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Unleyek News: 2021 winners of the Pears Short Film Fund at UK Jewish Film!

The highly regarded Pears Short Film Fund at UK Jewish Film is delighted to announce this year’s two film production award winners: ‘Make Me a King’ and ‘Hold My Hand’.

Chosen from among 62 new film scripts, these two film projects were each awarded £13,500 for production of their short films, which will be premiered at the 25th UK Jewish Film Festival in early November 2021. Both scripts were chosen for their unique representation of British-Jewish life, culture and experience.

More info around our project:

Our film’s protagonist is Ari, a Jewish Drag King who clings to their hero Pepi Littman, the first Jewish proto-Drag King, who performed in the early 20th century - even if this might cost Ari their relationship with their conservative parents.

Pepi was a lauded songstress who recorded on many albums, and while she isn’t well-known within the Yiddish and Klezmer music scene here, Jewish Drag Kings know all about her and have adopted her as their own.

Meet Our Consultants:

-Ashleigh Loeb/Rabbi Schmeckie - Jewish Drag King Consultant

Ashleigh Loeb AKA Rabbi Schmeckie is a performer who studied Acting at East 15 and previously sang in the glam rock band Spiderbaby. An actor, singer, voice artist, puppeteer and theatre maker, Ashleigh is artistic director of Theatre Mensch and a founding member of The Queer Alternative: an LBGTQ+ group promoting acceptance visibility and equality within alternative subcultures.


- LJ Parkinson/LoUis CYfer - Drag King Consultant

Award-winning Drag King and non-binary activist, LJ Parkinson, AKA LoUis CYfer, played the central character Joan of Arc and all the other, male, characters in Joan, written and directed by Lucy J. Skillbeck for the Milk Presents company. They're currently hosting Eurostars Interaction Drag Contest and starring in Death Drop: A Dragatha Christie Murder-Mystery at the Garrick Theatre in London's West End. @mxlouiscyfer

- Dr Phil Alexander - Yiddish Music, Language and Culture Consultant

Dr Phil Alexander is a klezmer and Yiddish musician and scholar. He is currently a British Academy Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, where he studies early 20th century Scottish-Jewish musical life. His book on Berlin's Klezmer and Yiddish music scene will be published by Oxford University Press in 2021.

Check out Dr Phil in - One of Scotland's most inventive and exciting world/folk bands. "True originals" - The Guardian

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