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UNG alumna selected as jurist for Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

2018-04-03-Noteworthy-MelissaSimpson
Melissa Simpson, a University of North Georgia alumna, was one of the jurists for the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. Simpson, seated second from the right, judged the short film category with two others.

When Melissa Simpson was a student majoring in film and digital media at the University of North Georgia (UNG), she attended several film festivals. Simpson also worked at a few, including the Atlanta Film Festival, the Rome Film Festival and UNG’s own Skyline Film Festival.

Earlier this year, Simpson got an unexpected offer. She was asked to judge the short film category for the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

"I immediately said 'yes,'" said Simpson, a 2017 alumna who works as director of programming for Terminus Conference and Festival in Atlanta. "I thought it was incredible opportunity."

As a jurist, Simpson watched eight shorts, which are films less than 40 minutes. She then met with filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper and film critic Curt Holman and selected their top three films in that category.

2018-04-03-Noteworthy-MelissaSimpson

As a film and digital media student at UNG, Melissa Simpson worked on several film festivals including including the Atlanta Film Festival, the Rome Film Festival and UNG’s own Skyline Film Festival.

"All of our top three aligned," she said. "So we discussed which one deserved the prize."

The three jurists picked "On My Way Out: The Secret Life of Nani and Popi." The documentary detailed the story of two Holocaust survivors who were married for 65 years when Popi came out as gay.

The films received their awards Feb. 15.

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