Bar Mitzvah Man
The New, Jewish, Slightly Musical, Millennial Dramedy
We hope to present our film BAR MITZVAH MAN as a representation of the modern young adult for all audiences as a fun, entertaining new film. While Jason, his family and the task he sets out for himself all occupy a very Jewish space, the themes and struggles presented in the film will resonate with all audiences. This film is about the ever evolving importance identity in the modern, spiritual and secular worlds. Jason struggles to find his place in both the Jewish world and the modern secular one, this is a struggle that many, Jewish or not, can relate to in these times.
Almost every Jewish holiday can be summed up as “They tried to kill us, they didn’t, let’s eat.” We see this project as a much needed “Let’s Eat” contribution to Jewish media. While it continues to be critical to tell the heavier histories of our peoples’ tribulations, modern Jewish sages like Mel Brooks teach us that it is just as important to be proud and have fun with our jewish identities. We hope this film will fulfill the latter need as well.
Beyond the need we see this film fulfilling in the Jewish community, we also feel this is an important and timely film that young adults of all ages will come to identify with. BAR MITZVAH MAN explores the universal themes of growing up, letting go or holding on to dreams, modern cultural concerns fitting into ancient traditions, and asks the question of, who am I spiritually now that I’m not a kid anymore? These are questions and struggles that anyone, no matter the age, struggles with.
To this end, our goal is to raise our production funds with the help of these Jewish and non Jewish communities alike, so that we can deliver this film directly to them before releasing the completed film to a wider audience.
We have a unique initiative to bring a proprietary screening of our film to Synagogues and Jewish communities across the country BEFORE the film has its theatrical release.
We are first giving individual members of these communities the opportunity to donate to the first part of our fundraiser effort to become producers and provide us with the starter funds needed to get this production off the ground.
Once the pieces have been put in place and the starter funds are raised, we will be inviting synagogues and communities as a whole to donate to our production budget and in return, gain exclusive rights to have a premiere of the film for the members of their communities before anyone else.
This is a film about growing in a Jewish community, so it is very important to us that Jewish communities across America are directly involved in the realization of this project.
5 Step Strategy From Development to Wide Release:
1 — Starter Funds
We are currently seeking $6,000 to fund what is known in the film industry as Starter Funds. These are the monies we will need to have in place before we can raise the full budget for our production.
This investment will fund establishing the legal entities and accounts necessary to legally collect and use our production funds. And will enable us to film a sizzle trailer and several sample scenes of the film that we can show to prospective donors and producers in order to secure our full production budget.
2 — Production Budget
Once the legal entities are in place and pitch materials such as the trailer and sample scenes have been filmed, we will launch our fundraising campaign for Jewish organizations and synagogues to donate to directly.
These organizations will be able to donate to the production fund and will be given documentation and proof of exactly what their funding will go towards. Every penny of raised money will go towards a carefully calculated production budget and every cent will be visible on the screen.
3 — Production
Once the production budget is fully raised and accounted for, we will go into production.
4 — Synagogue Premieres
Once post production is complete and the the film is finalized, we will have a series of exclusive premieres at Jewish organizations and Synagogues all across the country.
5 — Broad Release
After the Synagogue Premieres, we will release the film and enter it into various premiere Film Festivals such as SXSW and Sundance.
After our initial festival circuit, we will distribute the film for wide release, theatrically or through streaming services, though many members of the Jewish community will have already had an exclusive preview!
Excerpts from Austin Film Festival Reader's Notes:
“This is an exceptional script.”
“Clever and witty dialogue sparkle in this screenplay.”
“This screenplay hits all the beats, like a skilled musician.”
“The kind of genuinely humorous and gentle storytelling we seldom get anymore.”
A 30 year old wannabe rock star still living with grandma, decides to throw himself the Bar Mitzvah he never had to get his family to pay for studio time and further his dreams of fame.
Jason Goldberg is an unemployed law school drop-out living with his grandma and clinging to his dreams of still becoming a rock star. At age 13, he was supposed to have a Bar Mitzvah but it was canceled when his beloved Grandfather passed away just hours before it was to begin.
Now, as his 30th birthday approaches, a record executive finally shows some interest in his music after seeing him perform at his cousin Rhonnie’s Bat Mitzvah. The executive asks to hear a demo. This could finally be his big break!
Only snag is, Jason does not have a demo recorded. To make matters worse, his band decides that now is the right time to call it quits and move on with their adult lives. With nowhere else to turn, Jason looks to his 13 year old cousin for advice. Rhonnie jokingly suggests that he throw himself the Bar Mitzvah he never had and use the money he receives as gifts from family to pay for a new demo. Jason realizes this is a brilliant idea and decides sets out to throw himself the Bar Mitzvah.
In his search, he meets Rabbi Jonathan Roth, the former head of a prominent synagogue, who now works as a Hebrew school teacher. Rabbi Roth agrees to train Jason after he is convinced that Jason is actually doing this for the spiritual fulfillment and not monetary gain and also on the condition that he will help the Rabbi with his own initiative to bring LGBT education to the synagogue.
In order to get the money to record his demo, Jason must now go on a journey of self discovery in preparation for the biggest day in a young Jewish person’s life. He must do it without the Rabbi or his family knowing his true motives. Along the way, he may just end up having to own up to his failures, stop giving excuses and finally embrace adulthood in order to truly become a man.
Max Kinchen is a filmmaker and screenwriter living in Austin, Texas. He is the son of a Christian father and Jewish mother, who both remarried back into their religions, leading to a lifetime of religious identity crises for their son. After graduating New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2012 and a two year stint in Los Angeles, he currently works in the production department on various TV shows in New York, most recently on the third season of TV Land’s YOUNGER. He has written and directed short films, completed the screenplays for several features in addition to this one, and can’t wait to cut his teeth on his first feature film. He is also a die hard Red Sox fan and will not apologize for it, despite living deep in Yankee country.
Rhonnie is a boisterous, lanky, goofy 13 year old girl who is wiser and older than her years. Precocious and unflappable, she gets what she wants one way or another. She idolizes her older cousin Jason and truly believes he’ll be the next great Rock Star, to the point of declaring herself his manager. This tenacious exterior is that of an independent old soul, which hides the very vulnerable side of a girl who is just starting to figure out who she is while coming to realize that maybe she shouldn’t be idolizing Jason anymore.
“Bar Mitzvah Man is a touching, perceptive and well-written script that does some unique and earnest things with the struggling millennial concept.”
— AFF Reader's Notes
We welcome support from the community at all levels.