Yachatz


TYPE
: Narrative Short
GENRE: Drama
STATUS: Development

LOGLINE

A Jewish real estate developer whose mother is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, learns a valuable lesson about faith as she tries to restore her mother’s memory.

SYNOPSIS

Jewish real estate developer Myra Rosen has a problem - several of them. She’s juggling a demanding career, a corrupt boss and a mother suffering from Alzheimer’s who no longer recognizes her. When her mother almost burns down their house, Myra makes the difficult decision to put her in a nursing home. What follows is a series of unsuccessful attempts by Myra to spark her mother’s memory that culminates in a wonderful moment of self-awareness, decency and faith.

ARTISTIC STATEMENT

Spielberg once said, "Every director eventually finds their theme, discovers it runs through all their films." On reflection of my own work, I realized he was right; the theme of family is a strong component in all my stories. In fact, everything I create – whether it’s science fiction, comedy, or drama, is filtered through my exploration of the definition of family. Yachatz is no exception – although based upon my experience as my mother’s caregiver while she suffered with Alzheimer’s, my artistic interpretation of family is reflected in every element of the story. Whether it’s the inclusion of an old temple, a song from childhood, a recipe passed down through generations, Yachatz is meant to be a visual reminder that tradition, memory and of course, faith – connect us to one another and create a world that values family, however you define it.

KEY CREW

Dawna Sirard - Director

Best known for her award-winning script, “Yachatz,” New England writer/director Dawna Sirard attended undergrad at Smith College and received a master’s degree in Digital Cinema from National University in Los Angeles. She also studied film production at the Maine Media College where her first film, “Neshomeleh,” garnered several awards, including First Place at the Northampton Independent Film Festival. Creatively, Dawna started her career as a graphic artist, designing props for film and television, including West Wing, Spider Man, Planet of the Apes, etc. She used these skills to transition into film, directing several short documentaries, including the launch video, “Follow the Fifty,” for the American Heart Association. Dawna continued to hone her skills, writing and directing several narrative shorts that explored themes of tradition and human connection. Focusing on memory and identity, her work is a visual exhibition of the intersection of heart and mind. Dawna is also currently in development of feature film about the Holocaust, set in the Carpathian Mountains in Poland.

Nancy Schreiber, ASC - Director of Photography

Nancy Schreiber ASC is an award-winning cinematographer based in Los Angeles and New York. She was the fourth woman ever voted into membership in the prestigious American Society of Cinematographers and the first to receive the ASC's President's award in 2017. Schreiber was honored with Best Dramatic Cinematography Award at Sundance for "November" and shared that award for "My America: Or Honk If You Love Buddah ". Schreiber garnered an Emmy nomination for Best Cinematography on HBO's "Celluloid Closet", was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for "Chain of Desire", and was also one of Variety's 10 DPs to watch.

Schreiber's television work has been seen on Starz' "P Valley ", the FX show "Better Things", staring Pamela Adlon on Shondaland and ABC's "Station 19". Schreiber's narrative work includes "Mapplethorpe" directed by Ondi Timoner, "Your Friends and Neighbors" directed by Neil La Bute, "Loverboy", directed by Kevin Bacon, and "The Nines" directed by John August.

Lisa Thrasher - Producer

Lisa Thrasher is a creative Independent Film Producer with 20 years of filmmaking experience in Hollywood and the World beyond. Lisa has focused her producing career to creating authentic Queer and Women’s Arthouse fiction-films with diverse voices and stories that are much-loved by audiences worldwide.

Lisa’s films are creative collaborations with some of Hollywood’s top women and queer film and TV artists/creators, including Jamie Babbit, Cherien Dabis, Tina Mabry, Angela Robinson, Andrea Sperling, and Colette Burson. Lisa is known for her robust creative vision, adept storytelling, and strong support of the Directors’ vision, but she’s also a solid practical Producer who strives to create diverse and equitable work environments. Recently, Lisa has produced international film & television productions in Kosovo, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.

Lisa co-headed POWER UP Films, a visionary film production company dedicated to films by-and-for Women and the Queer community. As President of Film Production and Distribution, Lisa led all development, production, and distribution, including Queer romantic comedy features “Itty Bitty Titty Committee” (Berlinale “Teddy Award” Nominee and the South by Southwest “Best Narrative Feature Jury Award winner) and the rock-musical-comedy “Girltrash: All Night Long.”

After Law School, Lisa worked inside the Hollywood Studio system, doing International Anti-Piracy Litigation & Government Policy Relations and Trademark Prosecution & Appeals for 20th Century Fox Film Studio where she sat on the MPAA’s International Anti-Piracy Committee and negotiated with International Heads of State in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Jessica Donath - Unit Publicist

German-American journalist based in Los Angeles that writes about arts and culture, religion, homelessness, and the LGBTQ community. She is a working member of LA Weekly, Jewish Journal (Los Angeles),Los Angeles Magazine, Times of Israel and the Jewish Women's Archive.

 

Connect With The Filmmakers:

ACCOLADES

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The Gotham Film & Media Institute - Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2023
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LA Independent Women Film Awards - Selected "Best Unproduced Script"
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Independent Shorts Award - "Winner "Best Short Script"
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SoCal Film Awards - Finalist "Short Script"
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LA Sun Film Fest - Selected "Best Unproduced Script"
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Indie Short Fest - Nominee "Best Short Script"
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Toronto International Women Film Festival - Selected "Best Unproduced Script"
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Toronto Film and Script Awards - Selected "Best Unproduced Script"
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Hollywood Just4Shorts Film and Screenplay Competition - FInalist "Short Screenplay"
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Cinequest Screenwriting Competition - Semi-Finalist "Short Film Script"
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Fox International Film Festival - Selected "Best Short Screenplay"
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Faith in Film: International Screenwriting Competition - Selected "Quarter-finalialist"
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Filmmatic Short Screenplay Awards - Selected "Quarter-finialist"
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The Shawna Shea Memorial Film Festival- Selected "Short Screenplay"

 

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