After its sold out run and selection as Opening Night film of the 35th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Dough will return in a theatrical release to Bay Area theaters at the end of April. Click here for a full list of where to see Dough in theaters.
To mark the Bay Area release of the film, JFI sat down with Menemsha Films‘ Neil Friedman for some questions.
About the film:
JFI: Any thoughts you’d like to share about the experience of screening Dough at SFJFF35?
Neil Friedman: This film was discovered at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, it is just that simple. I received a telephone call from Jay Rosenblatt (JFI Program Director), the day after opening night of SFJFF35 last year about how the audience responded to the film. Jay is a notoriously tough critic of all films, including the ones that are chosen for SFJFF, and he told me on that telephone call in so many words that “you have a hit.” Jay added “everybody walked up the aisles of the Castro whistling with a big grin on their faces.” The next day two of us from Menemsha got in a car and drove to the next screening of the film in Palo Alto where the film was again sold out. We witnessed the response from the audience to the film ourselves and saw exactly the same reaction from the audience that Jay described at the Castro the night before. We drove up and back from Los Angeles to Palo Alto all in one day with the same grin as the audiences on our own faces.
JFI: Tell us about the film’s theatrical run since SFJFF35.
Friedman: We organized the release of the film in South Florida for February 12 and the film is still playing in all of the same theatres that it opened in as of today’s date.
JFI: Where can our readers see Dough in the Bay Area?
Friedman: Dough will open on April 29th at Landmark Theatres in San Francisco and Berkeley, the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, and the Aquarius Theatre in Palo Alto. Click here for a full list of where to see Dough in theaters.
JFI: Why do you think this film has resonated so strongly with audiences across the country?
Friedman: We believe we know why the film is playing so successfully across the country similarly to the first screenings of the film at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. The film is very funny, first and foremost. There are very few films that are comedies that work with audiences. This film makes people laugh, it allows them to enjoy themselves in the theatre. But there are other factors. Jonathan Pryce (Nat) is a brilliant actor. Jerome Holder (Ayyash) in his first film is able to more than hold his own with Mr. Pryce. The two of them are polar opposites. One is tall, the other is short. One is caucasian, the other is African. One is old, the other is young. One is Jewish, the other is Muslim. This is the perfect odd couple. By the film’s end the two are a perfect pair. Race, religion, age, size are irrelevant. Simply said, we are all the same as humans.