The day the film cameras went to shul

Congregation and JC readers acted as extras for day of filming at the north-west London shul


Shul-goers attended a very different kind of service on Thursday as Belsize Square Synagogue transformed into a film set.

Members of the congregation, together with JC readers who had responded to an advert for film extras, turned up early in the morning in their Shabbat finest, to feature in the upcoming short film Call Me Alvy.

The film, written and directed by Alexei Slater for Turn The Slate productions, follows events leading up to the barmitzvah of Brian, a young boy who is obsessed with Woody Allen and his character Alvy from Annie Hall. Tracy Ann Oberman stars as Brian's mother.

The climax scene, as Brian takes to the bimah to recite his portion, was filmed inside the main prayer room at Belsize Square in north-west London. The shul's adjacent hall was used as a waiting area for the 30 extras, as well as the cast and crew.

"Their attention to detail was amazing," said Jackie Cohen, a reader who responded to the call for extras in the JC. "I couldn't believe how many times we sat for the same short scene. But it's all interesting, this is just a bit of fun."

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