LOCAL filmmakers who want to make a short film with a Jewish theme can apply to the Jewish International Film Festival (JIFF) Short Film Fund for a grant from its $10,000 pool for 2019.
The fund was established in 2017 to provide annual funding to Australian filmmakers for the completion of a Jewish-themed short film (narrative, documentary or animation).
In 2017 the prize pool was shared between Melbourne animator, illustrator and singer Anita Lester and Melbourne writer-director Paul Andersen.
Lester’s animated film, Still Alive, and Andersen’s comedy Dream House – about a young Jewish couple who share a suburban house that needs renovating – were screened at JIFF in 2017.
Last year Richard Moore – a former director of the AICE Israeli Film Festival, producer and documentary filmmaker – and Melbourne filmmaker Michael Weisler received grants of $5000 each to make their short films.
Weisler created The Birth of Hunter Finkelstein, a domestic drama that unfolds in a maternity unit at a hospital, while Moore’s Thank G-d was set around an Orthodox woman who, on reading the Talmud, discovers specific injunctions about the frequency and quality of sex that her husband must deliver.
Both short films had their premieres at JIFF 2018.
JIFF artistic director Eddie Tamir said: “We are excited for JIFF, once again, to be a catalyst for the production of great Australian short films to be shared on the big screen, providing a launching pad for their international recognition.”
He said the grant pool of $10,000 is available for the production of two short films incorporating a Jewish theme, character or story.
“We are seeking treatments and scripts for films under 10 minutes that are universally engaging and entertaining, and able to resonate with audiences from all backgrounds.”
Films can be up to 10 minutes in length by filmmakers who are Australian residents.
Entries close on March 29 and will be judged by a panel of industry experts. The successful filmmakers will be announced in May and their entries screened at JIFF later this year.
For information about the Short Film Fund, visit jiff.com.au/short-film-fund
REPORT: DANNY GOCS