel, and John Paulson. (Courtesy Jody Reichel)


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followed by the school board’s approval of the most qualified bid. Looney said the school construction project is a month behind schedule, but is estimated to last 24 to 36 months. Members of the high school’s construction advisory committee said they were told last October that the project was on schedule, saying the community meeting was the first time they were told about bid delays. They also said they were surprised to hear about a Middle College program planned for when the new high school building opens, as they had previously been told transportation issues for classes held at a technical college were a problem. A Middle College is an alternative path to high school graduation where students complete high school with a diploma and two technical college certificates, according to the FCS website. Students take just nine academic courses required for graduation and complete their remaining coursework in training for a high-wage, high-skill, indemand career field. Looney and Maloof admitted they needed to solve communication problems. The superintendent even promised to have big signs installed saying construction of a new North Springs High School is happening to reassure parents.

But Looney also said too many variables are making an exact finishing date impossible to set. Maloof said an unexpected variable was a 40 percent hike in construction costs. He said the school district budgeted for a 3 to 5 percent increase. “We are watching commercial properties stop. We are watching buildings stop. We are watching all kinds of things stop because of this escalation,” he said. Even before the drastic increase in construction costs, estimates on the high school construction were much higher than the $108 million allocated for the school’s construction. The school board will need to reprioritize what projects will proceed with the education sales tax funds that are collected so the new North Springs High School can be constructed. The supply chain also causes problems. The school district has been trying to replace some HVAC units in some schools. It took almost a year to get them when the normal delivery time was three months, Maloof said. Georgia law prohibits the school district from buying construction supplies to stockpile before a facility design has been created and approved, he told community members who suggested that tactic.

Construction of the new North Springs High School will happen, with the opening 24 to 36 months after the groundbreaking. (Collins Cooper Carusi Architects/FCS)

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BUCKHEAD Tex McIver pleads guilty to manslaughter charge in wife’s fatal shooting Claud “Tex” McIver and Diane McIver (File)

Improved Jail Conditions By Collin Kelley Claud “Tex” McIver pleaded guilty on Friday to a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the 2016 shooting death of his wife, Diane McIver. It was announced on Jan. 26 that McIver, 81, took a plea deal that includes a recommended 8-year prison sentence. He also pleaded guilty to charges of reckless conduct and gun possession. McIver, a once prominent Buckhead attorney, was originally convicted of felony murder and aggravated assault and sentenced to life in prison. However, the Georgia Supreme Court overturned those convictions in 2018, ruling that the jury should have been allowed to consider involuntary manslaughter. He is likely to get credit for the 18

months he spent in jail awaiting retrial, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The notorious case sparked both Internet outrage and curiosity after McIver claimed he was holding his .38-caliber revolver to defend the SUV occupants from a Black Lives Matter protest as they drove through Downtown. McIver claimed he fell asleep and accidentally fired the gun, with the bullet passing through the passenger seat into his wife’s back. Rather than calling 911 for help, McIver instructed the friend driving the SUV, Dani Jo Carter, to drive to the Emory University Hospital campus in DeKalb County instead of several nearby Midtown or Downtown hospitals. Diane McIver, an advertising executive, later died of her injuries while in surgery.

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Claud “Tex” McIver in court (Courtesy WABE) ROUGHDRAFTATLANTA.COM

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BUCKHEAD For more Buckhead headlines, subscribe to our daily newsletter at Mayor, House Speaker tout decrease in crime By Dyana Bagby Collaboration between the city of Atlanta and the Georgia General Assembly played a key role in driving down crime rates across the city and especially in Buckhead during 2023, according to Mayor Andre Dickens and Georgia House Speaker Jon Burns. The mayor and speaker praised their partnerships during their speeches at the Buckhead Coalition’s annual luncheon at the St. Regis Atlanta hotel on Jan. 25. Violent crime dipped more than 20% in Atlanta in 2023. Homicides were down

21% across the city and down 36% in zone 2, which includes Buckhead, the mayor said. The mayor repeated his phrase, “Atlanta is a group project,” and said the partnerships between the Atlanta Police Department and agencies including the Georgia State Patrol and Georgia Bureau of Investigation were critical in making the city safer. “Overall, we’re very proud of the progress that we have made together,” he said. Burns, who was elected speaker last year, praised Dickens’ willingness to

Georgia House Speaker Jon Burns (Photo by Keith Pepper)

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work with state officials to tackle public safety and said the drop in violent crime in Atlanta, the capital of Georgia, was “extremely promising.” “Buckhead now leads Atlanta in overall crime reduction,” he said. “Have we accomplished everything that we want to accomplish? The answer’s no, but we’re certainly moving in the right direction. “And it’s my opinion that this is a direct result of policies and partnerships from both the state and the city level,” Burns said. Burns noted his promise last year, approved by the General Assembly, to set aside $1.3 million in the state budget for a new Georgia State Patrol post in Buckhead. The new facility will be built on the campus of the Governor’s Mansion on West Paces Ferry Road. “This will allow an additional 30 state troopers to have more focus on this area,” Burns said. “They will be here making

sure their presence is felt in this Buckhead community.” The state is also fully behind the construction of the controversial Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, Burns said to applause. The Buckhead Coalition is an influential, invitation-only group of more than 100 area business and community leaders led by Chair Eric Tanenblatt and President and CEO Jim Durrett. Its annual luncheon is also invitationonly and attracts many of the city’s top business and civic leaders. Nearly 200 people attended the Jan. 25 event. Those attending included numerous elected officials such as City Council President Doug Shipman, Fulton County Commissioner Chair Rob Pitts, members of the Atlanta Board of Education and members of the General Assembly.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens (Photo by Keith Pepper)



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BROOKHAVEN For more Brookhaven headlines, subscribe to our daily newsletter at Funding sought for Peachtree Creek Greenway expansion By Logan C. Ritchie The city of Brookhaven is applying for a grant to fund construction of Phase II of the Peachtree Creek Greenway. The paved path runs along the creek, parallel to I-85 and Buford Highway. Brookhaven is applying to RAISE, the U.S. Dept. of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure, Sustainability and Equity grant program, Strategic Partnerships Director Patty Hansen said at the Jan. 23 city council meeting. Brookhaven’s commitment to the next phase is $3 million, which is “covered very neatly by SPLOST” said Hansen. “The project was listed in the Brookhaven budget with appropriate hearings and postings and voted on by council, so this is really just a reaffirmation of that. This is not a movement

of funds, removing from any project or adding to a project.” Peachtree Creek Greenway is home to the Brookhaven International Festival, public art, and cycling events. The greenway plans to eventually join the Atlanta BeltLine in Buckhead. The council authorized Mayor John Park to sign the first of many agreements with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). The agreement covers the preliminary engineering of a vehicular bridge over I-85, said Public Works Director Don Sherrill. Councilmember John Funny confirmed the planning phase will include an evaluation of the Chantilly neighborhood “to make certain that that traffic doesn’t negatively impact the neighborhoods, like cut-through traffic and speeding.”

A rendering of the Peachtree Creek Greenway expansion. (Courtesy City of Brookhaven)

Buford Highway Summit: Corridor ripe for redevelopment By Logan C. Ritchie Buford Highway, the most diverse corridor in metro Atlanta, is on Brookhaven’s radar for redevelopment. Nearby projects are booming, Buford Highway is viewed as the next frontier for redevelopment in the city. Already, the new Arthur M. Blank Hospital at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is in its final months of construction and Emory Healthcare continues growing in Executive Park. The Georgia Department of Transportation is about to begin a massive project at North Druid Hills Road and I-85 to handle the increased traffic new development will bring to the city. Nearly 200 experts in planning, finance, and development attended the Brookhaven Buford Highway Redevelopment Summit on Jan. 17 hosted by the city of Brookhaven and Council for Quality Growth. The multi-hour conference began with Sheba Ross, cities and communities partner at HKS, Inc. Breaking down Buford Highway’s activity nodes, or areas where a buzz of activity occurs, Ross explained the vision for the corridor is to connect, captivate and celebrate the area. Ross said the urban design concept of “the 15-minute neighborhood” is possible on Buford Highway – where all ages and abilities can reach daily amenities in a short walk. The Buford Highway corridor is deficient in parks and gardens because of the number of large parking lots, Ross said. She suggested reconfiguring buildings, housing, and recreational areas around the area’s biggest asset, Peachtree Creek.

10 | FEBRUARY 2024

By using the land’s topography, parking could be tucked into the slope rather than at street or surface level. “Expose human-centered spaces, vibrant retail, restaurants, and entertainment,” Ross said. Other speakers included Johnny Clark from Gay Construction, who talked about building relationships with on-site construction workers, and Marquita Jackson, executive director of public finance at JP Morgan, who explained tax districts. David Laube, principal at Noell Consulting Group, said building townhomes and condos is the best way to increase housing considering current economic conditions. Where the Atlanta housing market in prior years has hovered around 20% of new townhomes or condos, that number is going to jump to 30% as townhomes try to fill the affordability gap, Laube said. “In this area, particularly the neighborhoods back behind the [Buford Highway] corridor, have had an average between 20% to 40% increase in median household incomes. Median household incomes in this area are now basically between $70,000 to $110,000,” Laube said. Elected city officials and city staff, along with DeKalb County Commissioner Michelle Long Spears and DeKalb County school board member Allyson Gevertz, attended the summit. “We all have to have a seat at the table,” said Brookhaven City Council member John Funny, whose district encompasses Buford Highway. “We’re coming up with a strategic way to approach development.” ROUGHDRAFTATLANTA.COM

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The Perimeter Chamber is a dynamic community with a shared purpose. More than just an organization, we stand alongside businesses of all sizes, fostering unity and collaboration that propels us toward a future brimming with prosperity, growth, and limitless possibilities. Include the Perimeter Chamber as a cornerstone of your 2024 business success plan. Join us, and let's build a future of shared accomplishments and lasting prosperity. FEBRUARY 2024 |


DUNWOODY For more Dunwoody headlines, subscribe to our daily newsletter at Dunwoody’s first and only police chief announces retirement By Cathy Cobbs Billy Grogan, Dunwoody’s first and only police chief since the city was founded, is retiring effective June 1. Dunwoody City Manager Eric Linton announced Grogan’s retirement in a press release on Jan. 11. “Chief Grogan started the Dunwoody Police Department from scratch and built one of the top law enforcement agencies in the state and nation,” Linton said. “I’m grateful for the high standards he set and the leadership and commitment he showed every day. I will miss Chief Grogan professionally and personally, but I’m confident that he has set the department on a course for continued excellence.” Grogan’s tenure was marked by many

successes but has also seen controversy regarding his handling of allegations that one of his top officers, Lt. Fidel Espinoza, demanded nude photos and sexual favors in exchange for lucrative off-duty jobs. Several officers, including former officers Austin Handle and Brian Bolden, who were dismissed for alleged job-related offenses, are pursuing litigation against the city. Another former officer, Bryan Castellanos, has filed a lawsuit against Espinoza, who resigned in 2020 after the claims surfaced. Austin Handle said he was “relieved” by Grogan’s resignation and said the change in leadership will “open an opportunity for a new chapter in the Dunwoody Police Department’s leadership.” “I hope this change paves a new | 4800 Ashford Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody GA 30338 | 678.382.6700

See artist murals at the Brook Run Skate Park | Feb 1 - 29

February Highlights

Commission 1 Zoning Board of Appeals 13 Planning Meeting 3 Valentine’s Pet Portraits Love Songs Through the 16-18 Decades 4 heART Market 17 Game Night 6 Art Commission Meeting Committee 8 Sustainability Meeting 19 Presidents Day Valentine’s Dance Party City 26 Dunwoody Council Meeting Gardener Talk: 10 Master February 8: Container Gardening City Hall | 6 p.m.

City Hall | 6 p.m.

Brook Run Dog Park | noon - 2 p.m.

Stage Door Theatre

City Hall | 7:30 a.m.

Dunwoody Preservation Trust N. Shallowford Annex 5 - 10 p.m.

City Hall | 8 a.m.

City Hall closed

N. Shallowford Annex | 5 -7 p.m.

City Hall | 6 p.m.

Dunwoody Community Greenhouse Brook Run Park | 11 a.m.


Audit Committee Meeting City Hall | 3:30 p.m.

Dunwoody City Council Meeting

Expressions in Motion

Parent/Child Valentine’s Dance Party

City Hall | 6 p.m.

Dunwoody Farmers Market

Saturdays | Brook Run Park 9 a.m - noon

12 | FEBRUARY 2024

Police Chief Billy Grogan

Association of Chiefs of Police. “I have had the privilege of working alongside some of the most dedicated and professional individuals within the law enforcement community while in Dunwoody,” Grogan said in a statement released by the city. “Their steadfast commitment to serving this community has set an unwavering standard for excellence, making the Dunwoody Police Department a source of immense pride for our community. I am excited about what lies ahead for me but, at the same time, I’m sad about closing this chapter of my life.” The city did not comment about Grogan’s replacement.

Park Place shopping center undergoing renovations

Celebrating Black History Month

Spruill Center for the Arts

way forward for transparency and accountability,” Handle said. Throughout his career, Grogan has been “an inspiration to law enforcement officers across the country,” the release said. “He has published numerous law enforcement articles, as well as two books on law enforcement’s use of social media. Chief Grogan also hosts a website called ‘Top Cop Leadership,’ which provides valuable informational resources and consulting for those preparing for and serving as a police chief.” Grogan has also participated in a variety of community programs including Coffee with a Cop, Polar Plunge, National Night Out, and Read Across America. He has served in leadership roles with various non-profit organizations including I Care Atlanta, Special Olympics Georgia, and Convoy of Care. Grogan began his law enforcement career in 1981 with the Marietta Police Department, where he rose to the rank of deputy chief. He was named police chief for the newly formed city of Dunwoody in 2008 and has remained at the helm ever since. In 2023, he was named Outstanding Chief of the Year by the Georgia

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as of yet when Rough Draft toured the center in late December, and the EDENS One of Dunwoody’s longest-standing announcement about the courtyard shopping centers is undergoing a renovation did not mention any new renovation that developers believe will tenants. transform the area into “a vibrant modern The incorporation of entertainment village.” districts in several existing and planned EDENS, the owner of Park Place, Perimeter Center retail centers may also which is located across the street from help draw patrons to the area. Perimeter Mall on Ashford Dunwoody In 2022, the Dunwoody City Council Road, announced that the first step in approved the creation of the Perimeter the process is a facelift of the interior Center Entertainment District, which courtyard area where shoppers will “find includes along with Park Place, Perimeter a peaceful respite, a place to recharge Mall, Ashford Lane, the future High and a curated mix of the best in food Street, and the future Campus 244. and beverage, shopping, wellness and These regulations, according to everyday needs.” the city, allows “restaurants within the Park Place, encompassing 88,280 district to sell alcoholic beverages for square feet of retail space, has as consumption in the public realm within its longtime tenants McKendrick’s the district’s boundaries.” Steakhouse, Eclipse Di Luna, Café The restaurants must provide to Intermezzo, Sola Salons, Brass Tap Brew customers clear plastic cups affixed with Pub, and Sage Woodfire Grill. “Cheers!” stickers provided by the city’s Eclipse Di Luna closed temporarily Community Development Department. for renovations in January but has since The cups can be no more than 16 ounces reopened. and are not allowed to be consumed in The center took a hit in 2023 when parking garages or construction areas. Alon’s Bakery, a popular breakfast, lunch, Any establishment that allows patrons and high-end market closed. Owner Alon to leave an establishment with an alcoholic Balshan cited the size of the space and the beverage must have an 11 by 17-inch sign fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic posted at the door within public view so for the lack of traffic at the The location. patrons exiting establishment can read city of Brookhaven bought thethe former There are no signs of any tenantsFarms property it, theon regulation Morrison Osbornesaid. Road. moving into the former Alon’s space By Cathy Cobbs


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Unless otherwise noted, all meetings are held at Tucker City Hall, 1975 Lakeside Pkwy, Ste 350B, Tucker, GA 30084

RiverLands: New outdoor access at revived Chattahoochee

FEBRUARY 5, 6:30 P.M.

