CIFF47: PSQ March 22 – April 1, 2023 | Streams April 2 – April 9, 2023

The Automat

Year: 2021
Country: USA
Language: English
Run Time: 79 minutes

The Automat
The Automat
The Automat
The Automat

The acerbic wit and voice of the iconic Mel Brooks welcomes you into the warm arms of THE AUTOMAT. Dripping with panache and pizzazz, this documentary dives deep into these forgotten “centers of paradise.” Automats, known by many through the forgotten Horn & Hardart chain, were once the centerpieces of meeting places for many folks across different backgrounds, coming together over lemon meringue pie and meatloaf. While the innovative technology of the automat paved the way for more modern updates to the concept, the lasting impact is not through cuisine, but through the conversations and connections made around the cuisine. THE AUTOMAT enlists the help of iconic figures, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Colin Powell to name a few, to spell out the special nature of these places. Each subject beams with the memory and feeling of being surrounded by what many of them refer to as “magic.” A place where all were welcomed. Hurwitz’s warm directorial hand guides this welcome feeling without being too intrusive, letting everyone have a seat at the table. Anchored by a sparkling soundtrack (including an original song from Mel Brooks), THE AUTOMAT celebrates the beauty of simplicity, connection, and community, all tied up in a deeply nostalgic bow. —B.R.

CIFF46 Screenings

KeyBank State Theatre

Tuesday, April 05, 2022 at 5:05 PM

Wednesday, April 06, 2022 at 12:00 PM

CIFF46 Streams On Demand

Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 11:00 AM -
Sunday, April 17, 2022 at 11:59 PM

Streams Access: Regional: OH, PA, MI, IN
Accessibility (?)
Closed Captions: No
Audio Description: No
English Subtitles: No

Related Event
46th CIFF College Program

Jewish Cinema
Teen-Friendly Films

Ad Hoc Docs Competition
Reel Women Direct Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman


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Film Contact

Community Partners

Congregation Shaarey Tikvah

Engage! Cleveland

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