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Film Festival Favorite 'Shabbat Dinner,' a Charming Short Film About Coming Out: VIDEO


"Shabbat Dinner," a short film that has played over 50 film festivals but was previously unavailable online, has now hit the web. It is a wonderful film and well worth the watch!

Check out this fascinating family dinner, AFTER THE JUMP...

The film, directed by Michael Morgenstern, centers on two families coming together for the Jewish tradition of Shabbat dinner and the discoveries made by two teenage boys meeting for the first time. With natural performances from the two younger actors and a true-to-life feel, the film is full of tension and warring family values that may remind you of some of your own (awkward) experiences. 

Head over to the film's website to learn more about the director, the shoot, and the festivals where it played.


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  1. I didn't buy all of it, but I remember - so vividly - shaking like that the first time.

    Posted by: Michael in Toronto | Jan 10, 2014 1:51:40 PM

  2. OMG! It was all to familiar! Especially the part when they got caught. We didn't get caught but by best friends Mother put her key in the door and you thought teenagers couldn't move FAST! I ended up with his underwear...

    Posted by: Daya | Jan 10, 2014 1:58:11 PM

  3. That was enjoyable.

    Posted by: Michael W. | Jan 10, 2014 2:12:17 PM

  4. That was sweet and funny. And the shaking part triggered a vivid memory of my first time, which also included barfing in the bushes of a church while I was walking to the rendezvous...

    Posted by: ChicagoR | Jan 10, 2014 2:49:54 PM

  5. It's OK, but I'm not real impressed with the sound. It sounds like some of it was recorded live, and some was dubbed. I know Glee has really lowered our standards of what to expect from sound, but I do still expect better.

    Posted by: Randy | Jan 10, 2014 3:33:11 PM

  6. that was creepy. terrible acting and one of the boys looks like he is 30. also cliched and pointless dialogue from the adults.

    this isnt what coming out is like at all. these boys act like jaded gay men in their 40s who have lived in the Castro for a couple of decades. there are real gay and lesbian youth who post their coming out stories on yt. those are real. this is fake.

    Posted by: donny | Jan 10, 2014 4:41:48 PM

  7. I liked it!

    Posted by: Jim | Jan 10, 2014 4:44:52 PM

  8. @Donny. Keep hitting the Jack Daniels and give us a break.

    Posted by: bollox | Jan 10, 2014 6:21:23 PM

  9. I'm not sure about the point of the film.

    Posted by: anon | Jan 10, 2014 7:45:44 PM

  10. I liked it, but did teens say "hook up" in 1999?

    Posted by: BobN | Jan 10, 2014 9:25:09 PM

  11. Wow. I'm amazed at how far we drop the standard of what's acceptable because it's got a gay theme. If this were about 2 straight teens, would we really buy this writing or acting or directing? OY.

    Posted by: Romeodawg | Jan 10, 2014 9:42:38 PM

  12. Hollywood today rarely captures the realism that this short film does. Imagine, a teenager in a film that actually shows signs of acne. Brilliant. Exceptional. Touching. You don't have to be Jewish or gay to appreciate this. More please.

    Posted by: Kieran | Jan 10, 2014 10:38:25 PM

  13. Geesh, some people take short films like this too seriously.

    But really... gluten-free in 1999?

    Posted by: SERICAR | Jan 11, 2014 12:42:35 AM

  14. Yeah, gluten free and hook up are sort of anachronisms for 1999. So was the kitchen. All maybe possible, just not very probable. Hook up was first cited in the urban dictionary in 2004. And while puberty can strike in a range of years, these guys looked far apart in age. The older guy looked younger in some shots, but the director did not know enough to shoot and light him consistently to make him look younger, if casting him was a given. And the writing was kind of amateurish. And the sound. Charming but very flawed. I don't know where it would get awards - maybe at some provincial Jewish festival.

    Posted by: emjayay | Jan 11, 2014 3:08:53 AM

  15. Oh, and Morse code machine? Um, why? If some nerdy kid actually did put it together (and a fourth grader could do it), the conversation would be a lot different. I'm tempted to write a demo scene right now....oh never mind.

    Posted by: emjayay | Jan 11, 2014 3:12:44 AM

  16. Vel I'll tell you... it was well done,the kids were good actors... and I can imagine there's hope being in the 21 century. As a Jewish kid I remember me and my best friend "fooled around". He turned out straight in life and I gave it a fling and discovered who I was early.I liked the fact that they showed how the religious indoctrination can play guilt feelings in adults about the future of their families and the effect it could have on the kids. Thumbs up!

    Posted by: Jerry Pritikin aka The Bleacher Preacher | Jan 11, 2014 8:36:18 AM

  17. Worth it if only for the line: "I'm not gay." (kiss) "Write down your number." LOL

    Posted by: Kevin | Jan 11, 2014 6:54:57 PM

  18. A better ending would have been....the parents walk in and find the boys naked in bed. Mazeltov!

    Posted by: Guy | Jan 12, 2014 12:21:01 AM

  19. Very good little movie.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jan 12, 2014 11:43:20 AM

  20. You can always tell something is good when 15 minutes feels like only 5 minutes. The characters are authentic and the acting unforced. Capturing the innocence and vulnerability of the teens while contrasting it against their jaded and vapid parents is wonderful to behold.

    Posted by: Liam | Jan 12, 2014 1:46:53 PM

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