Matching Fundraiser for Yosef: Queen of Dreams

My name is Ezriel Gelbfish and I'm the writer-director of an Instagram film called Yosef: Queen of Dreams.

The story follows an Orthodox Jewish youth named Yosef who makes a technicolor 'bekishe' (Hasidic gabardine) and posts about it on Instagram, leading to him getting disowned by his family and community.

All too commonly, queer youth from deeply religious backgrounds are rejected by their loved ones. Our character Yosef must overcome homelessness and suicidality to become the person of his dreams as the queen of the New York City nightlife group House of Egypt.
To see more about the film, [email redacted]ams on Instagram. The film will be released exclusively there, much like the recent Holocaust Instagram [email redacted]ries.

We are trying to raise $10,000 to bring our film to life. All gifts will be matched by a generous donor, so your donation will count times two. 

Social media is the language of our times, and it helped Yosef (and me) find a community where boys can wear makeup, girls can overcome haters, and everyone has the chance to be themselves. In an age where LGBT youth are almost 5 times more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth – a factor that jumps to 8 times (!) when they are from highly rejecting families – we need more art that valorizes their struggles and gives them hope in their destinies.
Please consider donating what you can to this project. We've already raised half our budget via a $10,000 grant from the NY Mayor's Office. But we can't complete our shoot without an additional $10,000. Every dollar helps, especially because within our $10k funding goal, all of your funds will be matched by a generous donor. In particular your funds will go towards paying design collaborators, renting locations such a nightclub and yeshiva, and buying the costumes and prop materials that are such a big part of Yosef's journey. In total, we'll release 15 minutes of Instagram Stories in Summer 2020.

Filmmaking is expensive, but with your help, we can bring this project to life. Any amount helps. We hope to see you soon on Instagram!

Ezriel Gelbfish 
and the team of Yosef: Queen of Dreams

Yosef: Queen of Dreams -- Instagram Concept Footage

About me: 
I am a writer-director of narrative films from Brooklyn, New York. My family is from Hasidic Williamsburg, ultra-Orthodox Boro Park, and pre-war Hungary, Poland and Russia before that. I am the grandson of Holocaust survivors and the blood of the ancient Hebrew runs in my veins. 

But I am also a millennial artist and creative, a bisexual man, lover of queer aesthetics, makeup, fashion, club culture, drag queens, EDM, deep house music, and the proverbial sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. I studied Film and Ethics, Politics, Economics at Yale University and now am pursuing an MFA in Directing at the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema at Brooklyn College. Telling stories and expressing myself is a deep human need I've had since childhood. 

Yosef: Queen of Dreams is my thesis film in graduate school, but I've directed several short films before, and I've been a Production Assistant for TV Shows on Starz Network (Power), Amazon Studios (Z: The Beginning of Everything) and New Line Cinema (The Kitchen). I was also the Assistant Location Manager on the film Madeline's Madeline (Oscilloscope Labs). I am hoping to parlay my experiences on Yosef: Queen of Dreams into a full time career as a film creative in the industry one day.

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Ezriel Gelbfish 
Brooklyn, NY
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