Downtown Development Authority Meeting


Zoning Board of Appeals

FEBRUARY 12, 7 P.M. City Council Meeting

FEBRUARY 15, 7 P.M. Planning Commission


Photos and renderings courtesy of the Trust for Public Lands

All City Buildings will be closed in observance of the Presidents Day


University of Government Affairs Tucker


Downtown Façade Grant Webinar (see website for link)


City Council Work Session 14 | FEBRUARY 2024

Revival is a beautiful, powerful word: a return to life, vigor, and strength. Over the past two decades, the river that flows through metro Atlanta, sustaining millions of Georgians with drinking water and more, is reviving from nearly a century of abuse and neglect. Today, the Chattahoochee River between the city of Atlanta and West Point Lake – a 70-mile stretch with forested riverbanks, rocky shoals, rural communities, and cultural sites – is no longer regularly polluted with the city’s waste. Water quality data collected by Chattahoochee Riverkeeper confirms the river’s health has dramatically improved in this area. The organization’s 1995 lawsuit against the city resulted in a federal mandate and the investment of billions of dollars to overhaul its long-neglected sewer system to ABOVE THE meet clean water standards. WATER LINE Once considered offlimits for recreation due to chronic sewage overflows and polluted Sally Bethea storm runoff, this previously blighted section is on the cusp of becoming a major destination for outdoor experiences. The transformation now underway will result in new parks, hiking paths, bike trails, a Camp + Paddle Trail, and improved access to historic and cultural sites. A bold vision developed over the past five years through a collaboration with nonprofit Trust for Public Land (TPL), Atlanta Regional Commission, city of Atlanta, Cobb County and eighty local partners is leading

the way. Called Chattahoochee RiverLands, the extensive plan will connect communities, parks, greenways, and trails along a 100mile extent of the river from Lake Lanier to Chattahoochee Bend State Park; its implementation is expected to take several decades, as funding becomes available. The upstream half of the RiverLands corridor already includes the much-loved Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area with its five-thousand-plus acres of riverfront parks and forty-eight miles of river. “RiverLands will redefine our relationship with the Chattahoochee,” says TPL’s Chattahoochee Program Director Walt Ray. “It will stitch together local, state and federal partnerships to provide outdoor access for all in the region’s new defining public space.” Cultural Connections I love to explore the river downstream of Atlanta – truly my favorite place to paddle – but I am particularly excited about the opportunities presented by RiverLands to interpret and connect the cultural resources in and along the Chattahoochee. I want to better understand the indigenous people who came before us, even more dependent on the river’s many benefits from drinking water and crop irrigation to fish, game, and transportation. Over the centuries, human dependence on the Chattahoochee has changed in many ways, but our reliance on its life-giving waters is never-ending. The pre-colonial history of Georgia is largely the story of the Muscogee Indians: Continued on page 16 ROUGHDRAFTATLANTA.COM






away, especially on sparkling late-fall days when I’ve joined park supporters to talk about progress being made to revive our river. From Council Bluff, where our group gathered, the views of the Chattahoochee and a prehistoric fish weir or trap (visible when the water is low) were spectacular. We celebrated the river’s return and all that will come with a cleaner, safer river. Major Investments

Continued from page 14

the indigenous people named Creeks by European colonists for their streamside settlements in the Southeast. During the colonial period, they outnumbered Europeans and enslaved Africans, occupying more land than the newcomers – until they were considered impediments to the expansion of plantation slavery and “removed” to Oklahoma in the early 1800s. By that time, millions of acres of native Muscogee (Creek) land had been ceded to the Europeans through trickery, unfulfilled promises, and coercion. On a windy, blue-sky day last November, I drove to the McIntosh Reserve, located at the downstream end of the RiverLands project, about an hour from my home in midtown Atlanta. Named for William McIntosh, a controversial Muscogee chief in the early nineteenth century, it is the site of his plantation home and assassination—after he ceded all remaining Muscogee lands in presentday Georgia to the U.S. government for personal benefit. Over the past thirty years, I’ve traveled to this park by car and kayak many times and camped on its riverbanks. This foreverprotected place never fails to take my breath

16 | FEBRUARY 2024

A significant state grant and local county support are providing funds to double the size of McIntosh Reserve to nearly 1,000 acres. At upstream Standing Peachtree park – a former Muscogee village located at the confluence of Peachtree Creek and the river – a new kayak launch will be completed in May for the 48-mile Camp + Paddle Trail; the route will take paddlers through a previously inaccessible (and previously filthy) section of the Chattahoochee. A bike path along the river here and a bridge over Peachtree Creek are also planned. Connections to the Silver Comet Trail and the Atlanta Beltline are part of the vision. At Buzzard Roost Island in south Fulton County, the beach and upland will be available for short stops and picnics, as paddlers make their way downstream. The island was once a crossing point for the Muscogees, part of the Sandtown Trail, said to be one of the oldest “roads” in the Southeast; native settlements were established on both sides of the Chattahoochee and the area has been described as archaeologically significant. Additional cultural sites will no doubt be found and interpreted as deserved attention is finally paid to this long-ignored section of the river. To date, $250 million in public and private funds have been raised to build initial sections of the 100-mile river trail with TPL providing an impressive $20 million of that total. The speed in which the RiverLands vision will be realized depends on securing additional funds. Thirty years ago, this transformative project would not have been possible, given the health and safety risks associated with the river, especially downstream of Atlanta. Today, we celebrate the river’s revival and a new recreation destination for all!





Inspiring diverse audiences to new levels of cultural understanding through film.

World-Class Cinema

Meet the Artists Behind the Magic

From laugh-out-loud comedies to heartwarming romances, edge-of-your-seat thrillers, and insightful documentaries, plus captivating biographies, toe-tapping musicals, timeless classics, family-friendly adventures, dramatic tales, historical epics, and mesmerizing animation – AJFF offers something for everyone. 18 | FEBRUARY 2024




Venues Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center at City Springs 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs, GA 30328


The Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center at City Springs is generously providing parking, free of charge, in its onsite parking decks. The parking entrance closest to the theater is off Mount Vernon Highway, just past the corner of Roswell Road. Another parking entrance is on Galambos Way at the intersection with Sandy Springs Circle.

Tara Theatre

2345 Cheshire Bridge Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30324


Free parking is available outside the theater entrance and in the surrounding Cheshire Square Shopping Center.

The Historic Plaza Theatre 1049 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30306 PARKING

Free parking is available at the front and rear of the theater and at Druid Hills Presbyterian Church across from Publix (1026 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE). Paid public parking is available in the deck at 675 N Highland Ave NE.

The Springs Cinema & Taphouse 5920 Roswell Rd., Sandy Springs, GA 30328 PARKING

Free parking is available at the front of the theater, as well as behind the theater on the upper level of the shopping center.

Georgia Theatre Company Merchants Walk 1301 Johnson Ferry Rd., Marietta, GA 30068


Made possible by Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Gather Grants


Free parking is available outside the theater entrance and in the surrounding Merchants Walk shopping center, including the upper lot outside the entrance to Kohl’s.





Opening Night Narrative Atlanta Premiere Dir: Louise Archambault | Canada, Poland • 121 mins In this gripping, true wartime drama based on the Broadway play, a resolute Catholic housemaid (Sophie Nélisse) risks her life to save Polish Jews from the Nazi war machine, a soul-stirring tale of sacrifice and courage honoring a Righteous Among the Nations medalist.

City Springs TICKETS Tuesday, Feb. 13 $180 $180Reserved ReservedSeating Seating Reception • 5:30 PM Program & Film • 7:30 PM

Additional Screening Tara Theatre

Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 2:20 PM

Irena’s Vow

Young Professionals’ Night


Presented by AJC ACCESS

Atlanta Premiere Dir: Daniel Am Rosenberg | Canada • 67 mins In this snappy musical comedy, a wayward singer’s life takes a divinely riotous turn when she lands a cantor gig in her family’s shul, sparking self-discovery, mishigas and unholy chaos, a funny, flip tale as endearing as it is uproariously offbeat.

TICKETS Tara Theatre $50 $50General GeneralAdmission Admission Wednesday, Feb. 14 $36 $36for forACCESS ACCESS Social • 6:30 PM Members&& Program & Film • 8:00 PM Members Community CommunityPartners Partners

Additional Screening Plaza Theatre

Less Than Kosher

Sunday, Feb. 25 at 5:40 PM

Late Night at Plazadrome Narrative 55th Anniversary Dir: Michael Roemer | USA • 81 mins

The Plot Against Harry

A gem of Jewish American cinema, capturing the raw spirit of late ‘60s New York, this mobster comedy follows a big city Kosher Nostra schlemiel, fresh from the slammer, hustling through the underworld, juggling family drama and a quest for redemption.

Plaza Theatre Thursday, Feb. 15 Film • 9:00 PM


$18 General Admission

AJFF joins with the Historic Plaza Theatre and cult film purveyor Videodrome to unearth the best in Jewish underground cinema.

Spotlight Narrative World Premiere, New Musical Score Dir: George K. Rowlands, Frank N. Seltzer | USA • 78 mins

Tara Theatre Thursday, Feb. 15 Film • 7:40 PM

In this world premiere presentation, Steve Berlin of Los Lobos spearheads a new contemporary musical soundtrack for a long-lost silent era melodrama,

Presented in Partnership:


$36 General Admission includes live performance with special musical guests.

featuring diverse, award-winning artists spanning Americana, jazz, avant-garde, punk, R&B, and indie rock.

Breaking Home Ties

Closing Night Documentary Southeast Premiere Dir: Lisa D’Apolito | USA • 92 mins Sure to awaken cherished childhood memories, this heartfelt mix of nostalgia and showbiz insights honors a visionary spirit, Shari Lewis, and her beloved sock

Shari and Lamp Chop


City Springs Monday, Feb. 26 Program & Film • 7:00 PM


$50Reserved ReservedSeating Seating $50 IncludesJury JuryAwards, Awards, Includes dessertreception reception dessert

puppet Lamb Chop, kindling the imaginations of dreamers and storytellers across generations.


IN-THEATER FEBRUARY FEBRUARY 13–26, 13–26, 2024 2024


featuring 63 63 films films from from 20 20 different different countries. countries. A global showcase featuring

In-Theater Exclusive Exclusive In-Theater

In-TheaterExclusive Exclusive In-Theater

Springs Springs Cinema Cinema & & Taphouse Taphouse Friday, Friday, Feb. Feb. 16 16 at at 1:25 1:25 PM PM GTC GTC Merchants Merchants Walk Walk Saturday, Saturday, Feb. Feb. 17 17 at at 1:00 1:00 PM PM

City CitySprings Springs Sunday, Sunday,Feb. Feb.25 25atat5:00 5:00PM PM City CitySprings Springs Monday, Monday,Feb. Feb.26 26atat12:00 12:00PM PM

All About the Levkoviches

The The Catskills Catskills

An aging boxing coach’s affecting journey of reconciliation reconciliation unfolding unfolding in in contempocontemporary Hungary as he tries to reunite with his estranged estranged Orthodox Orthodox son son after after aa family family tragedy, poignantly explores the complexities of family, family, faith, faith, and and forgiveness. forgiveness.

Evoking Evokingthe thegolden goldenBorscht BorschtBelt Beltera, era,this thisloving, loving,nostalgic nostalgichomage homagevibrantly vibrantlyshowcasshowcases esthe thehumor, humor,heritage, heritage,and andspirit spiritof ofthe theJewish-American Jewish-Americansaga sagaat atthe theiconic iconicCatskills Catskills summer summerresorts, resorts,symbols symbolsof ofYiddishkeit Yiddishkeitheritage heritageand andrefuges refugesfrom fromantisemitism. antisemitism.

Southeast Premiere | Dir: Ádám Breier | Hungary Hungary •• 85 85 mins mins

Atlanta Atlanta Premiere Premiere || Dir: Dir:Lex LexGillespie Gillespie || USA USA••84 84mins mins

February 27–March 7

Virtual Virtual Cinema Cinema

In-Theater In-TheaterExclusive Exclusive

Springs Springs Cinema Cinema & & Taphouse Taphouse Sunday, Sunday, Feb. Feb. 18 18 at at 11:00 11:00AM AM

Tara TaraTheatre Theatre Friday, Friday,Feb. Feb.16 16atat2:35 2:35PM PM Plaza PlazaTheatre Theatre Sunday, Sunday,Feb. Feb.25 25atat7:50 7:50PM PM

Anna and the Egyptian Doctor

The The City City

This heartening tale of moral courage and humanity humanity recounts recounts the the notable notable actions actions of an Egyptian doctor who rescued a Jewish girl during during the the Holocaust, Holocaust, defying defying boundaries of religion and politics, in this moving moving work work of of historical historical reconciliation. reconciliation.

