Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 14, 2010.


Jamal Caesar's short NYU Thesis Film "REFORM" focuses on a Hasidic family on the eve of Yom Kippur unaware of a devastating secret amid them...

The film is set in New York City (with locations primarily in Manhattan and Brooklyn). The story centers around a young Hasidic man who arrives home for Yom Kippur dinner covered in blood. He hides his secret from his family, yet attempts to maintain his composure and sense of culture amidst his family and their friends. But despite it all he must atone on this high holiday. And, in doing so, he must break the rules of this holy day in order to save a life and save his soul.

Starring rising star Jake Hoffman ("Click", "Rosencranz & Guildenstern are Undead", and "Barney's Version"), REFORM is a dramatic mystery about a young man caught in a cultural, moral, and an identity dilemma for a crime we are increasingly convinced he did not commit. Critically, culturally, and creatively meaningful, REFORM highlights issues near and dear to us all: identity, community, and what it really means to "do the right thing".

Set to be shot on the RED Camera (as used on such films as "The Social Network"), and with funds already raised through Kickstarter, coupled with the funds I have already been fortunate to raise and set aside, I plan on supporting the high budget necessary for Production/Costume/Make-Up Design, and standard film-production costs (including catering, crafty, transportation, equipment rental, computing resources, and more). The Three Design elements, though, are particularly costly because they (like in period pieces) require great attention to detail in creating a certain level of authenticity. In this case, the authenticity is specific to the cultural look, feel, and traditions unique to a community of Hasidic Jews.


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