Last summer, young media savvy Jews were selected by leading Hollywood producers to come out to LA and make dozens of short internet films with ambitious goal of effectively communicating new messages about Judaism and Israel.
View what they produced here. Tell us what you think.
Below is a brief interview with David Sacks, head honcho of Jewish Impact Fims and producer of such shows as Malcom in the Middle, Third Rock from the Sun and The Simpsons.
Jewlicious: How was the production process?
David Sacks: Craziness itself. The entire program has been one wild ride. Basically, we got the idea to do this program â€œJewish Impact Filmsâ€œ and within a couple of months, with no advanced funding and almost no publicity — all of these phenomenal people came out of the woodwork, flew to L.A. out of pocket , and for three weeks, working under the most guerilla of circumstances, made about fifty short films.
J: What do you plan on doing with these films?
DS: Right now we’re putting them up on the site. Our hope is to create kind of a “Jewish iFilm” situation where people are tuning in to see the new ones, and other people are sending us ones they’ve made so that there can be a central location where theses films can be seen. Right now unless you’re lucky and someone sends you a link there’s no central place to go to see all the creativity going on in the Jewish world today
J: How do you feel the films turned out?
DS: I think they turned out great. Considering that the program was an elaborate exercise in barely controlled anarchy, I’m amazed that so many quality productions came out of it.
J: Who do you hope they reach?
DS: We wanted there to be messages that could be received universally. Right now, most of the films there are geared to young, hip Jews, but Torah is a message for the world, and everyone Jew/Non Jew has a share in it. The movie up there now called “Monster Feet” is an example of one made for everyone. Gossip is toxic. Originally, the card toward the end said Lashon HoraÂ, but we changed that because we wanted everyone to connect. Hopefully, that one will spread to the four corners.
J: Will you be offering fellowships again this summer? If so, will you do more of the same, or will it have a different focus?
DS: Yes, we are offering two programs this year. One in L.A. and one in Israel. If last year’s session is any indication it should be a pretty amazing experience. The application is on the site, so all you have to do is download it. Also, we are running a movie making contest which is pretty cool, and the details for that are on the site as well. We’d like to do even more programs but for that we need a few more good sponsors.
J: What are your personal feelings about the connection between film and Judaism?
DS: A lot of what this program is about is getting our message out there. My Rebbe, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, said that when it comes to Judaism, every thing is in the kitchen and nothing is on the menu. I thought about that statement for a long time. I would have thought he’d have said, every thing is in the kitchen and nothing is on the tableÂ. Nothing’s on the menu means that not only aren’t our Holy Teachings being served, they’re not even on the menu, meaning people don’t even know that they’re available! This is a deep state of exile. Enter the internet, cheap dv cameras, and Final Cut Pro. All of the sudden you don’t have to be rich to make something beautiful and show it to the whole world. Jewish Impact Films is teaming Hollywood veterans with top young talent in the hopes that someway somehow, this yearning can lead to the fixing of the world.
J: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
DS: The Kotzker Rebbe says that it’s a big miracle to resurrect the dead — but that it’s an even bigger miracle to resurrect the living. If that’s the case, then let’s get moving! If you’d like to sponsor a film, or know sympathetic individuals or Foundations who’d like to partner with us — bring it on! www.jewishimpactfilms.com