Eric Steel’s Berlin Fest ‘Minyan’ trailer unveiled by Strand
Strand Releasing has unveiled the trailer for Eric Steel’s film “Minyan” which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and won a Special Mention at the Jerusalem Film Festival.
The first feature film will have its North American premiere in New York on October 22, followed by a release in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and across the country. In addition to its victory in Jerusalem, the film won the Grand Jury Prize for Best American Narrative Feature at the Outfest.
“Minyan” tells the story of David, a young man from Brooklyn who comes to terms with his gender identity amid the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, and his place in the Jewish community. He bonds with an older gay couple whom he ends up supporting when one dies and the other is forced to be evicted from his housing project. David eventually creates a “minyan” to help protect this man to stay in his apartment.
The film was written by Steel and Daniel Pearle, based on a short story by David Bezmozgis. It was produced by Luca Borghese and Ben Howe. Steel’s production credits include “Julia & Julia”, “Angela’s Ashes” (as executive producer) “Bringing Out the Dead” (as co-producer).
“I saw ‘Minyan’ at the Berlin Film Festival and was struck by his incredible humanity, Eric Steel’s attention to detail for this period and most of all Samuel H. Levine’s incredible performances in the role of David and veteran actor Ron Rifkin, ”said Marcus Hu, co-founder of Strand Releasing.
Hu said he knew Eric from his previous film, “The Bridge,” a documentary on the Golden Gate Bridge and it is an attractive place for people to see as a suicide point. The docu, inspired by an article in the New Yorker, was distributed by IFC.
“There is a special way for foreigners to travel in strange lands. Immigrants, Jews, homosexuals, in order to survive, they have learned to be keen observers, listeners rather than talkers, always on the lookout for danger and openings. They carry history under their skin and settle for less to keep a promise in the future, ”Steel said in its director’s statement.
Steel said he was inspired by a line by James Baldwin (…) which “plays a central role in Minyan:” Go back to where you started, or as far as you can, examine everything, get back on your way and tell the truth about it. Sing or shout or testify or keep it to yourself; but know where you come from.