As If There Weren’t Enough Jews in Hollywood Already...

By Jill Suzanne Jacobs

Published May 28, 2004, issue of May 28, 2004.
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This summer, Hollywood film figures David Sacks, David N. Weiss and Jason Venokur will be offering a three-week fellowship for young Jews interested in filmmaking. During the course of the August program, students will eat, sleep and dream Jewish life, hobnob with luminaries of Los Angeles’s film industry, and learn the nuts and bolts of creating Internet film “shorts.”

The students will make three short films to be distributed on the Internet: an Israel advocacy piece, an audio-visual “D’var Torah” (mini-sermon on the weekly Torah portion) and a personal statement drawn from the Jewish ethical teachings gleaned from the summer’s Jewish study.

“The idea is basically to take about 15 talented, creative college students or film students, bring them to L.A., bring in all these Hollywood producers and let them get to work. And we’ll teach them — we’ll really hone their work,” said Sacks. “And hopefully we’ll have a few dozen incredibly professional pieces that we can just get out there.”

“It’s definitely going to come from a Jewish place,” he added, “But [the films] will have a universal appeal.”

And the three founders know something about universal appeal: Sacks, currently a producer on “Malcolm in the Middle,” won an Emmy for his work on “The Simpsons,” Venokur is the former executive producer of “3rd Rock from the Sun” and Weiss wrote the screenplay for “Shrek 2,” which opened last week.

The program — with a budget of $50,000 — is accepting applications on a rolling basis until June 15. Fifteen fellowships will be awarded. Applications can be found on the Web site,

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