Jewish Story Partners’ Latest Round Of Grantees Pushes Total Films Helped Past 100

EXCLUSIVE: Nonprofit film-funding organization Jewish Story Partners has unveiled its latest list of grantees, saying it has earmarked $500,000 to be distributed among 21 in-the-works feature documentary projects. The latest grants by the organization, launched in 2021 with support from Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation to boost indie films that expand the Jewish story, means JSP has now awarded 101 films a total of $3 million.

Among those on the grantee list this round are filmmakers Abner Benaim (Invasion), Rachel Boynton (Our Brand Is Crisis), Tomer Heymann (Mr. Gaga) and Dror Moreh (The Gatekeepers); producers including Judd Apatow, Yoni Brook (Philly D.A.) and Ina Fichman (Fire of Love); and executive producers Bonni Cohen (An Inconvenient Sequel) and Simon Kilmurry (Desperate Souls, Dark City, and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy).

More from Deadline

Several films that made the list from more than 200 applicants are projects that tell stories of the October 7 attacks and the war in Gaza, including The Abstract and the Very Real, Issa’s House, Kramer Brothers Film Untitled, A Letter to David, Missing Silver, Noga and A Rhino’s Tale. (See the full list of grantees below.)

(L-R) Judy Chicago, ‘Issa’s House’ and ‘The Escape’
(L-R) Judy Chicago, ‘Issa’s House’ and ‘The Escape’

“We’re pleased to support a subset of films that center personal experiences at the heart of a painful and intractable conflict — stories that offer nuance and humanity in the face of propaganda and extremism,” JSP co-executive directors Roberta Grossman and Caroline Libresco said. “We are more committed than ever to our mission of championing Jewish films that build empathy and understanding across divides, and that fight against ignorance and hate — quiet voices that might otherwise never be heard through the shouting.”

In addition to the grants, JSP also provides filmmakers with advisory services at pivotal points in their process, and in partnership with distributor Good Docs underwrites educational and community screenings of completed JSP-funded films.

To date, 25 JSP-funded films have been completed and are reaching audiences at festivals, in theaters, and on TV and streaming platforms. The next cycle for submissions opens in November.

Here’s the list of the latest grantees:

The Abstract and the Very Real
Director Omer Shamir, Producers Galit Cahlon, Shlomi Elkabetz, and Libby Lenkinski

When the American-Israeli street-artist Know Hope suddenly faces a severe chronic illness, he begins collecting stories of personal struggles from Israelis and Palestinians. The lives of strangers become material for his artistic therapy and his political action.

The Animated Mind of Oliver Sacks
Director and Producer Dempsey Rice, Producer Lori Cheatle

A newly uncovered trove of audio tapes and archive affords an intimate journey into the fantastical mind and groundbreaking work of beloved Jewish neurologist and author Dr. Oliver Sacks – one of the most creative and influential thinkers of our time and the man who helped found the modern neurodiversity movement.

The Consequences of Truth
Director Denis Dobrovoda, Producers Betsy Laikin and Silvia Panáková

The Consequences of Truth tells the remarkable story of Alfred Wetzler, a Slovak Jewish hero who warned the world about the Nazi extermination machine, and yet was persecuted and erased from history by his own government after the war.

Death and Taxes
Director and Producer Justin Schein, Co-Director and Producer Bob Edwards, Producer Yael Melamede

Death and Taxes is a feature documentary about wealth, inequality and the American Dream, viewed through the lens of the estate tax and the very personal story of a father and son at odds over what kind of inheritance we want to leave our kids and our country.

The Escape
Director and Producer Marlo Poras, Producer David Sutherland

When filmmaker Marlo Poras’ grandmother escaped Nazi-occupied Austria, she was stripped of citizenship and everything she owned. Now, Austria is offering descendants like Marlo citizenship as restitution, sending her on a journey deep into the Alps to unearth an unsettling history that challenges Austria’s selective memory and carries haunting lessons for today.

Father Figures
Director and Producer Emma D. Miller, Producer Florrie Priest

When a retired theater director begins creating internet videos featuring deeply intimate conversations with his growing collection of ventriloquist dummies—including several modeled after his Jewish relatives—his daughter attempts to understand his motivations, uncover family history, and repair their fraught relationship— using puppets.

Hitler Documentary Project Untitled
Director Dror Moreh, Producers Sigrid Dyekjær, Natalie Humphreys, Philippe Levasseur, and Harry Vaughn

A Berlin-based archive has recently been uncovered that gives chilling context to our understanding of Adolf Hitler and reveals the depths of visual ideology that metastasized within his inner circle.

