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May 20, 2015 7:36 AM ET

Archived: The Chop: A comedy short film about a Kosher butcher in a moment of crisis

iCrowdNewswire - May 20, 2015

The Chop

A comedy short film about a Kosher butcher in a moment of crisis.
Lewis Rose

‘The Chop’ tells the story of Yossi, a charismatic Kosher butcher who loses his job, cannot find work at other Kosher butchers, and therefore decides to pretend to be Muslim in order to get work at a Halal butchers.

Yossi works at Glickman’s, a bustling North London kosher butcher packed to the rafters with chops, cold-cuts and colourful local characters. Yossi is an entertainer at heart; he loves nothing more than to make chit-chat with the customers and show off his impressive knife skills and tricks. However this proves his undoing when his boss, the cantankerous shop owner Morris, slips over on a piece of meat which he mistakenly thinks has fallen on the floor as a result of Yossi’s tricks. Morris loses his rag and fires Yossi on the spot.

Yossi needs another job fast. He visits every Kosher butcher in town – no luck. He slumps down at the kitchen table and stares down the barrel of an empty pickle jar. What now? Then suddenly he gets a brainwave.

Dressed in a kaftan, with the eyes of a sheep’s head staring at him, he steps through the door of Habib’s Halal butcher. He is no longer Yossi, he is Yusuf. But can he put on the necessary performance to pay the bills and keep his identity intact?

Having grown up in a liberal Jewish household and attended a school with only a handful of Jews and a large number of Muslim students, I have always felt a strong connection between the two religions and wanted to explore this relationship on film. The idea for The Chop felt like a humorous way to examine it, drawing on our simultaneous fear and fascination with ‘the other’, concluding that the most important thing is to be true to yourself.

We want to avoid overused stereotypes and ethic-based humour, instead looking for comedy in character quirks, fish-out-of-water spectacle and out and out slapstick. The aim is to push the heightened tension of Yossi’s ‘undercover’ situation, as it is a universal theme that offers a great source of dramatic comedy and has the power to transcend specific cultural comedy.

The Chop is ultimately a story that aims to promote interfaith understanding, and the belief that it is our similarities and universal human desires that will always shine through, rather than our differences. We want to bring it to as wide an audience as possible as we feel it is important to spread the film’s message, particularly in light of on-going religious conflicts throughout the world. Also hopefully it will be really really funny, and everybody likes a laugh. 

In order to make a high production value film that will hold its own amongst the best  around, there are many costs involved… such as the obvious costs like cast & crew, and the not so obvious costs like fake carcasses and stunt coordinators.

We already have two thirds of the budget thanks to the grant we won from the UK Jewish Film Pears Fund. Unfortunately this amazing grant cannot cover all our costs, which is why we turn to you for help! 

Here’s a quick overview of how the budget breaks down:

We’ve got lots of amazing perks – a link to see the finished film, full behind the scenes package, an editing lesson, the chance to be on set… the list goes on. But here are a couple that are particularly cool:

GLICKMAN’S / HABIB’S  KOSHER / HALAL combination hamper!

                                              GLICKMAN’S / HABIB’S   aprons!

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