Richard Beecham (1)

Richard Beecham (L) and Lewis Rose (R)

This year’s Pears UK Jewish Film Short Film Fund winners have been announced as The Chop and The Guitar.

The Chop,  directed by Lewis Rose and the Guitar, directed by Richard Beecham, were this year’s winners, and will both have their film premiered at this year’s uK Jewish film festival in November.

The Chop tells the story of Yossi, a Kosher butcher who upon losing his job, takes the unusual decision to work in a Halal butchery. He must use all his guile and charisma to hide his identity.

Lewis Rose said it “is a huge honour” and it “gives a real sense of validation to the script and the overall project.”

“It is a multicultural story that I hope will resonate with UK and international audiences.”

The Guitar is set in Gateshead, telling the tale of the Orthodox world meeting secular Tyneside, when Chaim, 12 years, finds himself coming into contact with Kayleigh, who is 16. The Guitar explores cultural difference and the delights and perils that lie beyond the familiar.

 Richard Beecham has also worked at theatre companies throughout London and the UK. He said: “I am absolutely delighted to win this prestigious award.”

“This award enables me to do just that. As a Jew who grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne, I’m passionate about telling a story which explores British-Jewish life beyond the North Circular!”

Two grants of £10,000 are available for the production of a short film and was established in 2004 with the goal of to creating opportunities for emerging filmmakers, focusing on Jewish themes and topics that engage with Jewish life, history and culture around the world.

UKJF Founder and President, Judy Ironside, said: “We are really delighted with the success of the Pears UKJF Short Film Fund and in this 9th year, once again, we have chosen two very strong scripts that look at current issues regarding the diversity of life in the UK and how this impacts on two very different Jewish communities.  

“These two films highlight the very essence of UK filmmaking with Jewish themes and the Pears UKJF Fund exists to stimulate and encourage these cinematic stories to be produced and to achieve international acclaim.”