Sad Sachs wins Smartfone Flick Fest: Jewish film wins five awards

September 19, 2019 by Geoff Sirmai
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A darkly funny Jewish film by young film-maker Joel Perlgut has scooped the pool of the top awards at the 5th annual Smart Fone Flick Fest (SF3) in Sydney.

Joel Perlgut 2nd left, Jared Jekyll, Stephanie King and the Sad Sachs Team

“Sad Sachs” won Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Actor (Jewish comedian Jared Jekyll), Best Actress (Stephanie King) as well as runner-up Best Cinematographer (Jack MacAvoy).

The hilarious movie is a black comedy about a loving (if bickering!) Jewish family, a country-wedding and a neo-Nazi…  It also stars Jewish actress Victoria Zerbst.

The team received a bundle of booty too big to carry from a pool of more than $40,000 worth of prizes. It included equipment, specialised software, mentoring sessions, professional memberships and more!

Sad Sachs was filmed entirely on and iPhone 6S.

“The Sachs are running late to their cousin’s wedding. Ella blames Gabby for being selfish and immature, Gabby thinks Ella needs to chill out and Jacob just wants his sisters to stop fighting. The two sisters are on the verge of a screaming match when their driver lets loose a bizarre, antisemitic rant…”

Joel Perlgut accepts his award

Joel Perlgut is a filmmaker living in Sydney. He is the winner of the AWGIE Award for Best Short Film for his script on ‘I Fucked a Mermaid and No One Believes Me.’ Joel is the co-creator/writer of the web series Girt by Fear and is currently developing a second season of the show with Screen Australia and the ABC. Season 1 of Girt by Fear was nominated for awards at Raindance, LA Web Fest, Toronto Web Fest and the Australian Online Video Awards. He was the producer of Tropfest 2016 finalist Tay Man and his shorts have played at Flickerfest, Sitges De Nuit and Sydney Underground Film Festival. Joel’s fiction has been published in Voiceworks and UTS Writers Anthology and his theatre work has been performed at PACT Centre for Emerging Artists and Australian Theatre for Young People. Sad Sachs is his debut film as a director.

Joel said some of his earliest memories were listening to survivors talk about the Holocaust. “As a young boy at Hebrew school, I sat wide-eyed, terrified, hearing stories about the trains rolling into Auschwitz, the brutality, the horror. “But modern Australia is a far cry from 20th century Europe. The fascists are dead. The good guys won. The story of the Jews is no longer tragic but triumphant. As the saying goes: “They tried to kill us. We survived. Let’s eat.”

“Then something happened and the forces of fascism and racial prejudice rose, zombie-like, from the dead. They’ve had a rebrand. They no longer wear Hugo Boss. They’ve changed their names. They win elections. Some of them don’t mention Jews at all but talk about refugees. But if you close your eyes and listen closely it can feel a lot like 1933.”

“What do we do about these 21st century Nazis? Do we punch them? Ignore them? Engage them in a battle of ideas?

“The Sachs children, our upper-middle-class Jewish protagonists, come face-to-face with an inflammatory anti-semite and they stuff up gloriously. Social-media-obsessed, narcissistic, ineffectual, liberal millennial snowflakes; the Sachs never expected to meet a real neo-Nazi.

But they are also a family. And when confronted with Tony’s hatred they protect each other. This experience makes them stronger and more caring. In our final shot, we know there is blood on everyone’s hands. The Sachs may have gotten away from Tony but this moment, the shame will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

Sad Sachs is a satire about race, class, religion and family. It’s an insane film for our insane times and I’m so glad people like it!”


Voting for the People’s Choice Award is still open at where all the finalists can be viewed online!

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