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Boston Jewish Film Festival Names New Artistic Director

The new artistic director previously worked as the BJFF's associate director.

The Newton-based Boston Jewish Film Festival (BJFF) announced this week it has named Amy Geller as its new artistic director.

Geller, 38, is a longtime member of the Boston film community. She previously served as the associate director for the BJFF from 1997-1999 and has produced a number of feature, documentary and short films, according to a press release issued by the BJFF.

According to the press release, Geller, a Cambridge resident, was chosen for the position after a national search.

“I’ve come full circle,” Geller said in the press release. “Not long after I graduated from Bates College, I worked with Festival founder Michal Goldman and then Artistic Director Kaj Wilson and Executive Director Sara Rubin. I feel so fortunate to have been mentored by these three leaders in the Jewish film community. Now after over a decade of work experience in film, television and media production, I am excited to bring the skills I learned as a producer and leader of various local media organizations back to The Festival.”

As artistic director, Geller will be responsible for selecting films and programming for the annual Boston Jewish Film Festival as well as films the BJFF shows throughout the year. 

Geller said in the press release she is hoping to expand the BJFF audience as well as find new ways to get young people and families "engaged" with the BJFF films. 

In addition to her work with the BJFF, Geller has also worked as supervising producer for NKP Media of Newton and has taught classes in producing at Boston University and Emerson College. Geller also served as president of the board of Women in Film & Video/New England and worked as associate director for the Northampton Independent Film Festival in Northampton, Mass.

"I am excited for The Festival to get a fresh perspective," BJFF Executive Director Jaymie Saks said in the press release. "Amy’s understanding of current trends in film and filmmaking is an asset. She has a unique artistic sensibility."

A full copy of the BJFF press release is included below:

The Boston Jewish Film Festival named Amy Geller, long active in the Boston film community with curatorial and production experience, as its new Artistic Director.

Geller’s background includes producing a variety of feature, documentary and short films, curating film festivals and serving as Associate Director of The Boston Jewish Film Festival.

Geller’s chief responsibilities will be selecting films and programming for the annual Boston Jewish Film Festival and films throughout the year. Geller, 38, was picked after a national search.

Boston Jewish Film Festival Executive Director Jaymie Saks said, “I am excited for The Festival to get a fresh perspective. Amy’s understanding of current trends in film and filmmaking is an asset. She has a unique artistic sensibility.”

Film Festival Board President Joyce Pastor added, ”Amy is the right person to lead us as we head towards our 25th year. We look forward to expanding the Festival’s reputation and presence in the community.”

“I’ve come full circle,” said Geller. “Not long after I graduated from Bates College, I worked with Festival Founder Michal Goldman and then Artistic Director Kaj Wilson and Executive Director Sara Rubin. I feel so fortunate to have been mentored by these three leaders in the Jewish film community. Now after over a decade of work experience in film, television and media production, I am excited to bring the skills I learned as a producer and leader of various local media organizations back to The Festival.”

Geller views the Festival as a “unique and safe place” to explore one’s Jewish identity. “I hope to create a space for Jews and people of all backgrounds to join in the dialogue and explore their own complex identities and lives.”

“I’m interested in further expanding The Boston Jewish Film Festival audience by finding new ways of getting young people excited and getting young adults and families engaged.”

Geller, a Cambridge resident, produced the successful documentary For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism (with writer/director, film critic and husband Gerald Peary), which was broadcast nationally on Documentary Channel and locally on WGBH Boston and has screened at more than 60 film festivals and theatrical venues around the world.

Geller also was a supervising producer for NKP Media of Newton from 2004-2010, developing and producing educational videos for the college market. She taught classes in producing at Boston University and Emerson College (2009-2010) and was president of the board of Women in Film & Video/New England (2001-2002), directing and curating the first ever 20-year retrospective festival of member films and videos.

Geller was Associate Director of both the Northampton Independent Film Festival in Northampton, Mass. (2002) and The Boston Jewish Film Festival (1997-1999).  Geller is a native of Hampton, N.H.

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