Atlanta has tons of things to look forward to in the coming months! Mark your calendars and stay tuned as the city’s booming entertainment scene continues to flourish.
First up: The 18th annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival began this week and will feature over 70 films including shorts, features, and documentaries. The 23-day run will take place at venues all over metro Atlanta with films from more than 24 countries. Though the fest will cover a variety of topics, a prevailing theme from the lineup seems to be World War II and the Holocaust. This is echoed in the AJFF vintage screening of Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, which sees its 25th anniversary this year. The event kicked off with Sammy Davis Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be, a documentary that highlights the life of the legendary song and dance man. Pablo Solarz’s The Last Suit closes out the festival on February 15 with the story of an aging Argentine tailor and his search for closure. Visit AJFF.org for more information on tickets and the lineup.
Netflix is staking its claim on the stand-up comedy market, but this time it’s taking the act right here to Atlanta! The streaming giant is planning to release a new series of 15-minute stand-up specials from up and coming talent, with the sets being filmed in front of a live audience at Atlanta’s historic Terminal West. The list of talent announced is Aisling Bea, Michelle Buteau, Tim Dillon, JR De Guzman, Sabrina Jalees, Janelle James, Sam Jay, Josh Johnson, Ian Karmel, Jak Knight, Matteo Lane, Max Silvestri, Taylor Tomlinson, Phil Wang, Emma Willmann and Kate Willett. Netflix plans to release the specials in bundles throughout the year. The series further diversifies Netflix’s stand-up slate alongside last year’s The Standups, which featured a new half-hour special each featuring six comics. On top of their relationships with high-profile comics such as Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, Ellen Degeneres, Ricky Gervais, Sarah Silverman and John Mulaney, this seems to be giving Netflix the corner on the market.
The Savannah College of Art and Design has announced their lineup and honorees for next month’s SCAD aTVfest. Actor Zach Braff, best known for his work on Scrubs, will be receiving the Spotlight Award. Braff will also be in attendance for a panel to present his new show, Alex Inc. Alan Cummings (The Good Wife) will be honored with the Icon Award for his work in television. The event provides panels, screenings, and networking opportunities for Atlanta industry professionals and SCAD students. One panel will focus on casting in Atlanta with Erica Arvold, Winsome Sinclair, Jen Kelley of Big Picture Casting, Olubajo Sonubi, and Kimberly Wistedt of Fincannon and Associates on hand to discuss how Atlanta talent can seize the many opportunities that the city has to offer. The SCAD aTVfest takes place February 1st through February 3rd.
Ozzie Areu has stepped down as president of Tyler Perry Studios after ten years of working with the man himself, Tyler Perry. Areu is making the move to launch Areu Brothers alongside his brother Will. While Will stays on with Tyler Perry as President of Production, Ozzie will oversee the launch of their space which will be open to music, film, tech, and television production. The studio, which will be located at the former Delta Airlines campus in Greenbriar, will be the first major studio in the US to be run by Latinos. While working with Tyler Perry Studios, Ozzie Areu oversaw production on fifteen features and over 900 episodes of 9 shows from the studio’s roster. In 2016, he won the Hispanicize Latinovator Award and was also awarded the CEO Executive Excellence in Entertainment Award by the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.