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Jacobi's Jewish role

by: Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2008-11-04

Sir Derek Jacobi at screening of Sidney Turtlebaum

Sir Derek Jacobi at screening of Sidney Turtlebaum


The Festive Season Jewish films go online

Veteran Shakespearean actor Sir Derek Jacobi has said he would love to reprise his leading role in the short film Sidney Turtlebaum, following its premiere at the UK Jewish Film Festival in London.

Sir Derek, who played the lead role in the film, as an elderly Jewish gay conman, who scams mourners at shivas, said: "Sidney is utterly unique. It is only a short film but it is a character with a future and I offer it up to any producer."

The actor, and radio presenter Vanessa Feltz were among the stars who attended the UK JFF's West End Gala, where Sidney Turtlebaum was screened alongside another new film, Fugitive Pieces. The wartime drama, due to open in the UK next year, tells the story of one man who is struggling to come to terms with surviving the Holocaust after the rest of his family died.

The film stars British actress Rosamund Pike, who could not attend the gala, but who sent a message to the screening.

"When I read Anne Michael's book and then Jeremy Podeswa's brilliant, careful adaptation of it, I hungered to be part of the project," she said. "It is a film about being human, to me, in all the confusing, beautiful, difficult ways that that is so-and it seems to relay a great truth-that the biggest differences are made by single acts of human kindness. The book is full of elemental power and it reminds me of the things that connect us all."

Judy Ironside, Festival Director, added  "Coming together to celebrate and reflect on Jewish experience lies at the heart of the UK Jewish Film Festival."

The full festival programme kicks off on November 8 with a special gala screening of the Israeli drama Lemon Tree at the Odeon Swiss Cottage in North London. Over the following 12 days, 47 Jewish-themed films from all around the world will be shown at various venues across the capital.

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