A rebellious Hasidic boy, stifled by his Ultra-Orthodox community and dysfunctional family, finds solace in a Dominican barber shop. As his bar mitzvah approaches, he schemes to replace his religious locks with the perfect fade.
Mission StatementMy goal as a filmmaker is to tell character-driven stories that question our popular notions in life. Stories that expose our vulnerabilities, humor and individual expression, that connect us as people and exhibit the endless limitations of the human spirit.
About The Project
The short film, Curls, started with a simple idea. What if a Hasidic Orthodox mother refused to wear her religious wig (sheitl)? And what if her only son replaced his side curls (peyos) with a faded haircut?
I'm Jewish, but not until I moved to Brooklyn as an adult did I really discover Hasidic Judaism. Right away, I was fascinated with their culture and surprised with how little I actually knew about their world.
Films often portray the Hasidic poplulation as one community - but that's far from the truth. In Crown Heights for example, they are modernizing in ways we'd never think a decade ago.
My goal in making this film is to put a spotlight on people who were born into this world but have burning desires to expand their boundaries. Does this make them any less Jewish? Are they not true believers?
In Curls, the main character Avi is a 12-year-old Hasidic boy who represents a new generation of Hasidic children who live in an increasingly high tech, modern and gentrifying world.
This is a story about keeping your traditions, and the journey of forging your own identlty.
PRE-PRODUCTION (JUNE 2022 - NOVEMBER 2022)
Our team has been working hard in pre-production since June 2022. Ever since, we have secured our main cast, crew, budget and the two main locations for the film. We are a SAG film and have already had our first rehearsal.
PRODUCTION (EARLY DECEMBER)
After all of our meticulous planning, we finally shoot over three days in December 10th, 11th and 12th in Brooklyn. We shoot two days in the Hasidic home and one day at the Dominican Barbershop. Our team is filled with professionals in the industry and frequent collaboraters who are at the top of their game and passionate about this film. But we need your help to ensure that our crew has the tools and equipment to make a smooth execution.
Given Covid is still here, our Health & Safety Supervisor will ensure we have a fully vaccinated crew and that everyone is tested before shooting begins. We plan to follow industry guidelines to make sure our cast and crew is safe on set.
POST-PRODUCTION (DECEMBER 2022 - JUNE 2023)
As soon as we are done shooting, the film goes into post-production where the director and editor work to create the most concise story. After that, the film still needs to have professional color, an original score and mixed and mastered audio.
FILM FESTIVAL DISTRIBUTION (JUNE 2023 - JUNE 2024)
The film will enter its film festival run in early Summer 2023 and will continue into 2024. Film festivals will help our project builds a diversified audience and is a great way to find investors, pursue distribution deals and network within the industry. But each submission costs money, and this is where your help is also vital, helping us ensure we have the funds to compete with of the best films around the world.
If you're excited about this project - please take a moment to share it around. You can follow us on Instagram @curlsfilm
Use the WishList to pledge cash and loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an incentive directly.
About This Team
Aaron Sheer is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker who has directed the award-winning short films, Teenage Jesus and Pryor Time, and is also the creator of “Straight To Camera,” a first person comedy series. He has worked as a producer and editor on the series Live From My Den featuring musical guests such as Glass Animals, Girl in Red, Idles and many other talented artists. Aaron holds an MFA in Producing from Brooklyn College Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema.
Khaula Malik is an award winning filmmaker whose earliest memory is crying before her flight to America from Pakistan.Most recently, Khaula was selected for the 2020 Tribeca CHANEL Through Her Lens program and the Cine Qua Non Revisions Lab.Her short film HOW THE AIR FEELS premiered at AFI Docs, won the National Board of Review Student Grant Award, and the Special Jury Award at the Sharjah Film Platform. She associate produced the award winning feature documentary, OF LOVE & LAW. Khaula received the South Asian Arts Resiliency Fund grant for her latest short, THERE WAS NOBODY HERE WE KNEW, about a middle aged Pakistani immigrant couple (her parents) contemplating alien life after they spot a UFO outside their window during lockdown.