The Thehard-boiled hard-boiledworld worldof ofgumshoes, gumshoes,femme femmefatales, fatales,and andcorrupt corruptcops copsinfuses infusesthis this wildly wildlyinventive, inventive,Israeli Israelineo-noir neo-noirrap rapopera operathat thatmelds meldsBogart-like Bogart-likeflflair airwith withurban urban culture, culture,set setto toaapropulsive propulsivehip-hop hip-hopscore scorewith withcunningly cunninglydouble doublerhyming rhyminglyrics. lyrics.

North American Premiere | Dir: Taliya Finkel | Israel Israel •• 76 76 mins mins

Southeast Southeast Premiere Premiere || Dir: Dir:Amit AmitUlman Ulman || Israel Israel••80 80mins mins

Virtual Virtual Cinema Cinema

In-Theater In-TheaterExclusive Exclusive

GTC GTC Merchants Merchants Walk Walk Friday, Friday, Feb. Feb. 16 16 at at 11:35 11:35AM AM Tara Tara Theatre Theatre Tuesday, Tuesday, Feb. Feb. 20 20 at at 3:05 3:05 PM PM

Springs SpringsCinema Cinema&&Taphouse Taphouse Sunday, Sunday,Feb. Feb.18 18atat7:55 7:55PM PM

Avenue of the Giants

Crown Crown Heights Heights

In this cross-generational journey from wartime wartime Prague Prague to to Northern Northern California’s California’sredredwoods, an unusual friendship blooms between an an aging aging soul soul and and aa troubled troubled girl, girl,both both bearing unspoken pain, forging a path to mutual mutual empathy, empathy, purpose, purpose, solace, solace, and andhope. hope.

Howie HowieMandel Mandeland andMario MarioVan VanPeebles Peeblesco-star co-staras ascommunity communityleaders leaderswho whojoin joinforces forces to todiffuse diffuseracial racialtensions tensionsafter afteraatragic tragicaccident accidentin inaaBlack Blackand andJewish Jewishneighborneighborhood, hood,in inthis thisstirring stirringdrama dramaoffering offeringaagritty, gritty,nuanced nuancedportrayal portrayalof ofrace racerelations. relations.

Atlanta Premiere | Dir: Finn Taylor | USA • 102 mins mins

20th 20th Anniversary Anniversary || Dir: Dir:Jeremy JeremyKagan Kagan || USA USA••89 89mins mins In-Theater In-Theater Exclusive Exclusive In-Theater In-Theater Exclusive Exclusive

Virtual VirtualCinema Cinema

Plaza Plaza Theatre Theatre Plaza Plaza Theatre Theatre Saturday, Saturday, Feb. Feb. 24 24 at 1:00 1:00 PM PM Saturday, Saturday, Feb. Feb. 24 24 at atat 1:00 1:00 PM PM

Springs SpringsCinema Cinema&&Taphouse Taphouse Monday, Monday,Feb. Feb.19 19atat11:00 11:00AM AM

CallMe MeDancer Dancer Call

Delegation Delegation

thistrue trueunderdog underdogtale talebridging bridgingMumbai Mumbaialleys alleys alleys to New New York York stages stages and and celebrating celebrating InInthis alleys to toto New New York York stages stages and and celebrating celebrating multiculturalismand andIndian Indianculture, culture,a adetermined determined determined Mumbai Mumbai street street dancer dancer breaks breaks multiculturalism determined Mumbai Mumbai street street dancer dancer breaks breaks socio-economicbarriers barriersby byforming formingan anunlikely unlikely unlikely bond bond with with an an Israeli Israeli ballet ballet master. master. socio-economic bond bond with with an an Israeli Israeli ballet ballet master. master.

Before Beforetheir theircompulsory compulsorymilitary militaryservice, service,aagroup groupof ofIsraeli Israeliteens teensconfronts confrontshistorical historical trauma traumaand andadolescent adolescentangst—love, angst—love,friendship, friendship,hormones, hormones,and andpolitics—during politics—duringaa bus bustour tourof ofPoland’s Poland’ssolemn solemnHolocaust Holocaustsites, sites,in inthis thissubtle, subtle,coming-of-age coming-of-ageroad roadtrip. trip.

AtlantaPremiere Premiere| |Dir: Dir:P.P.Gilmour, Gilmour,L.L.Shampaine Shampaine Shampaine| |India, India, India,Israel, Israel, Israel,UK, UK, UK,USA USA USA•• •84 •84 84 84mins mins mins Atlanta India, Israel, UK, USA mins

Atlanta Atlanta Premiere Premiere || Dir: Dir:Asaf AsafSaban Saban || Germany, Germany,Israel, Israel,Poland Poland••101 101mins mins






In-Theater Exclusive

In-Theater Exclusive

Springs Cinema & Taphouse Sunday, Feb. 18 at 3:25 PM Plaza Theatre Saturday, Feb. 24 at 3:30 PM

GTC Merchants Walk Saturday, Feb. 17 at 5:15 PM Tara Theatre Sunday, Feb. 18 at 11:00 AM City Springs Friday, Feb. 23 at 1:40 PM

The Future

Martha Liebermann: A Stolen Life

Entwining politics, technology, and psychological drama, while exploring themes of liberation, motherhood, and personal crises, a renowned Israeli profiler faces off with a Palestinian assassin, in this Tribeca Best International Feature nominee.

In war-torn 1943 Berlin, in this moving true story, a famed painter’s widow strives to preserve her late husband’s legacy as she faces a harrowing choice: abandon her beloved home or risk deportation, a treacherous path between resistance and survival.

Atlanta Premiere | Dir: Noam Kaplan | Israel • 79 mins

Southeast Premiere | Dir: Stefan Bühling | Germany • 89 mins Virtual Cinema

Virtual Cinema

Tara Theatre Thursday, Feb. 15 at 12:20 PM

Tara Theatre Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 7:00 PM Tara Theatre Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 11:55 AM

Golda’s War Diaries

The Monkey House

Fifty years after the Yom Kippur War, declassified archives recast Prime Minister Golda Meir’s pivotal role, a challenge to prevailing myths of her leadership, and a nuanced reassessment of one of Israel’s most polarizing leaders and tumultuous times.

In Avi Nesher’s witty, twisty Israeli dramedy, boasting 11 Israeli Academy Award nominations, a fading left-wing novelist devises a clever scheme to revive his career and love life, leading to an inevitable showdown where truth becomes a casualty.

Southeast Premiere | Dir: Yariv Mozer | Israel • 74 mins

Atlanta Premiere | Dir: Avi Nesher | Israel • 128 mins In-Theater Exclusive

Streaming Exclusive

Springs Cinema & Taphouse Saturday, Feb. 17 at 7:40 PM City Springs Thursday, Feb. 22 at 3:00 PM

February 27–March 7

The Goldman Case

Murky Skies

This meticulous courtroom drama depicts the fractious 1970s French trial of fiery, far-left antihero Pierre Goldman, whose infamous case was a maelstrom of denunciations of corruption and bigotry, climaxing in judicial reckoning.

This exposé revisits the deadliest Dutch aviation disaster, the calamitous 1992 crash of an Israeli cargo plane in Amsterdam that set off a global web of veiled truths, scandal and conspiracy, the veracity of which remained buried for three decades.

Atlanta Premiere | Dir: Cédric Kahn | France • 116 mins

North American Premiere | Dir: Noam Pinchas | Israel • 89 mins


Virtual Cinema

In-Theater Exclusive

GTC Merchants Walk Sunday, Feb. 18 at 7:30 PM Tara Theatre Monday, Feb. 19 at 11:00 AM Springs Cinema & Taphouse Monday, Feb. 19 at 7:20 PM

Tara Theatre Thursday, Feb. 15 at 2:40 PM Springs Cinema & Taphouse Saturday, Feb. 17 at 1:45 PM

No Name Restaurant

Nominated for 9 Israeli Academy Awards, including Best Film, this explosive truecrime drama follows a young man’s quest to open a computer shop in ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem, igniting a stark clash between tradition and modernity.

This heartwarming, culture-clash odyssey reveals an unlikely alliance between a stranded Brooklyn Jew and Arab nomad in a vast desert, bringing humor and camaraderie during a tender, whimsical road trip that offers a parable of religious tolerance.

Atlanta Premiere | Dir: Benny Fredman | Israel • 111 mins

Atlanta Premiere | Dir: Peter Keller, Stefan Sarazin | Germany • 122 mins In-Theater Exclusive

In-Theater Exclusive

GTC Merchants Walk Sunday, Feb. 18 at 2:05 PM

Springs Cinema & Taphouse Sunday, Feb. 18 at 12:45 PM

How to Come Alive with Norman Mailer

Occupied City

From humble Brooklyn roots to the summit of cultural acclaim, the intimate portrait of a literary giant known for bold writing, sharp societal insights, and penchant for controversy, reveals a life as complex and combative as the works he penned.

A masterwork of historical excavation and powerful meditation, this Holocaust chronicle from Oscar-winner Steve McQueen juxtaposes contemporary Amsterdam with harrowing wartime accounts, contrasting devastating and life-affirming realities.

Southeast Premiere | Dir: Jeff Zimbalist | USA • 101 mins

Atlanta Premiere | Dir: Steve McQueen | Netherlands, United Kingdom, USA • 262 mins

Kidnapped: The Abduction of Edgardo Mortara

In-Theater Exclusive

In-Theater Exclusive

GTC Merchants Walk Sunday, Feb. 18 at 11:00 AM Tara Theatre Monday, Feb. 19 at 7:30 PM City Springs Monday, Feb. 26 at 2:35 PM

Springs Cinema & Taphouse Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7:20 PM Tara Theatre Sunday, Feb. 18 at 6:00 PM

One Life

This provocative and richly staged, 19th-century Italy-set drama based on true events, depicts the capture and forced Christian conversion of a Jewish boy by Papal decree, sparking global outrage and pushing Italy toward the brink of revolution.

The power to effect epic change is the heart of this extraordinary biography, starring Anthony Hopkins, of humble, compassionate British humanitarian Sir Nicholas Winton who rescued 669 Czech-Jewish children on Kindertransports, before WWII.

Atlanta Premiere | Dir: Marco Bellocchio | France, Germany, Italy • 134 mins

Atlanta Premiere | Dir: James Hawes | United Kingdom • 109 mins



Virtual VirtualCinema Cinema

Virtual VirtualCinema Cinema

Springs SpringsCinema Cinema&&Taphouse Taphouse Thursday, Thursday,Feb. Feb.15 15atat3:25 3:25PM PM Tara TaraTheatre Theatre Sunday, Sunday,Feb. Feb.18 18atat8:35 8:35PM PM

Plaza PlazaTheatre Theatre Friday, Friday,Feb. Feb.23 23atat12:00 12:00PM PM

The The Other Other Widow Widow

Queen Queenof ofthe theDeuce Deuce

A ATel TelAviv Avivcostume costumedesigner designergrapples grappleswith withthe thesudden suddenpassing passingof ofher hersecret secretlover, lover, plunging plungingher herinto intoveiled veiledgrief, grief,compelled compelledto tohide hidetheir theirromance romanceand andher hersorrow, sorrow,in in writer-director writer-directorMa’ayan Ma’ayanRypp’s Rypp’s Israeli IsraeliAcademy AcademyAward-winning Award-winningdebut debutfeature. feature.

AAGreek Greekimmigrant-turned-mogul immigrant-turned-mogulbreaks breakstaboos taboosby bylaunching launchingaaporn pornempire empireininTimes Times Square Squarein inthe the‘70s, ‘70s,gaining gainingrecognition recognitionas asaashrewd shrewdand andeccentric eccentrictrailblazer, trailblazer,ininthis this empowering empoweringfeminist feministportrait portraitof ofaatruly trulyunique uniquecharacter characterwith withchutzpah chutzpahininspades. spades.

Atlanta Atlanta Premiere Premiere || Dir: Dir:Ma’ayan Ma’ayanRypp Rypp || France, France,Israel Israel••84 84mins mins

Atlanta AtlantaPremiere Premiere| | Dir: Dir:Valerie ValerieKontakos Kontakos| |Canada, Canada,Greece, Greece,Switzerland, Switzerland,USA USA• •75 75mins mins

In-Theater In-TheaterExclusive Exclusive

In-Theater In-TheaterExclusive Exclusive

City CitySprings Springs Friday, Friday,Feb. Feb.23 23atat11:00 11:00AM AM

Plaza PlazaTheatre Theatre Sunday, Sunday,Feb. Feb.25 25atat3:05 3:05PM PM

Paper Paper Clips Clips

Rabbi Rabbion onthe theBlock Block

Two Twodecades decadesafter afterwinning winningthe theAtlanta AtlantaJewish JewishFilm FilmFestival FestivalAudience AudienceAward, Award, this thisimpactful impactfulstory storyof ofaaHolocaust Holocaustschool schoolproject projectin inAppalachia Appalachiabecoming becomingaa global globalphenomenon, phenomenon,keeps keepsbattling battlingprejudice, prejudice,one onepaper paperclip clipat ataatime. time.

While Whilechampioning championingracial racialharmony harmonyand andwomen’s women’srights, rights,and andconfronting confrontingviolence violenceand and systemic systemicinequalities, inequalities,aacharismatic charismaticBlack Blackrabbi rabbiembodying embodyingtikkun tikkunolam, olam,works workstiretirelessly lesslyto tobridge bridgeAfrican AfricanAmerican Americanand andJewish Jewishcommunities communitieson onChicago’s Chicago’sSouth SouthSide. Side.

20th 20th Anniversary Anniversary || Dir: Dir:Elliot ElliotBerlin, Berlin,Joe JoeFab Fab || USA USA••84 84mins mins

Atlanta AtlantaPremiere Premiere| | Dir: Dir:Brad BradRothschild Rothschild| |USA USA• •88 88mins mins

In-Theater In-TheaterExclusive Exclusive

In-Theater In-TheaterExclusive Exclusive

GTC GTCMerchants MerchantsWalk Walk Sunday, Sunday,Feb. Feb.18 18atat4:40 4:40PM PM Tara TaraTheatre Theatre Tuesday, Tuesday,Feb. Feb.20 20atat12:15 12:15PM PM

Tara TaraTheatre Theatre Saturday, Saturday,Feb. Feb.17 17atat8:30 8:30PM PM Tara TaraTheatre Theatre Sunday, Sunday,Feb. Feb.18 18atat3:20 3:20PM PM City CitySprings Springs Saturday, Saturday,Feb. Feb.24 24atat1:00 1:00PM PM

The The Penitent Penitent

Remembering RememberingGene GeneWilder Wilder

A AJewish Jewishtherapist’s therapist’slife lifeunravels unravelsas ashe herefuses refusesto totestify testifyfor foraaviolent violentex-patient, ex-patient,in inthis this sharp sharpDavid DavidMamet Mametplay playadaptation adaptationthat thatpits pitsthe theattacker’s attacker’ssexual sexualidentity identityagainst against the thedoctor’s doctor’sdevout devoutbeliefs, beliefs,to toprobe probedeep deepethical ethicalquandaries quandariesof ofthe thehuman humanpsyche. psyche.

