The Arty Semite

Jewish Winners at Sundance

By Renee Ghert-Zand

We called it! Both feature-length films premiering at Sundance we wrote about last week have won awards at the prestigious film festival.

First-time director Jill Soloway won the Directing Award in the U.S. Dramatic Competition for her film, “Afternoon Delight,” about what happens when a frustrated Jewish housewife living in the hip Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles hires a stripper to be her child’s nanny.

Soloway, who is an Emmy-nominated television writer, told the Forward how important it was for her to try her hand at directing. “I could have remained a well respected writer who didn’t get anything of my own made,” she said. “But I stopped waiting for directing opportunities to come my way, and I built that reality myself.”

The “Afternoon Delight” production team is doubly proud, with Kathryn Hahn, who plays the film’s protagonist, Rachel, putting in one of the 10 best performances at Sundance, according to New York Magazine.

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An Inconvenient Economic Truth

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Courtesy Sundance Film Festival

“Inequality For All,” a new documentary film premiering this week at the Sundance Film Festival does for economic inequality what “An Inconvenient Truth” did for climate change.

While “An Inconvenient Truth” had Al Gore expounding on the causes and effects of global warming, this new movie has former labor secretary and current UC Berkeley professor Robert Reich explaining the global economic forces affecting our lives and arguing that widening income inequality is a great — if not, the greatest — threat to our economy and democracy.

Sebastian Dungan, one of the producers of “Inequality For All,” has no problem with the comparison between the two films. In fact, he told The Arty Semite in a recent phone interview that the climate change game-changer served as an inspiration for him, his producing partner Jen Chaiken and the film’s director, Jacob Kornbluth. “’An Inconvenient Truth’ has a polar bear, and our film has middle class families,” Dungan said.

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