Shivah-conman film could make Oscars

By Marcus Dysch, August 6, 2009

A critically acclaimed short film starring Sir Derek Jacobi as a trickster targeting shivah houses could be nominated for an Oscar after winning a prestigious award in Hollywood.

Sidney Turtlebaum won best foreign film at the annual LA Shorts Fest — the world’s largest short film festival — last week and is now automatically eligible for Academy Award consideration.

The 10-minute comedy was first screened at last year’s UK Jewish film festival.

It features an 80-something gay conman who steals from mourners in the Jewish heartlands of north west London — using a newspaper that looks worryingly like the JC to track down the shivahs.

It was shot in Golders Green and funded using a £10,000 grant from the Pears Foundation UKJFF Short Film Fund.

In March it was announced that the film would be made into a full-length feature.

Sir Derek has agreed to appear again in the lead role and the original artistic team from Third Man Films — including producer Daniel Jewel, director Tristram Shapeero, and writer Raphael Smith — will also all return.

Last updated: 2:06pm, August 6 2009