Waiting for Woody Allen
WAITING FOR WOODY ALLEN, a parody of Samuel Beckett's classic, WAITING FOR GODOT, is a tragic comedy about two quarrelsome Hasidic men, Mendel and Yossel. Disillusioned with religion, therapy and their own friendship, they wait on a bench in Central Park for Woody Allen to come and give meaning to their lives.
First came God. Then came Godot. Then came Woody Allen. Actually, none of them ever showed up, not in the play "Waiting for Godot" or the newly acclaimed short feature film parodying it, "Waiting for Woody Allen." In the film, two Chasidim " Mendel and Yossel " sit in Central Park waiting for the venerable filmmaker to show up and give their lives meaning. In the meantime, against this autumn backdrop of one day, they argue in their Yiddish-tinged accents about whether they should give up religion or they should wait for Woody, nu?
While "The Great One" might never make an appearance in this droll existentialist film, recent events may prove that there is a God: "Waiting for Woody Allen," garnered its director, Michael Rainin, a $1-million budget to direct a film.
Beginning this year, the L.A. International Short Film Festival, which took place Sept. 7-13, chose four directors out of the 500 filmmakers for its Discovering New Artists Award. The winner, Rainin, will direct a feature-length film with talent attached.
"It's my dream come true," the 29-year-old director said about his first film.
"Instead of spending $40,000 to go to film school, I decided to spend the money to make a film," he said.
He scoured Craig's List for a script (hey, those actually get made!) and was struck by Jonathan Brown and Daniel Wechler's "Waiting for Woody Allen."
"I grew up with the Jewish humor of my grandfather and father my whole life," Rainin said of his father's Russian Jewish family. "And he turned me on to Woody Allen's film at a young age."
Now, his prize is to direct to direct "Learning to Fly," a romantic comedy which has not yet been cast but is set to start filming in March. And then what?
"I want to make films," Rainin said. "I want to make interesting and profound films for the rest of my life, hopefully this is just the beginning."
From Woody's lips to God's ears.
For more information, visit www.RAINPIX.com.
Modi , Joseph Piekarski
Discovering New Artist Award at The Los Angeles International Short Film Festival 2004
2004 Los Angeles International Short Film Festival,
New York Jewish Film Festival,19th Annual 2007 Vancouver International Jewsih Film Festival, New Orleans International Film Festival, Denmark Jewish Film Festival, Argentinean International Jewsih film Festival, 2007 Copenhagan International Jewish Film Festival, Tiburon International Film Festival, World Jewish Film Festvial (Isreal), Montreal International Jewish Film Festival, UK Jewish Film Festival, Warsaw Jewish Film Festival, 2006 San Diego Jewish Film Festival, 2006 Mexico City International Jewish Film Festival, 2006 Chili International Film Festival (Bricklane Festival, London), 2006 Vienna Jewish Film Festival, Samuel Beckett Festivals in England