This Thisloving lovingtribute tributeto toGene GeneWilder, Wilder,born borntotoaaJewish JewishMilwaukee Milwaukeefamily, family,isisan anintiintimate mateportrait portraitof ofaaversatile versatiletalent, talent,celebrating celebratinghis hislife lifeand andlegacy legacyas asaacomic comicgenius genius who whodelighted delightedmillions millionswith withhis hisfrenetic freneticneurotic neuroticcharisma charismaand andmanic manicenergy. energy.

U.S. U.S. Premiere Premiere || Dir: Dir: Luca LucaBarbareschi Barbareschi || Italy Italy••118 118mins mins

Atlanta AtlantaPremiere Premiere| | Dir: Dir:Ron RonFrank Frank| | USA USA• •92 92mins mins Streaming StreamingExclusive Exclusive

Virtual VirtualCinema Cinema

February February27–March 27–March77

Tara TaraTheatre Theatre Saturday, Saturday,Feb. Feb.17 17atat6:15 6:15PM PM

People People of of the the Crossing: Crossing:The TheJews Jewsof ofEl ElPaso Paso

The TheReturn Returnfrom fromthe theOther OtherPlanet Planet

The Therich richJewish Jewishheritage heritageof ofSun SunCity Cityand andits itscrucial crucialimpact impacton onthe thehistory historyof ofthe theSouthSouthwest, west,are arerevealed revealedin inthis thisappealing appealingprofi profile leof ofaamulticultural multiculturalgateway gatewayfor forimmigrants immigrants who whotransformed transformedthe thetown townfrom fromaaWild WildWest Westoutpost outpostto toaathriving thrivingmetropolis. metropolis.

Liberated Liberatedfrom fromAuschwitz, Auschwitz,aaHolocaust Holocaustsurvivor survivoruses usesthe thealias aliasKa-Tzetnik Ka-Tzetnik(“the (“theman man from fromthe thecamps”) camps”)to toturn turnhis hisharrowing harrowingpast pastinto intoaaliterary literarysensation, sensation,worldwide worldwide bestsellers bestsellersin in32 32languages, languages,deepening deepeningglobal globalcomprehension comprehensionofofhistorical historicalatrocity. atrocity.

Southeast Southeast Premiere Premiere || Dir: Dir:Isaac IsaacArtenstein Artenstein || USA USA••57 57mins mins

Atlanta AtlantaPremiere Premiere| | Dir: Dir:Assaf AssafLapid Lapid| |Germany, Germany,Israel Israel• •81 81mins mins

In-Theater In-TheaterExclusive Exclusive

In-Theater In-TheaterExclusive Exclusive

Plaza PlazaTheatre Theatre Saturday, Saturday,Feb. Feb.24 24atat7:40 7:40PM PM City CitySprings Springs Sunday, Sunday,Feb. Feb.25 25atat7:30 7:30PM PM

Tara TaraTheatre Theatre Saturday, Saturday,Feb. Feb.17 17atat3:25 3:25PM PM City CitySprings Springs Thursday, Thursday,Feb. Feb.22 22atat7:20 7:20PM PM

The The Performance Performance

Running Runningon onSand Sand

Starring StarringJeremy JeremyPiven Pivenin inan anArthur ArthurMiller Milleradaptation, adaptation,this thisdrama dramafollows followsaadance dance company’s company’sgrim grimchoice choicewhen whenbooked bookedunknowingly unknowinglyfor forthe theFührer, Führer,echoing echoingthemes themes of ofintegrity, integrity,creative creativefreedom, freedom,and andthe thelure lureof offame famein inhistory’s history’sdark darkmoments. moments.

In Inthis thisfeel-good feel-gooddramedy dramedyof ofresilience resilienceand andbelonging, belonging,melding meldinghumor humorand andheart hearttoto shed shedlight lighton onIsraeli Israelisociety’s society’sunseen, unseen,an anEritrean Eritreanrefugee refugeeabout abouttotobe bedeported deportedisis assumed assumedto tobe beaaprofessional professionalsoccer soccerplayer, player,bringing bringinghope hopetotoaastruggling strugglingIsraeli Israeliteam. team.

Southeast Southeast Premiere Premiere || Dir: Dir:Shira ShiraPiven Piven || USA USA••113 113mins mins

Atlanta AtlantaPremiere Premiere| | Dir: Dir:Adar AdarShafran Shafran| |Israel Israel• •104 104mins mins In-Theater In-TheaterExclusive Exclusive

In-Theater In-TheaterExclusive Exclusive

GTC GTCMerchants MerchantsWalk Walk Friday, Friday,Feb. Feb.16 16atat2:10 2:10PM PM Springs SpringsCinema Cinema&&Taphouse Taphouse Monday, Monday,Feb. Feb.19 19atat4:05 4:05PM PM

Tara TaraTheatre Theatre Friday, Friday,Feb. Feb.16 16atat11:40 11:40AM AM GTC GTCMerchants MerchantsWalk Walk Saturday, Saturday,Feb. Feb.17 17atat7:40 7:40PM PM City CitySprings Springs Sunday, Sunday,Feb. Feb.25 25atat11:00 11:00AM AM

The The Prince Prince of of Egypt: Egypt: The TheMusical Musical

Seven SevenBlessings Blessings

Stephen StephenSchwartz’s Schwartz’sscreen-to-stage screen-to-stagemusical, musical,fifilmed lmedin inLondon Londonpresents presentsMoses’s Moses’s ageless agelessbiblical biblicalsaga, saga,aasweeping sweepingtale taleof offaith, faith,freedom, freedom,and andidentity, identity,and andwith with60 60 performers performersand andmusicians, musicians,ranks ranksamong amongthe thegrandest grandestmusicals musicalsever everstaged. staged.

In Inthis thisbittersweet bittersweetdramedy dramedythat thatwon won10 10Israeli IsraeliAcademy AcademyAwards, Awards,aaboisterous boisterousMorocMoroccan-Jewish can-Jewishclan clanreunites reunitesfor foraacross-cultural cross-culturalwedding weddingthat thatsurfaces surfacesfestering festeringsecrets secrets rooted rootedin inancient ancienttradition, tradition,amid amidclashing clashinginterpretations interpretationsofofshared sharedmemories. memories.

Dir: Dir: Brett Brett Sullivan Sullivan || United UnitedKingdom Kingdom••144 144mins mins

Atlanta AtlantaPremiere Premiere| | Dir: Dir:Ayelet AyeletMenahemi Menahemi| |Israel Israel• •111 111mins mins






Shoshana 4:25 PM

Vishniac 2:00 PM

Monday, February 19 Monday, February 19 Springs Cinema Tara Theatre Home Delegation 11:00 AM 11:00 AM

Where is Anne Frank 1:35 PM

The Prince of Egypt: The Musical 4:05 PM

Home 7:20 PM Kidnapped: The Abduction of Edgardo Mortara 7:30 PM

Queen of the Deuce 12:00 PM

Plaza Theatre

Friday, February 23 City Springs Paper Clips 11:00 AM

Martha Lieberman: A Stolen Life 1:40 PM Victory 2:05 PM

Tuesday, February 20 Tuesday, February 20 Tara Theatre

The Penitent 12:15 PM

Avenue of the Giants 3:05 PM

The Monkey House 7:00 PM

Saturday, February 24 City Springs

Remembering Gene Wilder 1:00 PM

Victory 3:45 PM

Stella. A Life. 7:10 PM

Plaza Theatre

Call Me Dancer 1:00 PM

The Future 3:30 PM

Shorts Program 4 5:40 PM

The Performance 7:40 PM

Wednesday, February 21 Wednesday, February 21 Tara Theatre

The Monkey House 11:55 AM

Where is Anne Frank 3:10 PM

This World is Not My Own 7:00 PM

Sunday, February 25 Plaza Theatre City Springs Seven Blessings 11:00 AM

The Catskills 5:00 PM

The Performance 7:30 PM

The City 7:50 PM

Thursday, February 22 Thursday, February 22 City Springs

The Goldman Case 3:00 PM

Running on Sand 7:20 PM

City Springs

Monday, February 26

The Catskills 12:00 PM

Kidnapped: The Abduction of Edgardo Mortara 2:35 PM

Shari and Lamb Chop 7:00 PM

AJFF continues online in the Vi rtu al Cinema through Thursday, Mar. 7, 2024..

Less Than Kosher 5:40 PM

Rabbi on the Block 3:05 PM

Stella. A Life. 12:00 PM

9 PM

Shoshana 1:55 PM

10 PM

Õ Documentary

Õ Short

8 PM

Õ Narrative

9 PM



11 AM

12 PM

1 PM

2 PM

3 PM

5 PM

11 PM

10 PM

11 PM

8 PM

7 PM

6 PM

5 PM

4 PM

3 PM

2 PM

1 PM

12 PM

11 AM

9 PM

8 PM

7 PM

6 PM

4 PM

11 AM 12 PM 1 PM 2 PM 3 PM 5 PM

4 PM 6 PM 7 PM 10 PM

8 PM 11 PM 11 AM 12 PM 1 PM 2 PM 3 PM 4 PM 5 PM 6 PM 9 PM

7 PM 10 PM 11 PM

Tuesday, February 13 Tuesday, February 13 City Springs Springs City

Saturday, Saturday, February February 17 17 Springs Cinema Cinema Springs

No Name Name Restaurant Restaurant No 1:45 PM PM 1:45

The Goldman Goldman Case Case The 7:40 PM PM 7:40

Wednesday, February 14 Wednesday, February 14 Tara Theatre Theatre Tara

Irena's Vow Vow Irena's 2:20 PM PM 2:20

The The Return Return from from the the Other Other Planet Planet 6:15 6:15 PM PM

Running on on Sand Sand Running 3:25 PM PM 3:25

Without Precedent: The The Without Precedent: Supreme Life Life of of Rosalie Rosalie Abella Abella Supreme 1:00 PM PM 1:00

Tara Tara Theatre Theatre

Less Than Than Kosher Kosher Less 8:00 PM PM 8:00

Young Professionals' Night Night Party Party Young Professionals' 6:30 PM PM 6:30

Without Precedent: Precedent: The The Without Supreme Life Life of of Rosalie Rosalie Abella Abella Supreme 4:40 PM PM 4:40

Opening Night Night Reception Reception Opening 5:30 PM PM 5:30 Irena's Vow Vow Irena's 7:30 PM PM 7:30

Merchants Walk Walk Merchants

All All About About the the Levkoviches Levkoviches 1:00 1:00 PM PM

Shorts Shorts Program Program 1 1 3:15 3:15 PM PM

Martha Martha Lieberman: Lieberman: A A Stolen Stolen Life Life 5:15 5:15 PM PM

Seven Seven Blessings Blessings 7:40 7:40 PM PM

Remembering Gene Wilder 8:30 PM

Õ Narrative Narrative Õ

Plaza Theatre Theatre Plaza

One Life Life One 7:20 PM PM 7:20

Golda's War War Golda's Diaries Diaries 12:20 PM PM 12:20

No Name No Name Restaurant Restaurant 2:40 PM PM 2:40

Merch. Walk Walk Merch. Avenue of of Avenue the Giants Giants the 11:35 AM AM 11:35

The Prince Prince of of The Egypt: The The Egypt: Musical Musical 2:10 PM PM 2:10

Friday, February 16 Friday, February 16 Springs Springs Cinema Cinema Vishniac Vishniac 11:00 AM AM 11:00

All About About the the All Levkoviches Levkoviches 1:25 PM PM 1:25

Willem & & Willem Frieda Frieda 3:40 PM PM 3:40

Tara Tara Theatre Theatre

Seven Seven Blessings Blessings 11:40 11:40 AM AM

The City City The 2:35 PM PM 2:35

Tara Tara Theatre Theatre Martha Martha Lieberman: Lieberman: A A Stolen Stolen Life Life 11:00 11:00 AM AM

Breaking Breaking Home Home Ties Ties 7:40 7:40 PM PM

Sunday, Sunday, February February 18 18 Springs Springs Springs Cinema Cinema Springs Cinema Cinema Telling Nonie Nonie Anna Anna and and the the Telling 11:00 AM AM Egyptian Egyptian Doctor Doctor 11:00 11:00 11:00 AM AM Occupied City City Occupied 12:45 PM PM 12:45

The Other Widow 8:35 PM

One One Life Life 6:00 6:00 PM PM

Remembering Remembering Gene Gene Wilder Wilder 3:20 3:20 PM PM

Supernova: Supernova: The The Music Music Festival Festival Massacre Massacre 1:20 1:20 PM PM

Supernova: Supernova: The The Music Festival Massacre 8:00 PM

The The Three Three of of Us Us 5:35 5:35 PM PM

The The Future Future 3:25 3:25 PM PM

Shorts Shorts Program Program 3 3 1:25 1:25 PM PM

Crown Heights Heights Crown 7:55 7:55 PM PM

Shorts Program Program 2 2 Shorts 6:00 PM PM 6:00

The Other Other The Widow Widow 3:25 PM PM 3:25

Thursday, February 15 Thursday, February 15 Springs Tara Theatre Theatre Springs Cinema Cinema Tara

The Plot Plot The Against Harry Harry Against 9:00 PM PM 9:00

Merchants Merchants Walk Walk Kidnapped: Kidnapped: The The Abduction Abduction of of Edgardo Edgardo Mortara Mortara 11:00 11:00 AM AM

How How to to Come Come Alive Alive with with Norman Norman Mailer Mailer 2:05 2:05 PM PM

Õ Short Short Õ

The Penitent Penitent The 4:40 PM PM 4:40

Home Home 7:30 7:30 PM PM

Õ Documentary Documentary Õ







1 1PM PM 12 12PM PM 1111 AM AM

2 2PM PM

3 3PM PM







11 11PM PM 10 10PM PM

11PM PM 12 12PM PM 11 11AM AM







11 11PM PM 10 10PM PM


1 1PM PM 12 12PM PM 1111 AM AM 2 2PM PM 3 3PM PM 44PM PM 55PM PM 66PM PM 77PM PM 88PM PM 99PM PM 11 11PM PM 10 10PM PM 11PM PM 12 12PM PM 11 11AM AM 22PM PM 33PM PM 44PM PM 55PM PM 66PM PM 77PM PM 99PM PM

88PM PM 11 11PM PM 10 10PM PM

Jury Award Nominees NARRATIVE FEATURE The Narrative Feature Prize goes to the feature-length fiction film that exceeds all others in total artistry, direction, script, cinematography, acting, and overall storytelling.

