Jewish comedian Sacha Baron Cohen is to take on perhaps his most controversial role yet.
Having played the fast-talking Ali G, the Kazakhstani businessman Borat and the fashionista Bruno, he will now play Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
Mr Baron Cohen, who was just eight years old when Saddam took control of Iraq, will be the star of a Hollywood love story about an Iraqi leader’s illicit affair with a poor subject trapped in an unhappy marriage.
The brilliant director Darren Aranofsky first came to notice with a low-budget independent film called Pi about a paranoid mathematical genius pursued by Chasidic numerologists. But it was with the terrific, eye-poppingly inventive but harrowing drugs film Requiem for a Dream that he made his reputation.
Since then, Aranofsky's work has ranged from the slated science fiction effort The Fountain to The Wrestler which won a Best Actor Oscar for Mickey Rourke.
The glitz and glamour of events like the Oscars make the film industry look like a one-way street to fame and fortune. But do not be fooled, warns Canada's most successful movie producer, Robert Lantos. "I think anybody who chooses to make films for money is out of his mind," says the man behind award-winning films such as David Cronenberg's Crash and Eastern Promises, Istvan Szabo's Sunshine, and Jeremy Podewsa's Fugitive Pieces. "It's so hard to make a movie - it takes such a long time, so much effort - that to make a film, for me, for any reason than my own passion, makes no sense."
Natalie Portman has been nominated for Britain’s most important film award.
Two days after she picked up a Golden Globe for her performance as an ambitious, tortured ballerina in Black Swan, the Israeli-born actress has been placed in the running for the Bafta award for Best Actress.
The drama, which arrives on British screens this week, has been nominated for five awards, including the Best Director nod for its Jewish filmmaker Darren Aronofsky.
A disembodied spirit out of Jewish folklore is to be the subject of a new horror film.
Spiderman director Sam Raimi is to produce “Dibbuk Box”, which will tell the story of a family cursed when they open a mysterious haunted box.
The film, starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan of Grey’s Anatomy fame, is set to be released in time for Halloween.
Traditionally spelt with a Y, a dybbuk is said to be a malicious spirit that escapes from the soul of a deceased person and attaches itself to that of a living person in order to complete something left unfinished.
Jewish actor Andrew Garfield has been nominated for this year's Bafta rising star award.
The half-British star, chosen as the next star of the Spiderman franchise, will soon be on screen alongside Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan in the film version of the Kazuo Ishiguro novel Never Let Me Go.
Last month Mr Garfield was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in The Social Network, about the founding of Facebook.
The film, written by Aaron Sorkin, has also been placed on the long-list of potential nominees for the 2011 Baftas.
Almost a century after it was founded, film production and distribution company Paramount Pictures remains a Hollywood giant – a level of success its Hungarian-born Jewish immigrant founder could scarcely have anticipated.
Adolph Zukor was described in his JC obituary as “a founding father of the American film industry”, an accolade that was no exaggeration. From a religious family with several rabbinic relatives, he left Riese at 15 to start a new life in New York as a furrier’s apprentice.