Yachatz


TYPE
: Narrative Feature
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.

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.

Wendy S Wilkins - Executive Producer

Wendy started in the film industry by writing screenplays in her late 20’s, while working in various industries such as pharmaceutical sales, web development and training, project management and as senior program director in the insurance world for many years, while raising her children.  These skills made it easy for her to transition into being a producer and director. In 2014, she formed her own film production company, Wilkidoos Productions. Since then, she founded Cromwell Community Theater and produced various musicals, been active with Cromwell Arts Alliance (currently serving as Vice President), is the co-Executive Director and Screenplay Competition Director of Mystic Film Festival, one of the founders of the Mystic Film Institute and is the CT representative for both Women in Film and Video New England and ISA (International Screenwriters Association). Wendy also produced and directed a casual cooking show on YouTube in 2020. 

Her passion is to share stories with others, via collaborating and supporting other creatives in the industry while having fun.  Life is short and she believes you should do what you love, make memories, take chances, support others and learn something new everyday. She is also a huge supporter of green filmmaking and environmentally positive practices. 

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.

 

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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