The Monkey House

The Performance

Seven Blessings


Stella. A Life.


DOCUMENTARY FEATURE The Documentary Feature Prize goes to the feature-length non-fiction film that exceeds all others in total artistry, direction, script, cinematography and overall storytelling.



TITLE: REMEMBERNG GENE WILDER ELEMENT: 27x40” One Sheet CLIENT: David Knight & Julie Nimoy

DATE: 05.03.23 CONTACT: Amy Jo Phillips PHONE: 818.506.3866

ONE SHEET TEMPLATE: BLEED: 27.25 x 40.25” | TRIM: 27 x 40” | SAFETY: 24 x 37”


How to Come Alive with Norman Mailer

Occupied City

Queen of the Deuce

Remembering Gene Wilder

Shari and Lamb Chop


The Anne Frank Gift Shop

The Father, The Son and the Rav Kalmenson

Girl No. 60427


Katya's Hand

More Than Friends

Ádám Breier All About the Levkoviches

Amit Ulman The City

Asaf Saban Delegation

Benny Fredman Home

Ma'ayan Rypp The Other Widow

Assaf AssafLapid Lapid The TheReturn Returnfrom fromthe the Other OtherPlanet Planet

Avenue of the Giants

Call Me Dancer

Irena’s Vow

No Name Restaurant

This World is Not My Own

SHORT FILM The Short Film Prize goes to the film (run time of 40 or fewer mins.) that exceeds all others in total artistry, direction, script, cinematography, acting, and overall storytelling.

EMERGING FILMMAKER An Emerging Filmmaker Prize will be awarded to a rising creative talent, whose film shows exceptional skill and artistry.


Written and Directed by: Taliya Finkel Design and Animation: Studio JEWBOY, Yaron Shin with Zohar Yosifon Composer: Rafi Toren Editor: Shimon Specrtor, Yaron Livnay Research: Taliya Finkel Grading: Ori Alon Sound Design: Rafi Chen Mix: Avi Mizrahi, Rafi Chen Recording: Kai Ungar Actors: Husam Chadat / Aviram Kalish - Helmy, Katharina Meyer / Noot Cohen - Anna Co - Executive Producers: Berlin - Elise Lein, e&a film berlin Egypt - Peter Fuchs Producer: Taliya Finkel Productions

Anna and the Egyptian Doctor

running on sand

HUMAN RIGHTS Awarded to the film that best captures the perseverance and strength of those whose sense of justice guides them in the face of bigotry, inequality, and persecution.






Adar Shafran



A kick and rush for Redemption, Love, and the Endless Pursuit of Freedom






The Future

The Goldman Case

Kidnapped: The Abduction of Edgardo Mortara

Running on Sand

The Three of Us


The film best exemplifying AJFF’s mission, informed by founder American Jewish Committee, to promote understanding among diverse groups.

Design - Studio JEWBOY (yaron Shin) & Zohar Yosifon


WithoutPrecedent: Precedent: Without TheSupreme SupremeLife Life The RosalieAbella Abella ofofRosalie



Dara DaraJaffe Jaffe Associate AssociateCurator, Curator,Academy Academy Museum MuseumofofMotion MotionPictures Pictures Dara DaraJaffe Jaffeisisa afilm filmhistorian historianand and liquid liquidlight lightprojection projectionvisual visualartist. artist. She Shehas hascurated curatedgalleries gallerieson onJohn John Waters, Waters,Casablanca, Casablanca,and andothers. others.

Eric EricWarren WarrenSinger Singer

Owen OwenStone Stone

Screenwriter,Producer Producer Screenwriter,

Student,Emory EmoryUniversity University Student,

JewishAmerican Americanscreenwriter screenwriter AAJewish andproducer, producer,Singer Singerwas wasnominomiand natedfor fortwo twoAcademy AcademyAwards, Awards, nated andwon wonBritish Britishand andAustralian Australian and screenwritingAcademy AcademyAwards. Awards. screenwriting

Graduating May 2024 with Graduating inin May 2024 with degrees film and media plus degrees inin film and media plus computer science, Stone attended computer science, Stone attended the 2023 Telluride Film Festival the 2023 Telluride Film Festival Student Symposium. Student Symposium.


Thomas ThomasKarsch Karsch Former FormerEVP EVPand andGM, GM,TCM TCMand and Turner TurnerSouth South

Dr. Dr.Matthew MatthewBernstein Bernstein

Sarah SarahBusch Busch

Goodrich GoodrichC.C.White WhiteProfessor Professorofof Film Filmand andMedia, Media,Emory EmoryUniversity University

Student, Student,Emory EmoryUniversity University

AA25-year 25-yeartelevision televisionindustry industry expert, expert,Tom Tomhas haswide, wide,highhighlevel levelexperience experiencethat’s that’sfostered fostered several severalendeavors. endeavors.

Emory EmoryUniversity’s University’sDep’t Dep’tofofFilm Film and andMedia Mediachair chairfor for1515years, years, hosted hostedAtlanta’s Atlanta’sCinema CinemaClub, Club, author authorororeditor editorofofsix sixvolumes volumesofof American Americanfilm filmhistory. history.

AA native native Atlantan Atlantan and and junior junior atat Emory Emory University University studying studying film film and and media, media, Busch Busch brings brings aa keen keen cinematic cinematic eye eye and and desire desire toto explore explore diverse diverse narratives. narratives.


AltonBrown Brown Alton

Clayton ClaytonLandey Landey

Rebecca RebeccaLevy Levy

TV TVChef, Chef,Producer, Producer,Director Director

Actor, Actor,National NationalBoard BoardMember Member and andFormer FormerPresident, President, SAG-AFTRA, SAG-AFTRA,Atlanta Atlanta

Student, Student,University UniversityofofGeorgia Georgia

Brown, Brown,a acook-author-producer-dicook-author-producer-director rectorobsessed obsessedwith withcinema cinemahis his whole wholelife, life,directed directedTV TVspots, spots,then then attended attendedculinary culinaryschool, school,and andwill will publish publisha anew newbook bookinin2025. 2025.

AAprofessional professionalmime, mime,actor, actor, director, director,producer, producer,writer, writer,and and teacher teacherfor forover over5050years. years.

Rebecca Rebecca Levy, Levy, aa junior junior atat UGA’s UGA’s Grady Grady College College pursuing pursuing anan entertainment entertainment media media degree, degree, relishes relishes filmmaking filmmaking and and endeavors endeavors toto become become aa writer-director. writer-director.


Erik ErikFrancisco FranciscoMedina Medina Writer, Writer,Filmmaker, Filmmaker,Creative CreativeProducer Producer Erik ErikFrancisco FranciscoMedina Medina(he/him/él) (he/him/él) isisfrom fromCanóvanas, Canóvanas,Puerto PuertoRico Ricoand and explores exploresthe theperspectives perspectivesofofyoung young people peopleofofcolor colorininAmerica Americaininhis his works. works.

Rebecca RebeccaShrager Shrager

Alexander AlexanderChiaramonte Chiaramonte

CEO CEOand andFounder, Founder,People PeopleStore Store Talent TalentAgency Agency

Student, Student,University UniversityofofGeorgia Georgia

Rebecca RebeccaShrager’s Shrager’sPeople PeopleStore Store Agency AgencyininAtlanta Atlantaprovides provideslead lead and andsupporting supportingactors actorsfor forhundreds hundreds ofofmajor majorfilm filmand andTV TVprojects projects worldwide. worldwide.

Alexander Alexander “Xander” “Xander” Chiaramonte, Chiaramonte, aa student student studying studying entertainment entertainment and and media, media, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship, and and film, film, specializes specializes inin photography, photography, and and film film production. production.


Karla KarlaBonné Bonné Director DirectorofofRegional RegionalOperations, Operations, American AmericanJewish JewishCommittee Committee As Asdirector directorofofregional regionaloperations, operations, Bonné Bonnéplays playsa akey keyrole roleininproviding providing strategic strategicdirection directionfor forAJC’s AJC’sU.S.U.S.based basedoffices. offices.

Rain RainPryor Pryor

Lingxi LingxiLiLi

Writer, Writer,Actor, Actor,Director Director

Student, Student,Emory EmoryUniversity University

Multi-talented Multi-talentedauthor, author,writer, writer, actor actorand anddirector directorRain RainPryor, Pryor, daughter daughterofofthe thelate latecomic comicgenius genius Richard RichardPryor, Pryor,uses usesher herindustry industry skills skillstotoaddress addressracial racialbiases. biases.

Lingxi Lingxi Li,Li, aa junior junior double double majoring majoring inin film film and and media media plus plus sociology sociology atat Emory Emory University, University, focuses focuses onon film film production, production, particularly particularly directing, directing, editing, editing, and and screenwriting. screenwriting.

Jeremy JeremyKagan Kagan

Carleon CarleonOutlaw Outlaw


Lyn LynGoldfarb Goldfarb Director, Director,Producer Producer With Withfilms filmsfeatured featuredatatthe theLA LAand and NY NYFilm FilmFestivals, Festivals,Telluride Tellurideand and manifold manifoldothers, others,Lyn LynGoldfarb Goldfarbisisan an Oscar-nominated, Oscar-nominated,award-winning award-winning independent independentfilmmaker. filmmaker.


Film Filmand andTelevision TelevisionDirector, Director, Writer, Writer,Producer Producer Award-winning Award-winningJeremy JeremyKagan’s Kagan’s films filmsinclude includeThe TheChosen Chosen(1981), (1981), Crown CrownHeights Heights(2005), (2005),and andGolda’s Golda’s Balcony Balcony(2006). (2006).

Student, Student,Morehouse MorehouseCollege College AA nomad nomad and and global global disciple disciple born born and and raised raised inin Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Carleon Carleon Outlaw Outlaw isis aa graduating graduating senior senior majoring majoring inin theater theater and and performance. performance.




11 11

Virtual Cinema

In-Theater In-TheaterExclusive Exclusive

Tara Theatre Monday, Feb. 19 at 4:25 PM City Springs Sunday, Feb. 25 at 1:55 PM

Plaza PlazaTheatre Theatre Friday, Friday,Feb. Feb.2323atat2:05 2:05PM PM City CitySprings Springs Saturday, Saturday,Feb. Feb.2424atat3:45 3:45PM PM


Victory Victory

Amid rising tensions in post-war Palestine, a British officer and Jewish activist get entangled in a fated romance, in Michael Winterbottom’s burning thriller that unravels the Arab-Israeli confl ict’s complex origins and British colonialism’s legacy.

An Anaspiring aspiringactress actressrevels revelsininher hersoaring soaringcareer careerasasher herhusband husbandreturns returnsfrom frombattle battle facing facinginner innerdemons, demons,ininthis thistechnicolor technicolorIsraeli Israelimusical musicalset setduring duringthe thepost-Six-Day post-Six-Day War Wareuphoria, euphoria,yielding yieldinga apotent potentanti-war anti-warmessage messageand andunexpected unexpectedemotional emotionalpunch. punch.

Atlanta Premiere | Dir: Michael Winterbottom | Italy, United Kingdom • 120 mins

Atlanta AtlantaPremiere Premiere| |Dir: Dir:Eliran EliranPeled Peled| |Israel, Israel,Ukraine Ukraine• 119 • 119mins mins

Virtual Cinema

In-Theater In-TheaterExclusive Exclusive

City Springs Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7:10 PM Plaza Theatre Sunday, Feb. 25 at 12:00 PM

Springs SpringsCinema Cinema&&Taphouse Taphouse Friday, Friday,Feb. Feb.1616atat11:00 11:00AM AM Tara TaraTheatre Theatre Monday, Monday,Feb. Feb.1919atat2:00 2:00PM PM

Stella. A Life.

Vishniac Vishniac

A German Jewish jazz singer in Nazi Berlin, coerced into becoming a Gestapo informant, tragically betrays her own people to survive and save her family, in this stirring exploration of the depths of morality and self-preservation in desperate times.

This Thisexquisite exquisitephotobiography photobiographyhonors honorsa arenowned renownedRussian-American Russian-Americanpolymath polymath and andpreserver preserverofofthe thepast, past,immortalized immortalizedby byhis hishaunting hauntingimages imagesofof20th-century, 20th-century, soon-to-be-obliterated soon-to-be-obliteratedEastern EasternEuropean EuropeanJewish Jewishcommunities. communities.

North American Premiere | Dir: Kilian Riedhof | Austria, Germany • 120 mins

Atlanta AtlantaPremiere Premiere| |Dir: Dir:Laura LauraBialis Bialis| |USA USA• 95 • 95mins mins

In-Theater Exclusive

Virtual VirtualCinema Cinema

Tara Theatre Sunday, Feb. 18 at 1:20 PM Springs Cinema & Taphouse Sunday, Feb. 18 at 8:00 PM

Springs SpringsCinema Cinema&&Taphouse Taphouse Monday, Monday,Feb. Feb.1919atat1:35 1:35PM PM Tara TaraTheatre Theatre Wednesday, Wednesday,Feb. Feb.2121atat3:10 3:10PM PM

Supernova: The Music Festival Massacre

Where WhereisisAnne AnneFrank Frank

The first major documentary to chronicle the traumatic events of October 7, 2023, details the attack on Israel’s Supernova music fest with emotional real-time footage and survivor accounts, stories of nightmarish tragedy, and resolute human spirit.

InInacclaimed lmmaker acclaimedIsraeli Israelififi lmmakerAri AriFolman’s Folman’sanimated animatedmasterpiece, masterpiece,Anne AnneFrank’s Frank’s story storyisisuniquely uniquelyretold retoldthrough throughKitty, Kitty,her herimaginary imaginaryfriend friendand andpen-pal pen-palwho whoattempts attempts totoreappraise reappraiseAnne’s Anne’slegacy legacyininlight lightofofEurope’s Europe’scontemporary contemporaryimmigration immigrationcrisis. crisis.

U.S. Premiere | Dir: Yossi Bloch, Duki Dror | Germany, Israel • 52 mins

Atlanta AtlantaPremiere Premiere| |Dir: Dir:Ari AriFolman Folman| |Belgium, Belgium,France, France,Israel, Israel,LUX, LUX,Netherlands Netherlands• 99 • 99mins mins

Virtual Cinema

Virtual VirtualCinema Cinema

Springs Cinema & Taphouse Sunday, Feb. 18 at 11:00 AM

Springs SpringsCinema Cinema&&Taphouse Taphouse Friday, Friday,Feb. Feb.1616atat3:40 3:40PM PM

Telling Nonie

Willem Willem&&Frieda Frieda

In this study of complex emotions, history’s intricacies, and the bumpy path toward mutual forgiveness, an introspective elderly Israeli agent seeks redemption by disclosing his guilt and pursuing reconciliation decades after a 1950s Gaza assassination.

