Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Local talent in the Jewish Film Festival


November 6, 2020

Bethanne Weiss and Kevin O'Neill.

This year's Jewish Film Festival hosts two film shorts - usually there is only one short - and both of them have local ties.

"Resemblance" is almost "home grown"

Written, directed and produced by Kevin J. O'Neill, who lives in Central Florida, the short was filmed at Canterbury Retreat in Oviedo. The executive producer, Bethanne Weiss, is well-known in the community, and in a scene on the facility's patio, some familiar faces can be spotted: Weiss, Jacqueline Levine and Harriett Weiss.

Starring in the film is Jordan Woods-Robinson. Although he has been in popular television series such as "Homeland" and "The Walking Dead," he is also a performer in Orlando's Blue Man Group - making him another local.

"Resemblance" was completed last fall, but not in time for the 2019 Central Florida Film Festival. In the year since its release, the film has screened around the world in France, Italy, Hungary and Spain; and in the States in Breckenridge, SOHO, Los Angeles, and Sedona, where it opened for "Those Who Remained" at the Sedona International Film Festival. 

Talia Osteen

At the Monaco International Film Festival, held in March 2020, "Resemblance" won a beaucoup of Angel Film Awards, including Best Short Film, Best Male Actor (Woods-Robinson), Best Director (O'Neill), Best Costume Design (Janice Fisher), and Best Film Editing (Hunter M. Via).

Also, "Resemblance" is honored to be selected to open for the feature film "Those Who Remained," which was short-listed in last year's Academy Awards for Best Foreign Feature.

Former local steps into the limelight

"The Shabbas Goy" is the second short and was written and directed by Talia Osteen, formerly of Central Florida and now living in California. Her parents, Dr. David and Michal Osteen, still live here. A member of the cast is also from here. Yisrael Dubov, son of Rabbi Sholom and Devorah Leah Dubov, plays the part of the fiancé.

The film won Best Film Short in the 2020 Florida Film Festival and Best Narrative Short in the 2020 San Francisco Film Festival.


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