Blumenthal at the UKJFF

ODEON-Swiss-Cottag_503 They say comedy doesn't translate overseas. That is the industry rule of thumb and a major consideration when studios and distributors make market projections for films. The logic (and statistical evidence) being that while drama is universal, comedy is fundamentally cultural. Ironically, it seems it is that very cultural thread of BLUMENTHAL is what might make it more universal than I had originally thought.

With our Jewish Film Festival tour now in full swing, we are learning that Jews anywhere can and will laugh at Jews from anywhere. The past week's screenings of Blumenthal in London were completely sold out. It was fascinating to hear the audiences spots of laughter throughout. In general the British audience seems to favor the subtler humor, and in some cases laughed at things that I had no idea were funny.

Seth at East Finchley

 

My wife sends me reviews of the film she finds online. The reviews from London have been awesome. I try not to focus on those things, because if you believe the good ones, you kind of have to believe the bad ones, too. My wife doesn't send those, but I'm sure there are some. She did, however, just sent me a little blurb she read on the Virgin Media site that I thought I'd share. It's less a review of the film and more a review of this blog and the overall process it chronicles. Have a look!

London Town!

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Just days before Blumenthal screens in Boston, I will be flying to London for the UK Jewish Film Festival. This festival is unique in that it screens not just in London, but throughout the country. In addition to its two main screenings in the capital, Blumenthal will screen in Leeds and Liverpool. I'll be attending one of the London screenings on November 6th at the Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley. On a personal note, I have a ton of family in this part of London, many of whom were early supporters of Blumenthal's Kickstarter campaign. I'm excited to be able to share the film with them on the big screen!

There will be a Q and A after the screening with me and the late Harold Blumenthal aka the live Brian Cox CBE. Fun fact: "CBE" means that Brian is a "Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire". After several years of Commanders complaining to the Queen that it took far too long to write their names, they came up with "CBE".

Click here for details: http://www.phoenixcinema.co.uk/whatson/?progid=4513523

I think the British take on the synopsis for the film is by far the best I've read. If you are in London or anywhere near London, come and see me and Brian Cox at the Phoenix on Wednesday, November 6th!

More Fests!

We have a few festivals coming up in the next few months that we are very excited about. The only one I can publicly announce at this point is The Boston Jewish Film Festival. Like San Fran, Boston's fest is old and huge. We will be screening twice: ● Saturday, November 9, 9:15 PM at Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline

● Thursday, November 14, 7:00 PM at Arlington Capital Theatre, Arlington

If you are in the Boston area, please come out! The other two festivals are our first international  screenings. As soon as they announce their programs, I'll be sure to flaunt the details here.

Lots of exciting things unfolding in the next few weeks regarding distribution for Blumenthal. That's right! All of you will finally be able to see the film, regardless of where you live! Some of you might even be able to see it on the big screen...

More to come!

Blumenthal at San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

SFJFF33LOGO I'm pleased to announce that BLUMENTHAL will have its Northern California premiere at the 33rd San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. This is the first Jewish festival at for us to screen and we couldn't have asked for a better place. It is the oldest and largest Jewish-themed film festival with attendance numbering up to 30,000 people. Naturally, we are all very excited!

For those of you who haven't yet seen the film, you might be wondering what about the movie constitutes as "Jewish". I have, up till now, shied away from describing the film as "Jewish" mainly because I think that would be reductive and might narrow the audience. The fact is that is the film, like any other "Jewish" film, is really for everyone.

Here's the Jewish(est) spin on the film: BLUMENTHAL is about a Jewish family in New York in the wake of a relative's death. For many Jews, the loss of a family member can end up being a decidedly Jewish moment in their lives. It is a time where they are forced to confront their feelings of loss and must grapple with their emotions. That loss is the catalyst for much of the action in the story. Additionally, there are more socially relevant issues touched upon in the story such as interfaith relationships, hypocrisy between people's philosophy and actions, and self-loathing within a secular society.

I must confess, the above paragraph is the first time I've consciously gone through the Jewish elements of the film. Much of what transpires in the film is actually based on a very common dynamic of a show-business family. "Jewish" and "dysfunctional" sometimes go hand in hand in this New York arena which is where our story blossoms.

As we gear up to schedule a release of the film, the Jewish Film Festival circuit will be a key part of reaching the Jewish film-goers and cultivating that niche part of our audience. Anyone who knows anything about the movies or the movie industry knows that Jews love film. Almost every community in the country has their own annual festival, often with sold out screenings. We are thrilled to kick off the Jewish fests right. San Francisco, here we come!

Tickets and dates here.

 

 

NY Screening Awesome

Blumenthal Film - Seth Fisher I was a little nervous as to what the turnout would be at our East Village screening of Blumenthal this past weekend. I'd been extremely busy leading up to the event and I hadn't been as aggressive on the invites and social media promotions as I had originally intended. Add to that, the theatre we were screening in was huuuuge.

Myself and the rest of the cast arrived early for press photos on the second floor, so I wasn't able to see anyone coming in to the actual theatre downstairs on the main level. By the time the press stuff had wrapped up and I headed down for the screening, I was pleasantly surprised to find there was no where left for me to sit. In fact, they were bringing in folding chairs to accommodate more late-comers. Of course, the fatalist in me looked at the large audience and thought "Great. If these guys don't enjoy the movie, the silence in the theater will be that more deafening."

Not the case.

They responded beautifully and seemed to have a genuinely great time. Additionally, the vast majority of the audience were not friends or familiar faces, but rather strangers who were just interested in seeing a Scotsman play a Jewish New Yorker. Afterwards, we did a Q and A with me and the cast. I was thrilled at the response to the performances in the film. It was the first time for many of the actors to see the finished film, and it was awesome to see how pleased they were with the final product.

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The response at the screening was beyond generous. I had an amazing conversation with legendary cinematographer Ed Lachman outside the theater that absolutely made my day. Most of the questions and comments I've received thus far on the film have been in relation to the script and the actors, so it was great to hear someone's reaction to the visual aspects of the movie. Zak and I put so much thought and work into the picture, and to hear the DP who shot Virgin Suicides compare your camera work to that of Gordon Willis (Manhattan, The Godfather) was just insane and humbling and I don't know what else.

A terrific day all around.

 

BLUMENTHAL Tickets Now on Sale for NY Premiere!

First Time Fest is around the corner (Sunday, March 3rd @ 2:30pm) and seats are filling up fast. If you are in the city or surrounding areas, book your BLUMENTHAL  tickets now! you can do it with a couple clicks on the festival's website here. We also got a mention in the festival's press release in Variety, which is very cool indeed! Variety_logo_green_tm