British Britishbroadcaster broadcasterStephen StephenFry Fryexplores exploresthe thecourageous courageouswartime wartimefeats featsofoftwo twooften often ignored ignoredLGBTQ+ LGBTQ+heroes heroesofofthe theDutch Dutchresistance, resistance,whose whoseactions actionssaved savednumerous numerouslives lives and ededthe cance anddefi defi theNazis, Nazis,the thesignifi signifi canceand andconsequences consequencesofofwhich whichresonate resonatetotothis thisday. day.

World Premiere | Dir: Paz Schwartz, Uriel Sinai | Israel, USA • 52 mins

Atlanta AtlantaPremiere Premiere| |Dir: Dir:John JohnHay Hay| |United UnitedKingdom Kingdom• 76 • 76mins mins

In-Theater Exclusive

In-Theater In-TheaterExclusive Exclusive

Tara Theatre Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 7:00 PM

Tara TaraTheatre Theatre Saturday, Saturday,Feb. Feb.1717atat1:00 1:00PM PM Springs SpringsCinema Cinema&&Taphouse Taphouse Saturday, Saturday,Feb. Feb.1717atat4:40 4:40PM PM

This World is Not My Own

Without WithoutPrecedent: Precedent:The TheSupreme SupremeLife LifeofofRosalie RosalieAbella Abella

A self-taught, poor Black folk-artist and resolute spirit, and a wealthy Jewish gallerist, form an unconventional bond in this creatively rendered profile that echoes the racism and unrest of Atlanta’s tumultuous history that shaped Rowe’s early years.

AAHolocaust rst Holocaustsurvivor’s survivor’sdaughter daughterbecomes becomesCanada’s Canada’sfifi rstfemale femaleJewish JewishSupreme SupremeCourt Court judge, judge,reshaping reshapingthe thelegal legalworld worldwith withlandmark landmarkdecisions decisionson oninclusivity, inclusivity,diversity, diversity, andequity, equity,which whichmarked markedher herasasa anational nationaltreasure treasurelikened likenedtotoRuth RuthBader BaderGinsburg. Ginsburg. and

Dir: Petter Ringbom, Marquise Stillwell | USA • 97 mins

AtlantaPremiere Premiere| |Dir: Dir:Barry BarryAvrich Avrich| |Canada Canada• 80 • 80mins mins Atlanta Virtual Cinema

Springs Cinema & Taphouse Sunday, Feb. 18 at 5:35 PM

The Three of Us This Jerusalem Film Festival Best Documentary winner chronicles an Israeli ultraOrthodox couple confronting bureaucratic and social obstacles while navigating the complexities of raising their autistic son within their devout community.

Watch the Trailers :

Atlanta Premiere | Dir: Henya Brodbeker | Israel • 80 mins




Virtual VirtualCinema Cinema February February27—March 27—March77

Shorts Programs

Springs SpringsCinema Cinema&&Taphouse Taphouse Sunday, Sunday,Feb. Feb.18 18at at6:00 6:00PM PM The TheSoldier Soldieron onSmithdown SmithdownRoad Road


Virtual VirtualCinema Cinema February February 27—March 27—March77 GTC GTC Merchants MerchantsWalk Walk Saturday, Saturday, Feb. Feb.17 17at at3:15 3:15PM PM

The The Father, Father,The The Son Son and andThe TheRav RavKalmenson Kalmenson

Echoes Echoes of of the the Heart: Heart: Journeys Journeys of of History, History, Resilience, Resilience, and and Identity Identity Navigating Navigatingpainful painfulhistories historiesand andself-discovery, self-discovery,blending blendingemotional emotionaldepth depthwith with artistic artisticgrace. grace.

Sacred Sacred Crossroads: Crossroads: Paths Paths of of Faith Faith and and Morality Morality Exploring Exploringpersonal personaland andreligious religiousethos, ethos,their theirprofound profoundimpact impacton onindividual individual and andcommunal communalrealms. realms.

Visions Visions of of the the Prophets Prophets Filmmaker FilmmakerJeremy JeremyKagan’s Kagan’sprovocative provocativeanimated animatedjourney journeythrough throughJewish Jewishwritings, writings, blending blendinghumor humorand andwisdom wisdomto tooffer offeran anentertaining entertainingand andenlightening enlighteningexploration explorationof of ancient ancientstories storiesand andteachings. teachings.

The The Rabbi’s Rabbi’s Son Son

Humo Humo An Aninnocent innocentboy's boy'semotionally emotionallyevocative evocativejourney journeyto toan anominous ominousdestination destinationreveals reveals haunting hauntinghistorical historicalatrocities. atrocities.

After Afteraadeeply deeplypersonal personalloss, loss,aarabbi's rabbi'sunconventional unconventionalchoice choicetests testscommunity communitybonds, bonds, exploring exploringfamily familytragedy tragedywith withemotional emotionaldepth depthand andsensitivity. sensitivity.

Girl Girl No. No. 60427 60427

The The Soldier Soldier on on Smithdown Smithdown Road Road

In Inaacoastal coastaltown, town,aagirl girldiscovers discoversaaHolocaust Holocaustdiary diarythat thattransforms transformsher hercarefree carefree summer summerinto intoaapoignant, poignant,profound profoundconnection connectionwith withher herpast, past,rendered renderedthrough through animation animationoverlaying overlayinglive liveaction. action.

After Aftertwo twoBritish Britishsoldiers soldiersare arekilled killedby byaaZionist Zionistparamilitary paramilitaryorganization organizationin in Mandatory MandatoryPalestine, Palestine,aaJewish JewishWWII WWIIveteran veteranmust mustdefend defendhis hisfamily's family'sLiverpool Liverpoolshop shop from fromaaviolent, violent,antisemitic antisemiticmob. mob.

More More Than Than Friends Friends A Alesbian lesbianmother, mother,discovering discoveringher herson's son'stender tenderletter letterto toanother anotherboy, boy,crashes crashesaa birthday birthdayparty partyto toprotect protecthim, him,revealing revealingthe thepoignant poignantdance danceof ofaaconcerned concernedparent's parent's conundrum, conundrum,aching aching and andendearing. endearing.

The The Father, Father, The The Son Son and and The The Rav Rav Kalmenson Kalmenson An AnOrthodox OrthodoxJew Jewconfronts confrontsaahilariously hilariouslyzany zanychallenge challengewhen whenhis hisadorably adorably expressive, expressive,fleet-footed fleet-footedson soninadvertently inadvertentlybreaks breakstradition traditionduring duringthe thesanctity sanctityand and solemnity solemnityof ofShabbat. Shabbat.


VirtualCinema Cinema Virtual February 27—March 27—March77 February Springs Cinema Cinema&&Taphouse Taphouse Springs Sunday, Feb. Feb. 18 18at at1:25 1:25PM PM Sunday,

Jack JackAnd And Sam Sam

Resilience Resilience & & Remembrance: Remembrance: Echoes Echoes of of History History Artistic Artisticlegacy, legacy,cross-cultural cross-culturalheroism, heroism,and andthe theenduring enduringpower powerof ofhuman humanconnection. connection.

Nothing Nothing Except Except 34 34 Paintings Paintings A A1950s 1950saffair affairand andcorrespondence correspondencebetween betweenan aneminent eminentheiress heiressand andaamuseum museum director directoreffectuates effectuatesaahistoric historicdonation donationto toIsrael’s Israel’slargest largestart artinstitution, institution,revealing revealingthe the enduring enduringbond bondthey theyshare. share.

Sevap/Mitzvah Sevap/Mitzvah A AHumanitas HumanitasPrize-winning Prize-winningtrue truestory storyof ofaaMuslim Muslimwoman's woman'sbrave braverescue rescueof ofJewish Jewish friends friendsin inNazi-occupied Nazi-occupiedBosnia, Bosnia,their theirbravery braveryhonored honoreddecades decadeslater, later,showcasing showcasing uplifting, uplifting,crosscross-cultural culturalunity. unity.

Jack Jack And And Sam Sam After After80 80years, years,two twosurvivors survivorswho whowere werecampmates, campmates,reunite, reunite,moving movingfrom from horrifying horrifyingmemories memoriesto toheartwarming heartwarmingmoments, moments,their theirbond bondexemplifying exemplifyingresilience resilience amid amidtrauma, trauma,profoundly profoundlyrelevant relevanttoday. today.


Under Under G-D G-D AAdivisive divisiveSupreme SupremeCourt Courtdecision decisionsparks sparksaanational nationalinterfaith interfaithresponse, response,as asreligious religious leaders leadersjoin jointhe thelegal legalbattle battleto topreserve preservethe theconstitutionally constitutionallyenshrined enshrinedseparation separationof of church churchand andstate. state.

44 VirtualCinema Cinema Virtual February27—March 27—March77 February Plaza PlazaTheatre Theatre Saturday, Saturday,Feb. Feb.24 24at at5:40 5:40PM PM Puerto PuertoRican RicanJew Jew

Cultural Cultural Mosaic: Mosaic: Journeys Journeys of of Identity Identity and and Belonging Belonging The Thetapestry tapestryof ofcultural culturalidentity, identity,forging forgingbonds, bonds,and andrevealing revealingshared sharedhumanity humanityin inaa changing changingworld. world.

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"In Conversation" Join us for "In Conversation," where curated Q&As and audience talkbacks, live and via Zoom, bring our mission to life. Engage with film artists, community leaders, and other experts, as well as fellow moviegoers, in meaningful conversations that can deepen your festival experience. These are films you'll want to talk about!

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30 | FEBRUARY 2024 14 AJFF.ORG

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Thank you to all the sponsors, partners, members, and volunteers who make the 24th annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival possible.


Silver Streak Take 5 with ‘Supper With Love’ cookbook author Michelle Braxton to subscribe to the Silver Streak weekly newsletter


By Teri Elam I have purchased a few cookbooks over the years. Still, after reading Michelle Braxton’s “Supper With Love,” I felt like floating to the farmer’s market and frolicking amongst the vegetables— picking out the prettiest heirloom tomatoes, the greenest greens, some Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and going to town. I rarely consider leeks—but I do now, and I cannot wait to try my hand at her Liquid Gold Vegetable Broth. Braxton has always enjoyed cooking for the people who need a warm,

nurturing meal. It simply brings her joy. Ten years ago, she began sharing images of the meals she made for her partner, Alex, and herself on Facebook/ Instagram. She received so many requests for recipes that she started a blog to spread her delight in plant-forward and pescatarian cooking. She named it Supper with Michelle, an ode to her partner’s grandmother, who often referred to the last meal of the day as supper. When not hanging out at her home in southwest Atlanta, Braxton frequents Your Dekalb Farmers Market in Decatur, her hometown. And when she looks for ROUGHDRAFTATLANTA.COM

specific seasonal produce, she supports community farmers’ markets like Grant Park Farmers’ Market, Freedom Farmers’ Market, and Truly Living Well. She also enjoys local art festivals like the Inman Park, Dogwood, and Malcolm X Festival. Can you share your creative process when crafting your recipes? You’d probably laugh at me if I told you I dream of them. They always start with inspiration…from everywhere, e.g., walking down the produce aisle or beautiful finds from the farmers’ market. Then there are family recipes inspired by my childhood or dishes I’ve enjoyed at restaurants that I put a spin on, in addition to inspiration from magazines, cookbooks, cooking shows, or social media. Next, I develop and test it, which moves quickly. My goal is to find balance…the moment you taste something and say, “Mmmmm, that’s good.” “Supper with Love” is over 85 of my favorite plant-forward and pescatarian recipes highlighting Michelle natural and inBraxton season ingredients every step of the way. Bringing meatless twists to some classic comfort dishes, I craft approachable, easy-toprepare, nourishing, and crave-worthy meals. As a firm believer in finding the food lifestyle that works best for you, I encourage readers to get into their groove and “freestyle it” by offering countless variations and substitutions for ingredients, ways to “veganize” meals, pairings, and ways to repurpose leftovers. From simple one-pot meals to Sunday suppers, there is something for every taste, mood, and schedule. Continued on page 34

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Continued from page 33

Your book uses beautiful images like your hands rolling and cutting collard greens and preparing food with your partner. Can you speak about its symbolism, personal or universal? You know the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child?” Well, in my village, preparing food was something I saw my mom and community elders doing. The images of snapping green beans, cutting up collard greens, or peeling potatoes are engrained within me. The relationship we share with food, the preparation of it, are a reminder to slow down and enjoy the cooking process and will hopefully resonate with readers. When I met with my photographer, Erin Scott, I wanted to ensure we captured care, warmth, resilience, and growth… and the book’s last image represents our striking melanated hands connecting it all. What are the top five lessons you’d like your readers, fans, fledgling cooks, and wannabe chefs like me to take from your journey and/or cookbook? I recommend a few things for those wanting to work more plant-forward meals into their lifestyles or get more comfortable working their magic in the kitchen. 1) Start with something like “Meatless Mondays” and slowly add more veggie-filled recipes into your weekly rotations. 2) Forgo the meat on your salad and ad hearty roasted vegetables, flavorful smoked tofu, or your favorite beans. 3) Bulk up your pasta dishes with flavorful mushrooms. 4) Find vegetables you enjoy eating and incorporate them into grain bowls and other dishes; and 5) I’d be remiss if I didn’t say, make the recipes in my cookbook! In your intro, you speak about grief after losing your mom in 2019—on the precipice of another cataclysmic event, the pandemic. How did you navigate the intersection of the art of cooking and grief and return to it after you lost your desire to cook?

