Whether it's producing Oscar-winning films, appearing on prime-time network television series or performing stand-up comedy, young Jews of Iranian heritage have been breaking with their community's traditional norms and leaving their imprint on Hollywood.
Location, location, location is the secret to many people’s success. But for Meir Fenigstein, founder of the Israel Film Festival, timing is the key.
Jewish talent didn't make the headlines at Sunday evening's Academy Awards, but found some consolation in the less glamorous categories. Tom Rosenberg briefly shared the spotlight with Clint Eastwood as one of the three producers of best picture "Million Dollar Baby," which also collected Oscars in the best director, actress and supporting actor categories.
Charlie Kaufman, the favorite, won the best original screenplay Oscar for his "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." After a "normal Jewish upbringing" on Long Island, Kaufman has become one of the hottest Hollywood writers for scripts that tend to blur the line between fantasy and reality.
In the documentary feature category, often dominated by Holocaust-themed entries in the past, the winner was "Born Into Brothels," about the children of Calcutta prostitutes. Sharing the award were director Zana Briski, whose Iraqi Jewish mother now lives in Israel, reports Jewhoo.com, and her Jewish co-producer Ross Kauffman.
The news that three Israeli movies are about to open at local commercial theaters may not shake the foundations of Hollywood, but for the small Israeli film industry, it's a big breakthrough.
After Keren Margalit's boyfriend died in an army-related accident a decade ago, she envisioned the drama that would become "All I've Got," the opening-night film of the 2003 Israel Film Festival.
On the surface, it could have been any other Hollywood industry event: legendary producer Mike Medavoy and actress-director-producer Penny Marshall received awards before the festival-opening movie screening at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Business as usual in Hollywood.