The Jewish International Film Festival announces 2019 JIFF short film fund recipients

June 3, 2019 by J-Wire News Service
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The Jewish International Film Festival (JIFF) has announced Karen Pearlman and Joel Kohn as the recipients of the 2018 JIFF Short Film Fund.
The two filmmakers will each receive a $5,000 grant to make a short film to premiere at the 2019 Jewish International Film Festival.

Karen Pearlman Photo: Kyle Powderly

In 2019, JIFF is thrilled to support Australian filmmakers with their third Short Film Fund: a funding initiative aimed to encourage and support the production and exhibition of diverse short films on themes that engage with Jewish life, history and culture. JIFF is committed to supporting and championing local filmmakers, and stories reflecting the global Jewish experience.

The high calibre entries from around Australia were adjudicated over by industry professionals Mike Selwyn, former Managing Director Paramount Australia and Vice President Australia/ New Zealand and current Distribution Consultant; and documentary director, producer and editor Dr Mitzi Goldman, who is founder and CEO of Documentary Australia Foundation (DAF). 

Meet the recipients:

Karen Pearlman is a director of the Physical TV Company, which has produced a number of award-winning short films, online and mobile productions. Winner of the 2016 ATOM Award for Best Short Fiction, her latest short film ‘Woman with an Editing Bench’ draws on the dazzling editing techniques of the Soviet Montage Era to tell the story of an editor who had to save her film and save her husband from Stalin’s oppression. 

Karen’s film I want to make a film about women explores the history of overlooked female filmmakers from the Soviet era.

Joel Kohn

The creative director at digital production studio Sherpa Projects, Joel Kohn has extensive experience in the film and television industries as a director and producer. His recent films include Tropfest finalist Here Today, Raw Nerve finalist film Dinner for Three, and The Contract, which screened at St Kilda Film Festival.

Joel’s film The Mirror is a time travel adventure. When 13-year-old Suzi discovers an antique mirror in her grandmother’s basement, she accidentally opens a portal that allows her to cross from the present into war-torn WW2 Germany where she befriends a young girl in hiding. 

There were a number of strong applications but the two projects chosen stood out for the strength of the ideas and the quality of the presentations. The judges also felt that they were very well suited to the short film format. – industry judges Mike Selwyn and Dr Mitzi Goldman. 

“After the success of our 2017 and 2018 Short Film Funds, we are thrilled to once again be a catalyst for the production of two new and diverse Australian films, and are looking forward to sharing them with audiences at JIFF 2019.” – JIFF Artistic Director, Eddie Tamir.

The Jewish International Film Festival will screen across Australia from 23 October – 20 November, 2019; visit for details.


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