34 | FEBRUARY 2024

Everyone’s journey with grief is different, but grief is something that never really goes away completely. However, it eases a little each day with time. And I gave myself time to go through the various stages of grief and time to heal, though I’m still healing, in all honesty. I took a break from social media, etc., finding joy outside the kitchen. Sometimes, I would go to my favorite restaurants like Desta Ethiopian Kitchen (in my book, Salmon with Tomatoes & Red Onions, is inspired by them,) Upbeet, Antico Pizza, or La Fonda Latina and slowly worked my way back

to cooking, creating dishes, until I could begin tasting the joy coming back to the food I would prepare. Your cookbook is filled with vegetables. What has been your relationship with vegetables over the years? And what is your secret to making vegetables taste good? I was the type of kid who never had to be swayed into eating all my vegetables to get dessert. So, when I decided to change my dietary lifestyle to more of a plantforward approach, that transition was easy for me. Some vegetables taste good in their natural state, others need a little more attention. If so, I recommend a few things: 1) Season your vegetables well; salt, pepper, spices, herbs, fat, acids, etc. go a long way. 2) Char, grill, or caramelize them; sometimes, even the slightest bit can add depth or umami flavor to your vegetables. 3) Use sauces, pastes, condiments, and dressing/vinaigrettes to add flavor and take your dishes to the next level.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Alliance Theatre presents world premiere of ‘Furlough’s Paradise’ By Collin Kelley This year’s winner of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition will have its world premiere on the Hertz Stage at Alliance Theatre this month. The 20th competition winner, “Furlough’s Paradise” is written by a.k. payne, a graduate of the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale. The production will run from Jan. 31 until March 3. Opening night will be Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m. “I am excited to be selected as the winner of the 20th annual Alliance/ Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition. I am grateful for any space to share work, to share work with audiences, and to have resources to fully actualize a dream,” said playwright a.k. payne in a press release. “I think a lot about plays as like blueprints imagining freedom, or blueprints for imagining worlds, and the invitation to gather people. I feel like, with this particular play, the blueprint for me is about how do we imagine space to be together. And how is that revolutionary? So, I’m excited.” “Furlough’s Paradise” follows Cousins Sade and Mina, raised like sisters but now leading very different lives, as they return to their childhood town for a funeral. While Sade is on a three-day furlough from prison and Mina experiences a brief reprieve from her career and life on the West Coast, the two try to make sense of grief, home, love, and kinship. But traumas and resentments from the past, both real and surreal, threaten to pull

a.k. payne

them apart, all as time ticks towards the correctional officer’s impending arrival. “These characters are fighting for moments,” said payne. “Because it’s been taken from them, they are fighting for moments to be in the same room together. A lot of the play is about being present and how we witness each other. How do we share space together. And so, my hope, for audiences, is the same – that they are invited into a chance to share; to share breath and to share air with people, I think that is really special.” The Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition solicits plays from the leading MFA graduate programs in the United States and then conducts a rigorous selection process to find four finalists and one winning play. The winner receives a full production as part of the Alliance Theatre’s regular season. Past winners of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition have become some of today’s most exciting playwrights and writers, including Tarell Alvin McCraney, whose play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” inspired the 2017 Academy Award-winning film “Moonlight,” and Marcus Gardley, who wrote the recent film adaptation of the musical, “The Color Purple.” Tickets start at $25 and are available at the Alliance Theatre Box Office by calling (404) 7334600. Tickets are available online at ROUGHDRAFTATLANTA.COM



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Spruill Center for the Arts adds new studios

Spruill Center for the Arts CEO Alan Mothner poses in front of the in-progress courtyard pocket park. (Photos by Isadora Pennington)

Spruill Center for the Arts CEO Alan Mothner poses in front of the in-progress courtyard pocket park. (Photos by Isadora Pennington)

By Isadora Pennington There’s more room for art at the newly reopened Spruill Center for the Arts in Dunwood. The facility has added 8,300 square feet of workshop space, bringing the total square footage of the education center to 19,888 square feet. This semester, Spruill is offering their most robust lineup of classes to date. New and returning instructors are leading 267 classes. The new building offers two new ceramic studios, two drawing/painting/ mixed media rooms, a new mosaics and stained glass room, a new blacksmithing studio, woodturning studio, and a community room for special events. “There’s never been a better time to be a part of the magic of Spruill,” said Alan Mothner, CEO, Spruill Center for the Arts. “I think the importance of what Spruill offers and what art centers in general offer is a place that people can come to be creative.” Those who utilize the facilities at Spruill Center for the Arts can try new techniques and use new tools and materials that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive or difficult to accommodate in a home studio. “People can come here to learn, but more importantly they can foster social connections,” explained Mothner. “Places like this are important. The reason that places like this exist – it gives the people who are searching for it a place to come and coalesce with other people. That’s what I think is the most important part. Obviously, the learning is important, the instruction is important, and the continuing education and learning new skills, but really it’s the social connections and the ability to be with others and achieve the results that you’re looking for.” Mothner first came on board as the CEO at Spruill back in 2020 following

36 | FEBRUARY 2024

Inside the new kiln room at Spruill Center.

A new studio space at the Spruill Center in Dunwooody.

a stint as freelance nonprofit consultant. From 1996 to 2010, he was an editorial photographer working with the Associated Press. After that, he took a role as the executive director at the Dunwoody Nature Center which he held until 2019. When Bob Kinsey stepped down as the CEO at Spruill, Mothner knew this was his next career move. “It was Dunwoody, which I am passionate about, it was the arts which I am passionate about, and it’s a nonprofit which I am passionate about. It has been great – it has definitely been an interesting four years.” Mothner said that a year from now he hopes to see a continuation of the legacy of art that Spruill has embraced since it was founded in 1975, only bigger. “I would love to see the continuation of all of the activity that we are currently doing and just being able to reach and impact more people,” said Mothner. “We have been so struggling for space for years. The additional space gives us room to breathe and stretch our wings a little bit.” As excited as he is to see the space completed from a construction standpoint, he’s even more excited to see it come to life with students and instructors. This new studio expansion cost approximately $3.4 million, of which $1 million was contributed by the city of Dunwoody. The other $2.4 million was generated by a mix of fundraising and capitalization of the center’s activities and workshops. A grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts was utilized to expand their kiln room. “We want to see the whole space properly activated. Between us, the library, and the theatre, we should really be a true cultural arts center,” Mothner said. “We want to be a community center based on the arts, and that’s really where we hope to get to.” ROUGHDRAFTATLANTA.COM

Bare Naked Ladies to headline Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival By Logan C. Ritchie

Bare Naked Ladies

Bare Naked Ladies and Live will headline the 2024 Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival in March. Crash Test Dummies and Moon Taxi, a Nashville indie-rock band, will also be on the bill for the festival – one of Georgia’s largest music events – March 23-24 at Blackburn Park. Admission is free. “Once again, the Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival proves why it’s one of the biggest concert events in the state,” said outgoing Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst. “I’m looking forward to getting out and enjoying this phenomenal live music lineup with my fellow Brookhaven residents this spring.” Last year’s festival, which featured Hanson, Band of Horses, Don McLean and The Fray, attracted 45,000 people to Brookhaven. Find out more about the festival at



1600 Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta | @scadfash | #SCADFASH Photo by Neal Barr








DINING to subscribe to the Side Dish weekly newsletter

Taco Mac owners acquire Atlanta bar and burger institution The Vortex By Beth McKibben

But first, Rough Draft Text DRAFT to 66866 38 | FEBRUARY 2024

The team behind Taco Mac and Mary Mac’s Tea Room acquired The Vortex in Midtown and Little Five Points. Co-owner Michael Benoit says he and his two siblings were ready to move on from the Atlanta burger and bar institution they’ve run for over 30 years. Bone Garden Cantina, the Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard Mexican restaurant Benoit owns with his wife Kristen in Blandtown, and the Laughing Skull Lounge The Vortex in comedy club inside the Midtown. Midtown location of the Vortex are not part the iconic Southern restaurant known for its fried chicken, other than renaming a dining room in memory of longtime Mary Mac’s employee Ellen Frarley, who died in 2020. Martin and the Bodnars acquired Taco Mac in 2018 from Dallas-based CIC Partners. Martin was a regular patron at Taco Mac and Mary Mac's before the purchases. He promised the Benoits that the legacy of the Vortex would be preserved, just as Martin and his partners had done with Mary Mac's. During several lunch meetings at Mary Mac's with Martin and his team, Benoit says he and his family were happy to find that the food, service, and atmosphere remained consistent after the restaurant's acquisition. “The new owners, a local group of restaurateurs who also own Taco Mac and Mary Mac’s Tea Room, are committed to acquiring and preserving Atlanta’s most iconic restaurants. They have a deep appreciation for The Vortex’s rich history and look forward to stewarding this iconic brand for generations to come” a statement provided to Rough Draft reads. “Patrons can expect the same commitment to quality, consistency, creativity, and community that has defined The Vortex for decades. The transition of ownership has been seamless, with operations continuing without interruption.” Benoit and his siblings, Hank and Suzanne, opened the Vortex in 1992 after moving to Atlanta from Los Angeles. The Little Five Points location followed four years later. The Vortex is known for its 21 and up policy, divey atmosphere, and

of the deal. "After more than 30 years in business, it started becoming clear to us that the bar and restaurant trade is really a younger person's game," Benoit says. “We’ve seen many bars and restaurants come and go over the years. And we've witnessed associates in the business simply close up shop when their run was over. I have always found the sudden closure of any establishment that has become a real, tangible part of people’s lives, to be a sad and melancholy affair." Rather than close permanently, Benoit says they began exploring options to keep the Vortex locations open and operating. That opportunity presented itself through a chance meeting with Taco Mac CEO Harold Martin, Jr. This isn’t the first time the group behind Taco Mac has acquired a restaurant institution in Atlanta. Martin., Michael and John Michael Bodnar, and Bryan Rand, part of Fresh Hospitality, purchased Mary Mac’s Tea Room in Midtown from John Ferrell four years ago. Little has changed at over-the-top burgers. The Triple Bypass burger comes with three beef patties, three fried eggs, 14 slices of American cheese, and ten slices of bacon. Two grilled cheese sandwiches serve as buns for the gargantuan burger. "It goes without saying that we could never have accomplished all we have over the years without the help of our wonderful staff who have become like family to us," says Benoit. "When Harold assured us that his goal was to preserve what we had built, we were happy and relieved. That’s when we realized that selling to Harold might be a viable solution to assure the future of The Vortex." The Vortex made news in 2019 when both locations became non-smoking. At the time, it was one of the few remaining restaurants in the city to allow smoking inside. Benoit conducted a month-long survey of 11,000 people regarding the Vortex’s smoking policy. Nearly 70% of the people polled were in favor of banning smoking inside. On February 1, 2019, the Vortex went non-smoking. "Without [our fans'] continued support we simply could not have created the Atlanta institution that is The Vortex. We’re happy that the camaraderie among our people will continue," Benoit adds. "Over the years our fans have continuously suggested that we open a Vortex location where they live. While I can’t speak for the new owners, I suppose there could be a chance of additional Vortex locations opening in the future. Who knows? Only time will tell." ROUGHDRAFTATLANTA.COM

Wine told as a love story

Phil Long

The best wines aren't just a beverage to be consumed socially; they are narratives in a bottle. There's an undeniable charm in gathering around the dinner table, uncorking a bottle, and diving into the rich history behind the wine's creation.


Katie Rice & Sarah Pierre For wine retailers and restaurant sommeliers, the ultimate satisfaction comes from guiding consumers toward discovering these stories and introducing them to new and undiscovered wines. At times, these stories date back centuries, while others are epic narratives in the making. And then some are just beautiful love stories that deserve to be shared. When Debra and Phil Long moved to Northern California, they immediately caught the wine bug and started making wine in their garage. What started as a hobby turned into a passion project, and then progressed into a full-time job. After years of visiting winery tasting rooms, they realized something was missing– a welcoming and inclusive wine experience. In 2008, winemakers Phil and Debra bet on themselves and opened a tasting room in Livermore Valley. Phil wanted to call the brand Long Family Wines, but Debra objected, jokingly pointing out that none of the "family" was present to help clean the winery. Debra suggested Longevity Wines as a play on their last name, as well as representing their love for one another and wine. So, at that moment, Longevity Wine was born – a family-owned, urban winery and certified minority-owned business. Similar to how the wine name Longevity symbolizes their mutual ROUGHDRAFTATLANTA.COM

affection, the label equally reflects this love. Phil designed the eye-catching heart label that contains hearts, grapevines, and grape leaves. Hearts became symbolic of their bond, as Phil gifted Debra ornamental glass hearts each Valentine's Day, leading to a substantial collection over time. This ultimately inspired the iconic Longevity wine bottle label. The Longevity brand rapidly gained popularity, with people enjoying their visits to their fun, casual, barn-themed tasting room. It was a true Livermore destination. However, in 2016, the unforeseen happened when Debra was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She was able to witness the initial growth phases of their cherished business but sadly lost her battle in 2019. Shortly before Debra passed away, Phil honored their deep love with a very large tattoo of their heart logo on his arm, symbolizing that she would always be with him. Even through tragedy, Longevity lived on. Longevity was named Livermore Valley’s Winery of the Year just a few days before Debra passed away and is now Livermore Valley’s third-largest wine brand. Phil Long is not only a winemaker and co-founder, but he also currently serves as the president of the Association of African American Vintners (AAAV). Longevity has made appearances on dozens of television shows and even on the Rachael Ray Show with Geoffrey Zakarian cooking with Longevity Cabernet making braised short ribs. The tasting room offers a large selection of wines to sample including their standout GSM “Genuine Soul Mate” which is their take on the French Rhone Valley style Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre’ blend and a more structured Bordeaux-style blend called “philosophy”. Next time you are out shopping for a bottle of wine, keep an eye out for the Longevity Sparkling Wine, or Phil’s versatile, crowd-pleasing Longevity Cabernet. And always remember, these wines are a love story in a bottle.

Six Feet Under relocates from Home Park to Cheshire Bridge The new location of Six Feet Under on Cheshire Bridge Road.

By Beth McKibben Six Feet Under is now open on Cheshire Bridge Road in Atlanta for lunch and dinner daily. The seafood restaurant and bar relocated from its longtime 11th Street location in Home Park to the former Roxx Tavern space. The Cheshire Bridge Road restaurant joins the original location of Six Feet Under in Grant Park, which includes a popular rooftop patio overlooking the historic Oakland Cemetery along Memorial Drive. Six Feet Under serves seafood platters and sandwiches, like beerbattered fish and chips, fried catfish and shrimp, and steamed shellfish selections. According to Urbanize Atlanta, the old Six Feet Under property on 11th Street will become part of a new mixed-use development just east of Star Metals on Howell Mill Road. The sprawling 11th Street complex will feature apartments, offices, and retail spaces.

