Girls’ Night Out in Hollywood

By Sara Trappler Spielman

Published December 19, 2007, issue of December 21, 2007.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Imagine a Hollywood premiere with all the glitz: red carpet, beautiful cast, photographers’ flashing lights, exhilarating buzz. Now, picture that same event with just one difference — only women may attend.

CHICK FLICK: The new film is intended fro female-only audiences.
CHICK FLICK: The new film is intended fro female-only audiences.

Director Robin Garbose’s first feature film, “A Light for Greytowers,” will premiere in Los Angeles on December 29 at Paramount Studios’ Sherry Lansing Theater. Based on the novel of the same title, the film is set in Victorian England and tells the story of Miriam, a young girl who lands in an orphanage after fleeing the Cossack pogroms. The cruel matron forbids the girls to observe the Sabbath or to keep kosher, but Miriam fights for her faith.

Garbose, an Orthodox Jew, created the musical movie under rabbinic supervision. In accordance with the Orthodox law that does not permit women to perform in front of men, the film is intended to be viewed exclusively by girls and women. It will be distributed to female-only audiences and to women’s groups on college campuses.

Although the premiere will largely attract members of the local Orthodox community — many of whom usually don’t attend movies, surely not premieres — Garbose also expects many Hollywood industry women “who have a positive association with Judaism.”

Garbose sees her film as “radical” and “counter-cultural,” with its modesty and religious values.

“Most of Hollywood would say there’s nothing left if you take sexuality out,” Garbose said. “This is antithetical to that trend.”

She also plans to screen the film in Christian and Muslim communities. Garbose believes that the film has a universal message of faith and that it could “become a vehicle for tolerance and understanding.”

The director became Orthodox in the early 1990s, after co-writing a Jewish-themed screenplay that was developed at Sundance Institute. Eight years ago she created Kol Neshama, a performing arts conservatory for Orthodox girls in Los Angeles. A successful director of theater at The Juilliard School and at New York University, Garbose envisioned a “Jewish Juilliard.” She recruited many of the film’s young actresses from her program.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Sigal Samuel's family amulet isn't just rumored to have magical powers. It's also a symbol of how Jewish and Indian rituals became intertwined over the centuries. http://jd.fo/a3BvD Only three days left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.