Fortunately for us, Jason Hutt decided not to let another Festival of Tabernacles go by without completing his “Sukkah City” documentary film about the 2010 architectural design competition and exhibition of the same name. Having had its world premiere in Jerusalem this past summer, the film is now ready for Jewish holiday prime time, with New York screenings next week, during the intermediate days of Sukkot. One screening will take place in Union Square, where the contest’s 12 winning designs stood three years ago for just two days.
Although Hutt, 36, is not an architect or designer, he answered the request for proposals issued by Sukkah City co-creators journalist Joshua Foer and Reboot co-founder Roger Bennett in the summer of 2010. A filmmaker focused on how creative, innovative lenses can be applied to Jewish tradition, Hutt told the creators he wasn’t interested in designing a radical sukkah, but instead in building a cinematic narrative chronicling this unprecedented venture from start to finish.
Impressed with Hutt’s idea, and perhaps also seeing the filmmaker’s last name as a sign, Foer and Bennett decided to give him full access as the project unfolded. The result is a 67-minute-long exploration of how cutting-edge architectural design and highly thoughtful craftsmanship can inform and interpret a 3,000 year-old Jewish ritual structure for the 21st century.