She has served on the review committee for the Peabody Awards and The Gotham Documentary Lab. She was a fellow in the 2018 Hot Springs Emerging Filmmaker program with her feature documentary, THE NOBLE HALF, and an artist-in-residence at Governor’s Island for her multimedia project, THE WARMEST ZEROES.
Khaula’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Sight & Sound, Brown Girl Magazine, as well as on PBS. She is a proud member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia and a graduate of the MFA program at the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema.
Antonia Colodro is a Chilean cinematographer currently residing in Queens, New York. With a background in photojournalism, Colodro has over a decade of experience as a filmmaker. Her passion in visual storytelling has allowed her to travel around the world shooting documentaries, short films, and music videos. She was selected to be the director of photography for the pilot "Half-Life" for the Made in New York Series Competition. Most recently she served as a documentary shooter for the feature film "Primera", which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in June 2021.
ROLE OF AVI
Jaden Myles Waldman was born in New York. Jaden has worked across the board in TV, Film, Voiceover and on Broadway. He is best known as the voice of TO-B1 in Star Wars: Visions on Disney+, Peter in PBS Kids' Pinkalicious & Peterrific, and Kun in the Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated film, Mirai. Jaden recently played the role of Noah Gellman in the Tony-Nominated musical revival of Caroline, or Change on Broadway. He also starred as Ben for two seasons of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
ROLE OF MIRA
Malky Goldman is an actor and artist currently located in New York City. Originally from Jerusalem, she relocated to the United States to study, and graduated from Hunter College with a Degree in Fine Art.
Her creative portfolio spans several visual media disciplines that include film, theater and painting, and sometimes a combination of all three. Her most recent work includes several features and short films, a couple of stage productions and various projects taken on as Art Director and Consultant.
Her most recent acting work includes a Chasidic Horror film called The Vigil (Blumhouse/BoulderLight) directed by Kieth Thomas which premiered at TIFF and is distributed by IFC, also appearing in the Netflix show Unorthodox and the HBO show High Maintenance. She has previously appeared in a couple of stage productions such as playing Hedda Gabler, and starring as Daisy in the Yiddish production of Rhinoceros by the New Yiddish Rep, and in the critically acclaimed production God of Vengeance.
ROLE OF KARLO
Samuel María Gómez is a first generation American Actor, Writer and Producer hailing from New York City. He is most recently known for his work on ABC/Netflix "The Beauty and The Baker", Marvel's "The Punisher" (Season Two) and his lead series regular appearance on the series, "The Bodega". He has appeared in popular shows such as "Madam Secretary", "Elementary", "Law & Order SVU" and FOX's "Prodigal Son" and most recently, has had guest star appearances on "Blue Bloods" and "FBI".
As a writer and producer he credited with the shorts "Lucid" and "The Spectacular Tito Garcia" as well as being the creative mind behind the actor platform, "Monovlogs".
ROLE OF EFRAIM
ETHAN MATHIAS is thirteen and in 9th grade. He is thrilled to be part of Curls. Film credits include Miracle on Christmas (Amazon streaming), Evil Lives Here (Discovery Network), Ghost Adventures, and a few short films coming soon. Other theatre credits include Safe Travels…a Jukebox jukebox Musical; The Last Boy off-Broadway and Broadway Benefit, School of Rock (Lawrence) at Tuacahn, as well as performances with Joffrey Ballet School, and readings and cabarets around New York City. Ethan would like to thank his agents at KMR Talent, managers at Serendipity, and amazing coaches.
“Special thanks to Aaron and team for trusting me with this part, and to my family who is willing to take this crazy adventure so I can do what I love!”
ROLE OF CHAIM
Nati Rabinowitz is a born and raised New York actor who has appeared in various roles on Orange is the New Black, Girls, FBI, Blue Bloods and Succession. He's appeared in several films, one of which, The Vigil, premiered at TIFF and has since been bought by Blumhouse and IFC Midnight.