Issa’s House
Director and Producer Tomer Heymann, Producer Leigh Heiman, Co-Producer Ahmad Amro

Issa Amro and his group of non-violent activists have dedicated their lives to protecting a Palestinian-owned home in Hebron. Israeli-Jewish filmmaker Tomer Heymann set out to give voice to their stories over two years ago, and continues to chronicle their struggle after October 7th— bearing witness to their seemingly insurmountable goal of peace, now more crucial than ever.

Kramer Brothers Film Untitled
Director Brandon Kramer, Producers Yoni Brook and Lance Kramer

An intimately observed story about the complex experience of a family in the aftermath of October 7th.

A Letter to David
Director Tom Shoval, Producers Roy Bareket, Maya Fischer, and Alona Refua

A cinematic letter to director Tom Shoval’s friend David Cunio, who was abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7th, A Letter to David mines raw behind-the-scenes footage from Shoval’s earlier film, Youth, and present-day images to create a poetic, existential essay about a dire, unimaginable situation.

Marlee Matlin: Not Alone Anymore
Director Shoshannah Stern, Producer Robyn Kopp

In 1987, Marlee Matlin became the first Deaf actor to win an Academy Award and at the age of 21 was thrust into the national spotlight. For the first time, in her primary language of ASL, Marlee reveals the complexities of being the only Deaf child in her Jewish family to trailblazing a first of its kind career in Hollywood.

Missing Silver
Director and Producer Hilla Medalia, Producer Ina Fichman

On the morning of October 7th, renowned peace activist Vivian Silver was presumed abducted from her kibbutz near Gaza by Hamas. As Israel launches a devastating attack on the Gaza Strip, Vivian’s son, and beloved Jewish and Palestinian friends, struggle to hold onto Silver’s vision and hope for peace.

Directors and Producers Jono Bergmann and Benji Bergmann

Israeli indie-pop sensation Noga Erez navigates political upheaval and personal challenges in the midst of a war at home, just as she is about to release her first U.S. studio album.

A Rhino’s Tale
Director Meital Zvieli, Producer Avigail Sperber

At the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, a Palestinian and an Israeli zookeeper must navigate the impending loss of a beloved, dying rhino named Shalom. In telling their story, the film wrestles with notions of captivity, personal and political relationships, and the wistful longing for peace in a region plunged into war.

Two Minutes of Hate
Director and Producer Rachel Boynton, Producers Yael Melamede and Tereza Simikova

With intimate access to one of the world’s leading groups tracking extremism, Two Minutes of Hate follows global trends in digital disinformation as they unfold, with particular emphasis on disinformation surrounding the Israel-Hamas conflict. Through three portraits of personal relationships, in three democracies worldwide, it reveals the human cost of disinformation.


Judy Chicago Untitled
Directors Kate Amend and Tim Marrinan, Producer Lisa Remington

When Judy Chicago, a trailblazing Jewish feminist artist once dismissed by the establishment, steps into the limelight at 80-something, her iconic six decade fight against women’s erasure from the art world takes on new significance.

Landscapes of Memory
Director Leah Galant, Producer Elijah Stevens

Weaving personal essay and intimate character studies, Landscapes of Memory explores Germany’s remembrance culture—Erinnerungskultur—and the uses and abuses of collective memory.

My Friend Sam
Director Daniel Ryan, Producers Sarah Anthony, Judd Apatow, Jack Dishel, and Regina Spektor

Singer-songwriter Regina Spektor’s life changed forever when, as a child, she was taken under the wings of musicians Sonia Vargas and Samuel Marder. Now Marder, a widower and Holocaust survivor, is speaking out about his painful past, with Spektor at his side. Grounded in their profound intergenerational friendship, this inspirational tale shows how music can help us in the worst of times.

New Mistakes
Director Michel Franco, Producer Adam Schorin

A provocative meditation on the politics of memory surrounding World War II and the Holocaust, New Mistakes explores how competing interpretations of history are used to build cultural and political narratives today.

Paraíso Tropical
Director and Producer Abner Benaim, Producers Daniel Junge and Malu Zayon

A psychological docu-thriller, Paraíso Tropical investigates the mysteries and unsolved questions of a terrorist attack in Latin America— one that had profound reverberations among those the victims left behind.

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.