Owner Dean Chronopoulos permanently closed the Roxx Tavern on Cheshire Bridge Road two years ago. He temporarily closed the restaurant in 2021 after a gas line ruptured under the nearby bridge, causing a fire to burn for hours. As of result of the fire, the bridge was torn down and replaced. “They said it would be a year, it’s already past a year now. Food costs were skyrocketing, the labor issue was happening, and I thought it would be a good time to take a sabbatical from the norm of 22 years,” Chronopoulos told the Georgia Voice in 2022 of the closure. Chronopoulos said he received multiple offers to take over the Cheshire Bridge Road property and settled on the one he felt best fit the community and neighborhood. “I think it’ll strengthen the neighborhood,” he said.



Winter warmers to lift your spirits By Cory Atkinson, Kristina Ferdinand, and Stephanie Saputo I’m sure we don’t have to remind you that it's been cold, and dark and our proverbial spirits are low. We're on the cusp of breaking out of WITH ELEMENTAL the short winter SPIRITS we have here in Georgia, but we've got a few more weeks and we need a bit of a push. This time of year, we like to still get fancy and make cocktails at home, but we like to vary up some of the classics to make more "winterized" versions. Here are a couple riffs on our favorites that are enhanced with spice and complexity that pair well with early sunsets and roaring fire happy hours.


Snow in the Desert Ok, so this is a margarita riff. We love margaritas pretty much year-round, but there's something about a margarita on the rocks in your hand right now.... just brrrr. So, let's put it in a coupe! This riff uses mezcal (which you should totally be using in your margaritas anyway) and egg white for a frothy, more elevated cocktail. And hold by the stem so your hands don't get cold.

1 oz of Mezcal 0.5 oz of Reposado Tequila 0.5 oz of Orange Liqueur 1 oz of Lime Juice 1 Egg White 0.25 oz of 1:1 Simple Syrup Pinch of salt Combine all ingredients into a shaker. Perform a "dry shake" (no ice) for 30 seconds. Then add ice and shake for an additional 30 seconds, double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a dried lime slice. Bitter Negroni This isn't necessarily one cocktail but an endless array of cocktail possibilities. The Negroni is not only one of our favorite cocktails in-house, but also one that is so versatile using the 1:1:1 ratio of Spirit:Bitter:Vermouth. Swap in the spirit for something heavier like bourbon or rye to make a Boulvardier. Swap in some more bitter amari or aperitivi for traditional Campari and you get something more biting and complex. Swap in some herbal or alpine vermouths and you get something dry with a sharp, earthy finish. Don’t be afraid to find what combination works best for you. Take your jigger and get "jiggy" with it (sorry, we couldn't resist). 1 oz. Spirit (Gin is classic, try mezcal or even barrel-rested gin) 1 oz. Bitter Aperitivo (Cynar, or Bruto Americano or go French with Bonal. Try out a couple, bitter is better!) 1 oz. Sweet Vermouth (go classic or try something a little more bitter and herbal) Combine ingredients into a mixing glass with ice. Stir for 30 seconds and strain into a rocks glass with a rock cube or neat. Garnish with a citrus peel. Chai Hot Toddy Of course, we'd be remiss not to mention the Toddy – one of the first true "cocktails'' with origins over 150 years ago. A simple combination of sugar, spirit and hot water was extremely common in bars during winter, especially before central heating. Best part is it’s also lower in alcohol content so you can have a couple by the fire. This version combines a little more spice with the addition of Chai tea instead of hot water. It gives the drink an aroma that you'll certainly risk burning your nose for. 0.5 oz Bourbon (try Cognac as a fruitier variation) 0.5 oz Fresh Lemon juice 1 barspoon of honey 4 oz fresh made chai tea Combine the first 3 ingredients into a warmed mug and top with tea. Serve with a lemon wheel and/or cinnamon stick. Grab a book or a couple of friends and bring the coziest ski lodge après ski vibes to your living room with these winter warmers.

40 | FEBRUARY 2024


Coffee shop and cafe The Daily opening in Buckhead By Beth McKibben The much-anticipated Buckhead location of The Daily opens next month. The coffee shop and cafe debuts on Feb. 12 in a renovated portion of the Northcreek Office Park complex on Northside Parkway. Breakfast and brunch dishes served at The Daily boast bright and herbaceous flavors. These include a hearty, seasonal vegetable and egg hash, protein-laden pita sandwiches complemented by hummus, and a breakfast burrito stuffed with home fries, scrambled eggs, salsa verde, and pickled onions. Most ingredients are locally or regionally

sourced. In Atlanta, breads come from independent bakeries like Colette Bread. Chef Nick Melvin’s Kirkwood market and restaurant, Poco Loco, supplies the flour tortillas for breakfast burritos. Joyce Farms in North Carolina, which specializes in heritage breeds, provides chicken for pita sandwiches and as an added option for grain bowls. The attention paid to flavors and ingredients doesn’t stop with the food at the Daily. Lattes include everything from black sesame and molasses to rose and cardamon to beetroot. The Daily serves freshly made juices and smoothies, too. Michael and Melody Shemtov opened the Daily ten years ago on Upper King Street in Charleston. At the time, it was one of a handful of restaurants the couple

Inside The Daily’s new Buckhead location opening this month. (Courtesy The Daily)

operated in the Holy City. But the last four years have been a whirlwind for the Shemtovs. The native Atlantans moved back to ATL from Charleston in 2020 and immediately began scouting locations to expand The Daily. The Berkeley Park location opened on Trabert Avenue in 2022, followed by Inman Park last year. In 2023, the Shemtovs closed their popular Mediterranean-meets-Southern restaurant Butcher and Bee after a 12year run in Charleston. Michael Shemtov told Eater Carolinas the restaurant had “never been a financial leader in the company.” They’re now focused on growing The Daily in Charleston and Atlanta and on supporting Butcher and Bee and Redheaded Stranger in Nashville. Unlike Berkeley Park and Inman Park, which close at 3 p.m., the Buckhead location will remain open until 5:30 p.m. It’s a strategic move, Shemtov says. They want to cater to area office workers and parents of students at nearby schools and after-school programs. Buckhead also features a 30-seat patio facing Nancy Creek. One thing the couple has learned since moving back to Atlanta is residents love working in coffee shops and cafes. With a booming freelance community and thriving remote workforce, coffee shops and cafes like The Daily have become temporary offices for Atlantans. The Daily in Buckhead will offer dedicated spaces for people to work or for students to study and include outlets for plugging in computers and phones. “There was excitement around the openings of our other two locations, but the excitement for Buckhead to open is through the roof,” Shemtov says. “It’s coffee and breakfast and brunch. It’s not like some niche menu. That excitement tells me we’re filling a need in this community.” Find out more at

Politan Row at Ashford Lane opens in Dunwoody

A rendering of the revamped bar at Politan Row at Ashford Lane in Dunwoody. (Courtesy Politan Row)

By Beth McKibben Politan Row at Ashford Lane opened on Feb. 2., taking over the food hall space formerly occupied by the short-lived Hall at Ashford Lane, which suddenly vacated the Dunwoody complex last summer. Politan Row includes nine restaurant stalls serving everything from soul food and birria to Vietnamese dishes and Italian fare. The food hall also features full-service restaurant Mamacita’s Cuban Cantina and a central bar, as well as cocktail lounge Okay Anny’s. Politan Row seats over 220 people and is open daily for lunch and dinner. Check out the food and drink options at Politan Row at Ashford Lane below: 26 Thai Owned by Niki Pattharakositkul, this stall serves a variety of Thai dishes. Bucatini Ristorante Owned by Luis and Maria Mendez, this stall features hand-pulled pasta dishes and other Italian fare. Delilah’s Everyday Soul Owned by Philadelphia chef and cookbook author Delana Reeves, this stall serves her popular fried chicken, mac and cheese, wings, and sandwiches with soul food sides like collard greens and cornbread. Oprah dubbed Reeves’s mac and cheese as the “best in the nation.” Gekko Owned by Jack Bai, look for hibachi bowls and ramen here. Master Pho Owned by Thao Le, who also owns I Luv Pho, expect pho, bánh mì, and grilled Vietnamese dishes from this stall. Pretty Little Tacos Dunwoody becomes the second Creole-Mexican street taco stall from


Michaela Merrick, who also operates out of Politan Row at Colony Square. The menu features birria tacos and tacos filled with oxtails, chicken, and shrimp. Sheesh Chefs Charlie Sunyapong and Paul Thai, the team behind Stäge Kitchen & Bar and Peche, serve Mediterranean dishes at this stall. Smokehouse Q Owned by Gregory Vivier, expect barbecue plates and sandwiches with traditional side dishes here. Tandoori Pizza & Wings Co. This becomes the second Politan Row location for Bhojanic chef Archna Becker. Expect naan pizzas, samosas, and other Indian street food dishes like chickpea-battered potato wedges here. Mamacita’s Cuban Cantina This full-service restaurant from Giby and Hoby Abreu is located in the back of the food hall and features Cuban dishes and sandwiches. Okay Anny’s Hidden within Politan Row at Ashford Lane, this cocktail lounge channels the vibe and bright, bold design aesthetic of the 1980s and 1990s. Expect cocktails like the Kamikaze, Colorado Bulldog, and takes on the Cosmo. Last summer, Rough Draft broke the news of the Hall at Ashford Lane’s abrupt departure from the Dunwoody complex. The food hall was only open for two months before suddenly closing. Former employees of the Hall accused owner Jamal Malek Wilson of unpaid wages and dubious hiring practices. It’s highly unlikely Politan Row will suffer the same fate at Ashford Lane. The Politan Group already operates a successful food hall at Colony Square in Midtown and will open a third location later this year in Peachtree Corners. FEBRUARY 2024 |



BeltLine spurs Armour-Ottley Loop’s evolution to entertainment district The Painted Pickle is located in the Armour-Ottley Loop offfers pickleball, games and food. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)

By Dyana Bagby Justin Amick knew immediately the massive warehouse at 279 Ottley Drive was the perfect spot for his company's new "compeatery" venture, The Painted Pickle, slated to open in January. The site is located in what is known as the Armour-Ottley Loop, an industrial, office and retail pocket in southern Buckhead along Interstate 85 and active Norfolk Southern railroad tracks and MARTA tracks. Investors for years have been attracted to the area for its adaptive reuse of the industrial and warehouse buildings into office and creative use spaces. Now they are eyeing what the future could be when the Atlanta BeltLine extends to the area and the promise of a new entertainment and hospitality district. "When I saw that the warehouse was the first building on the left on Ottley Drive and then figured out that that's where the BeltLine was going to connect in a couple years, it was it was a no brainer," Amick said of picking the site. Amick is president and CEO of Painted Hospitality, the company he owns with William Stallworth. They operate the Painted Pin in Buckhead, Painted Duck in West Midtown and will soon open Painted Park in Inman Park. Known as "eatertainment" venues, the businesses offer patrons a place to compete in a variety of games while sipping on signature cocktails and noshing on woodfired pizzas or pulled pork sliders. Amick and Stallworth started playing pickleball, one of the fastest-growing sports in America, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Amick said he and Stallworth noticed pickleball had what they called "that

42 | FEBRUARY 2024

social X factor," a game that could be played with drinks before, during, or after a game. "And that goes hand-in-hand with social gathering spots and other forms of entertainment and social amenities," he said. It was this experience that inspired them to

develop and open the Painted Pickle. "To me, pickleball is not just a sport itself," Amick said. "It's a lifestyle and we definitely want to curate that lifestyle for the city of Atlanta." The Armour-Ottley Loop has mostly

been an industrial neighborhood, but is rapidly attracting more food and beverage businesses, such as Atlanta Spirit and Capella Cheese, Amick said. Sweetwater Brewing Company, East Pole Coffee, Fox Bro.’s Bar-B-Que, the Atlanta Track Club and Indie Studios are just some of the businesses housed in the area where a segment of the Atlanta Beltline is planned to be built over the next few years. A recent $25 million federal grant will boost construction of the Beltline and connector trails including Peachtree Creek and PATH 400 trails in the Armour-Ottley business district and residential areas between Midtown and Buckhead. The funding will also go toward the BeltLine’s first connection to MARTA at Lindbergh Center. The industrial warehouse at 279 Ottley Drive provides the nearly 33,000 square feet needed for the Painted Pickle's eight indoor courts and an outdoor court. There is also plenty of room for a restaurant, bar and stage for live entertainment. "The beauty of the Painted Pickled space is it has great indoor and outdoor space and is located directly on the future connection point of the Atlanta BeltLine," Amick said. "Atlanta obviously doesn't have a body of water; we don't have a beach," he said. "The Beltline is like our boardwalk that goes behind our space and connects all of these intown neighborhoods throughout the city." David Minnix was an early investor in the Armour-Ottley Loop more than a decade ago. He founded Indie Studios at 190 Ottley Drive, which was developed by Gene Kansas. He co-founded CineMassive at 150 Ottley Drive, which was recently acquired by Haivision Systems Inc. He also owns the property where Open Hand Atlanta is located at 181 Armour Drive. "I've been there for the whole transformation of the neighborhood over the last 12 years and it's gone from almost exclusively industrial users to what I would say now it's primarily office users," he said. The transformation of the ArmourOttley Loop from mostly industrial use to a variety of uses makes sense, Minnix said, because of its central location between Buckhead and Midtown and access to I-85. The coming of the BeltLine is also increasing more development. "It was a cool undiscovered space and I really enjoyed that period, but it was inevitable that people would come along and want to develop it," he said. The Armour-Ottley Loop becoming a small entertainment and hospitality district is probably the best and highest use of the land, Minnix said, and will be a "net positive for everybody." "This little piece of Atlanta is great because it's both historic and modern at the same time, and you just don't get that in a lot of other places in Atlanta," Minnix said. "It's just this special little cove in Atlanta and I'm excited to see the BeltLine come to the area," he said. ROUGHDRAFTATLANTA.COM

Ashford Green Ventures’ 55+ community plan hits roadblock By Logan C. Ritchie A 55+ community development proposal is going back to the drawing board after Ashford Green Ventures modified the plan to convert 14 acres of an old office park into hundreds of senior living units. Located at I-285 and Ashford Dunwoody Road, the Brookhaven Planning Commission had recommended approval of the plan on Jan. 3. Now, city staff is asking the applicant to start afresh. There is no proposed change in density, said Brookhaven Community Development Director Linda Abaray, but Ashford Green Ventures is planning to move a building on the site. The city has not received a copy of the new proposal. On behalf of the developer, attorney Den Webb told Brookhaven Planning Commissioners on Jan. 3 that due to declining office space demand, Ashford Green tenancy is in the 50 to 60% range. Planning commissioners pushed the project through to the city council, where it stalled at the Jan. 23 meeting. Brookhaven is requiring the applicant to hold a public meeting and to return to the planning commission on April 3. If approved, the proposal could come back to the city council on April 25.


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