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Nancy Fishman Film Releasing Acquires “Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish,” Coming to Lincoln Center

Nancy Fishman Film Releasing Acquires "Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish," Coming to Lincoln Center

Nancy Fishman Film Releasing said it has picked up Eve Annenberg’s “Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish,” coming to the Film Society of Lincoln Center this Friday, July 8, after its premiere there during the 2011 New York Jewish Film Festival.

“I was completely charmed by the timelessness and originality of “Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish,” said Nancy Fishman. “I’m thrilled to be working with Eve Annenberg, a director with a unique aesthetic, and I am also thrilled to be releasing a film that is partially in Yiddish (with subtitles of course!).

For more info and to check out the trailer, go here.

Full press release:

San Francisco Bay Area based distributor Nancy Fishman Film Releasing announces its second acquisition: Eve Annenberg’s “Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish,” a gritty, funny New York drama about encounters between Satmar Hasid bad boys and the work of Shakespeare. Directed and produced by Eve Annenberg, “Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish” will be released nationally to theaters through Nancy Fishman Film Releasing, and internationally to festivals and broadcasters.

The play Romeo and Juliet has been translated around the world. Now Eve Annenberg’s quirky new feature film sets William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in contemporary New York City with Brooklyn-inflected English and Yiddish spoken by a talented cast. A jaded middle-aged E.R. nurse with a chip on her shoulder about the Ultra Orthodox is assigned a translation of “Romeo and Juliet”—from old Yiddish to new Yiddish—in her pursuit of a Master’s degree. In over her head, she accepts help from some charismatic and ethically challenged (a.k.a. scamming) young Ultra Orthodox dropouts. When another ex-Orthodox leaver enchants her apartment with Kabbalah magic that he is leaking due to over studying, the boys begin to live Shakespeare’s play in their heads, in a gauzy and beautiful alternate reality where everyone is Orthodox.

In what might be the first Yiddish “mumblecore” film, Annenberg creates a magical universe (set in Williamsburg, Brooklyn), where Romeo and Juliet hail from divergent streams of ultra-Orthodox Judaism and speak their lines in street-smart Yiddish. The Bard may have never dreamed of the Montagues as Satmar Jews, but Annenberg’s fanciful direction makes the story of feuding Orthodox families both poignant and timeless. As they start to “modernize” and act in the archaic play, the young men fall under its rapturous incantation. Annenberg’s utterly enchanting meditation on life and love in New York yields a rapprochement between Secular and ultra Orthodox Worlds. “Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish” magically explores how everyone—from a jaded E.R. nurse to edgy black-hatted slackers—falls under the spell of love and Shakespeare.

“I was completely charmed by the timelessness and originality of “Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish,” said Nancy Fishman. “I’m thrilled to be working with Eve Annenberg, a director with a unique aesthetic, and I am also thrilled to be releasing a film that is partially in Yiddish (with subtitles of course!).

For more information and to see a trailer, go to: http://www.filmlinc.com/films/on-sale/romeo-juliet-in-yiddish

About Eve Annenberg
Eve Annenberg graduated the Juilliard Acting Program, proceeded to Columbia Graduate School of Film, and wrote and directed the eighty five thousand dollar feature “DOGS: The Rise And Fall Of An All-Girl Bookie Joint” which was distributed in twelve countries and aired on the Sundance Channel. DOGS remains a rental fave on Netflix and sells on Amazon. It’s been deemed a stylistic predecessor to “Sex and the City.” Subsequently Eve was sole producer on “Killing Time” (Sundance Competition ’02); “Mitchellville (Sundance ’05); “I Hate Musicals” (Beverly Hills Short Film Festival) and a producer on “Make Yourself at Home” (Pussan Gala Section, ’08). Eve became a registered nurse shortly after 9/11 and worked for three years in municipal emergency rooms in Manhattan and Brooklyn. In 2006 she discovered Isaac Schonfeld’s floating “Cholent” party in Manhattan and became involved with young Ultra Orthodox “leavers” and their trials and tribulations, incredible memories and tremendous wits. While developing this project she received funding for the feature, and changed the medium from HVX to the RED. Everything else stayed the same including the neo-realist casting and her commitment to doing much of it in colloquial Yiddish. Initial bits of the translation process uploaded to Vimeo garnered eight thousand hits in a time period of three weeks.

Eve would like Lazer to go to film school, Mendy to business school, and for Moishy to stay out of jail. A girl can dream. She has the footage for a companion documentary and has just finished a script about Jewish Vampires called The Unorthodox with Matthew Jacobs. It was noted for its “Super Bad’ style dialogue in the Slamdance Screenplay Competition

About Nancy Fishman Film Releasing

Nancy K. Fishman launched Nancy Fishman Film Releasing in 2011 to serve quality independent films and innovative filmmakers. Fishman has over 20 years of experience distributing, marketing and curating films. She brings her love of cinema together with formidable marketing savvy. Her first acquisition was Eytan Fox’s musical drama MARY LOU.
She was the Program Director of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF) from 2003-2009. Prior to working at the SFJFF she was Communications & Publicity Manager at the Independent Television Service (ITVS), where she oversaw and implemented national broadcast publicity campaigns for 40 films a year in over 300 markets, as well as launching twelve ITVS films at Sundance, including Gail Dolgin’s Daughter From Danang, Lourdes Portillo’s Seniorita Extraviada, Tom Shepard’s Scout’s Honor and Sam Green’s The Weather Underground.
Fishman was the Distribution Director at Frameline for five years in the 1990s, where she acquired films; programmed shorts compilations; released films theatrically and to the educational, home video and broadcast markets; and represented films at festivals. Filmmakers with whom she worked at Frameline include Isaac Julien (The Attendant) Marlon Riggs (Tongues Untied), Gus Van Sant (Mala Noche), Barbara Hammer (Nitrate Kisses), Mark Christopher (The Dead Boys’ Club), Debra Chasnoff (It’s Elementary), and Ira Sachs (Lady). While at Frameline, Fishman curated and released Boys’ Shorts: The New Queer Cinema, the first program of short films by gay men released theatrically in the United States.
Fishman was a publicist with the San Francisco International Film Festival for two years and the San Francisco based PR firm Larsen Associates, where she publicized films distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, New Yorker Films and Zeitgeist Films as well overseeing PR for several film festivals. She has screened films for Frameline, San Francisco International Film Festival, and consulted with the Berlin Jewish Film Festival and the Torino GLBT Film Festival. She served on the board of directors of the San Francisco based non-profit Groundspark (formerly Women’s Educational Media) from 2002-2006. She currently serves on the advisory board of The Art Institute of California-San Francisco’s department of Digital Filmmaking Video Production, Interactive Media Design. She has participated in numerous festival juries and panels, including panels at Sundance and SXSW, and juries at Doc Aviv, San Francisco International Film Festival and the Teddy jury at the Berlin International Film Festival. Originally from New York City, she has lived in the Bay Area since 1987.

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