Sundance: Hasidic Family Drama 'Menashe' Nabbed by A24
Documentary maker Joshua Z. Weinstein directed the narrative feature about an ultra-Orthodox Jewish widower at risk of losing his son due to strict religious tradition. A24 has acquired U.S. and Chinese distribution rights to the drama Menashe after its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
Menashe is the company's first foreign language release, and A24 plans a traditional theatrical rollout later this year.
Documentary maker Joshua Z. Weinstein makes his narrative feature directorial debut with the title about an ultra-Orthodox Jewish widower at risk of losing his son due to strict religious tradition, which requires a mother present in every home. Roughly based on the life of actor Menashe Lustig, it is one of the first films to be performed almost entirely in Yiddish in nearly 70 years, and was shot in secret within the New York Hasidic community in Borough Park, Brooklyn by Weinstein over the course of two years.
Weinstein wrote the script with Alex Lipschultz and Musa Syeed. Lipschultz, Traci Carlson, Danny Finkelman, Weinstein and Yoni Brook produced the film, with Danelle Eliav, Adam Margules, Chris Columbus and Eleanor Columbus executive producing. David Hansen and Johnny Mac served as co-executive producers.
The deal was brokered by A24 and Charlotte Mickie of Mongrel International. Mongrel International is the international sales agent for Menashe.