EXCLUSIVE: Chris Columbus has come aboard as executive producer of Menashe, the Yiddish-language drama from Joshua Z. Weinstein that is having its world premiere in the NEXT section of the Sundance Film Festival which kicks off this week.
Columbus and Eleanor Columbus will now EP executive produce the film under their Maiden Voyage Pictures, which counts recent credits including The Witch, Tallulah and Mediterranea. It also has Geremy Jasper’s Patti Cake$ premiering in the U.S. Dramatic Competition section.
Menashe is set in Brooklyn and centers on a kind, Hasidic Jewish widower (Menashe Lustig) as he struggles to make ends meet and responsibly parent his young son, Rieven. Tradition prohibits Menashe from raising his son alone, so Rieven’s strict uncle adopts him, leaving Menashe heartbroken. Meanwhile, though Menashe seems to bungle every challenge in his path, his rabbi grants him one special week with Rieven before to his late wife’s memorial, and a chance to prove himself a suitable man of faith and fatherhood. Weinstein, Alex Lipschultz and Musa Syeed co-wrote the screenplay.
Lipschultz, Traci Carlson, Danny Finkelman, Weinstein and Yoni Brook produced Menashe, with Danelle Eliav and Adam Margules exec producers alongside Chris and Eleanor Columbus. David Hansen and Johnny Mac of Autumn Productions serve as co-executive producers.