The 2023 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival Campaign Artwork.

The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF) has unveiled its 2023 festival art campaign, celebrating a return to movie theaters. 

Local artist Sarah Neuburger has created the festival’s art campaign, which is a colorful piece showing a number of people gathered together in theater-style seating. While the 2022 festival was initially slated to return to in-person screenings, the AJFF later announced it would go completely virtual due to a rise in COVID-19 cases. Although there will still be virtual options in 2023, the festival also expects to offer in-person screenings. 

Neuburger connected with AJFF through Living Walls, a nonprofit that focuses on creating inclusive and thought-provoking public art meant to inspire social change. The campaign that Neuburger created is inspired by the work of the Ukrainian-born Jewish artist Sonia Delaunay-Terk, who was the first living female artist to have a retrospective exhibition at The Louvre in 1964. 

“Sarah has a profound ability to distill everything that makes Atlanta unique into a single frame. Her reputation, work ethic, and talent speaks for itself,” said AJFF Communications and Marketing Director Mark Putnam Jr. “AJFF is a celebration of culture, seeking to inspire diverse communities to new levels of social understanding. Sarah Neuburger’s work encapsulates this mission precisely, from backstory to execution.”

Neuburger, who has lived in Atlanta for years but is originally from South Carolina, has an MFA in Studio Art from the School of Visual Arts. She said as she talked with AJFF about what they wanted the art campaign to evoke, Delaunay-Terk made logical sense. 

“I was trying to find an inspiration point to work in,” Neuburger said. “Sometimes having a little bit of parameters can be creatively freeing in a way. Her work just immediately came to mind.” 

Delaunay-Terk co-founded Orphism, which is an off-shoot of Cubism focusing on strong colors and geometric shapes, with her husband Robert Delaunay. For Neuburger, there was something inherently filmic about Delaunay-Terk’s work. 

“She was around the Cubist time period, but working in circles rather than block shapes,” she said. “”It had movement in the way that film kind of moves, from reel to reel, and it seemed like it was going to fit well with the concept of celebrating being back in the theater.” 

Neuburger said Delaunay-Terk’s style seemed like a natural fit for her. The artist’s style is very reduced, similar to Neuburger’s. 

“I take a minimal approach, so it wasn’t at all challenging,” she said of creating the design with Delaunay-Terk’s style in mind. “It was very easy in fact. It seemed to really fit.” 

Neuburger said while she was thinking about the design, the war and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine came to mind often. While she set out to find a Jewish artist to celebrate with the art campaign, she didn’t initially know that Delaunay-Terk was born in Ukraine. 

“It seemed like a great time to celebrate an artist born in Ukraine, given everything,” she said.  The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is slated to run from Feb. 8-21.

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers.