Jewboy - A film by Tony Krawitz | Now Available on DVD Click here to view details of the DVD

About the film

Quick links: Synopsis · The Cast · The Filmmakers


After the death of his father, Yuri returns from Israel to the strict Chasidic community of Sydney. Losing his faith in Judaism, he rejects his former girlfriend Rivka and starts driving taxis. He falls for Sarita and in his grieving state takes much more from their budding friendship than she does. In his confused search for intimacy he ends up in some of the least intimate spaces, like porn shops and peepshows. Jewboy is a film about a young man's search for his place in the world, his family and his faith.

The Cast

Ewen Leslie/YURI
Ewen Leslie graduated from WAAPA (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts) in 2000. Shanahan Management, one of Australia’s leading acting agents saw his immense talent and immediately signed him up for representation. At 23, he has already had roles in film and TV. He played Luke Mason in The Junction Boys and has had guest roles in All Saints and The Road From Coorain. Ewen brings a great sensitivity, intelligence and empathy to the role of Yuri and is a new up and coming talent to watch out for.

Naomi Wilson/MINNIE
Naomi Wilson’s career has been varied and encompasses presenting, writing, puppeteering and stand-up comedy. Naomi started off as a radio announcer at 2WL and progressed to appearing in and hosting television shows such as Consider Your Verdict and Marriage Guidance Bureau. She made regular appearances on the daytime variety chat show, The Mike Walsh Show as well as having a spot on 2KY radio titled Food for Sex. This show ran for 6 1/2 years and the success resulted in Naomi writing a book under the same title. Naomi also had a one woman puppeteer show using 16 caricatures which toured schools around Australia. This is Naomi’s first acting role. Her brilliant voice-over work, knack for accents and love and understanding of the Jewish faith made her the perfect choice for Minnie.

Saskia Burmeister/RIVKA
Saskia Burmeister is a name much talked about for someone so young. At 19 she has already a string of film and television credits to her name. She appears in Hating Alison Ashley playing a lead role and has also appeared in Thunderstruck, Ned Kelly and The Pact. Like Ewen, Saskia is another young, up and coming talent to watch out for.

Leah Vandenberg/SARITA
Leah Vandenberg graduated from WAAPA in 1993 and since then has gone on to appear on stage many times in theatres around Australia such as Belvoir St, Tamarama Rock Surfers, RQTC and The Melbourne State Theatre. Leah is also a familiar face on Australian television with guest appearances too numerous to list. Some titles include Blue Heelers, Wildside, Never Tell Me Never, Grass Roots, MDA and Kath and Kim. Leah has also been a long running presenter on the children’s TV show Playschool as well as playing the popular regular character of Dr. Yasmin on GP. Leah also appeared opposite Hugh Jackman in Erskineville Kings.


The Filmmakers

Tony Krawitz/Director, Writer
Tony Krawitz's most recent film is JEWBOY. Since then he has directed episodes of the television series' ALL SAINTS and THE SURGEON for Australian TV.
Tony graduated from the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) with a Masters in Directing. He was awarded both the ASDA and SCREENSOUND awards for excellence in Drama Directing. Since then he has received a Gold Hugo from the Chicago Film Festival, Best Film at the St Tropez Film Festival and been nominated for an AFI award for his short film INTO THE NIGHT. His short suburban thriller, UNIT #52, screened at many festivals and was a part of Director's Fortnight at Cannes in 2003.
Tony directed two other films in his year at AFTRS, CUSTOMS (2001) and TOGETHER IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE (2001). In the AFTRS Critics Circle Awards, CUSTOMS was awarded Best Cinematography and Best Music while TOGETHER IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE was awarded Best Sound, Best Editing, Best Director and Best Film.
Tony completed first class honours in Communication at the University of Technology in 1999. At UTS he wrote, directed, produced and edited a short film ZERO (1998) which won a Gold Plaque at the Houston International Film Festival as well as Best Documentary and Best Script at the Golden Eye Awards in Sydney. The film was also screened on CANAL + TV in Europe and SBS TV in Australia.
Tony is currently developing a feature film set in contemporary South Africa entitled AMNESIA.

Liz Watts / Producer
Liz Watts is an independent producer and a principal partner of Porchlight Films based in Sydney.
Liz most recently produced feature film, Little Fish (2005) with business partner Vincent Sheehan, and Director Rowan Woods, starring Cate Blanchett, Sam Neill, and Hugo Weaving. The film was opening night film at MIFF 2005 and premiered internationally at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival. Little Fish has sold to the US, UK, and another 16 territories around the world. The film won 5 AFI Awards in 2005.
In 2005 Liz also completed production on featurette Jewboy (2005), with Writer/ Director Tony Krawitz for SBS Television and the Australian Film Commission. Jewboy was selected for screening in Un Certain Regard, Cannes Film Festival 2005 and won 3 AFI Awards including Best Short Film. Most recently Jewboy was selected for screening at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.
Liz's past productions include feature film Walking on Water (2002), directed by Tony Ayres, which won 2 Film Critics' Circle of Australia Awards, one IF Award and 5 AFI Awards. Walking on Water had its world premiere at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival and was awarded the Teddy Award for Best Feature Film, and The Reader's Prize Of The Siegessaule. Walking on Water also received the FIBRESCI Special Mention at the 2002 Brisbane International Film Festival.
Other productions include featurette Martha's New Coat (2003) with director Rachel Ward and Executive Producer Bryan Brown which won the Australian Film Critic's Circle Award for Best Short Feature in 2003; Delivery Day (2001) , a half hour drama for SBS, directed by Jane Manning which won awards at 2001 Palm Springs International Film Festival, 2002 Flickerfest in Sydney, 2002 Berlin International Film Festival and Locarno International Film Festival 2003.
Liz has produced documentaries for television including the feature length documentary Buried Country (2000); The Pitch (1998) and Island Style (1999) as well as short fiction films including One That Got Away (1997) and Help Me (1999).
In 2006, Liz is producing The Home Song Stories with fellow producer Michael McMahon and re-teaming with Writer/ Director Tony Ayres, Principal investment partners include the FFC, Film Victoria, MediaCorp Raintree Singapore, SBS Independent and private investors. The film will be distributed locally by Dendy Films and sold worldwide by Fortissimo Films. The Home Song Stories stars Joan Chen.

Libby Sharpe / Producer
Libby Sharpe has been working in the Australian Film Industry for nearly 15 years. Originally from a Casting background, she moved over to Film and TV Production in 1993.
Libby produced the short film titled Burnout which screened at the Sundance Film Festival and the Edinburgh Film Festival. Burnout also won the award for Best Cinematography at the St. Kilda Film Festival.
Libby has also Production Managed many Australian and American features and telemovies. Some of her credits include, Stealth, Moulin Rouge and Somersault. She has Production Managed for Porchlight Films on two projects Delivery Day and Walking On Water.

Greig Fraser / Director Of Photography
Greig Fraser is an exciting, young, up and coming talent both in Australia and Asia.
Greig started his career as a stills photographer, during which time he worked with Director Garth Davis on his award winning documentary P.I.N.S and prompted his move into cinematography. Greig worked for a thriving company Exit Films in Melbourne where he was able to DP national and international campaigns for TVC's, cinema commercials, as well as experimental films, music film clips and photography.
Moving into the freelance world in 2002, Greig also moved into more drama based projects. He shot Glendyn Ivin's highly acclaimed, and award winning short film, Crackerbag which took out the Palm D'or in the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, 2003 AFI short film award and St Kilda Festival short film award. Greig was also nominated for a cinematography award in the 2003 AFI awards.

Jane Moran / Editor
Jane Moran has an impressive list of credits to her name both as an Editor and as a 1 st Assistant Editor.
Prior to becoming an editor she worked as 1st Assistant on films such as Portrait Of A Lady, Muriel's Wedding, Lorenzo's Oil, and Witness.
She has worked closely with Jill Bilcock for a number of years on features such as Strictly Ballroom and Moulin Rouge. Jane also was the Head Editor on the Moulin Rouge DVD for Director Baz Luhrmann.
Her editing credits include the SBS telemovie "Queen Of Hearts", numerous episodes of the American Lost World series, and Australian features; Bootmen, Soft Fruit, Erskineville Kings and most recently Deck Dogz.
Jane was nominated for an AFI and the Australian Film Critics Association award for best achievement in editing for Bootman.

Melinda Doring / Production Designer
Melinda Doring is one of Australia's most talented designers for both Costume Design and Production Design in Film and TV. Originally studying Fine Arts at East Sydney Technical College, she went on to complete an MA at the Australian Film Television and Radio School.
Melinda has collaborated on many Porchlight Films Productions over the years on films such as Walking On Water , Delivery Day, Mullet and their new production Little Fish. Jewboy will be her fourth production with Porchlight.
Melinda's credits are numerous and cover feature films, TV, short films, and mini-series.
Melinda worked as an Assistant Designer to Catherine Martin on the Bazmark Live theme park as well as working as a Costume Art Finisher on Moulin Rouge once again for Catherine Martin.
Melinda Production Designed for Tony Krawitz on his short film Unit 52 which was screened at Directors Fortnight at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.
Melinda designed for Cate Shortland on two short films; Pent Up House , winner of the 1999 Dendy Awards (under 15 mins) and Flower Girl , winner of the 1999 Dendy Awards (over 15 mins).
Most recently Melinda won the AFI for her outstanding Production Design on the highly acclaimed Cate Shortland feature Somersault. , selected at the 2004 Un Certain Regard, Cannes Film Festival.

Jodie Fried / Costume Designer
Jodie Fried came from a theatre background. After graduating from NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art) in 1998 she went on to design for many theatre and dance companies. She has costume designed for Belvoir St, Ensemble, Bell Shakespeare Company, Chunky Move Dance Company , and the Adelaide Festvial . Jodie became interested and involved in Classical Indian Dance and packed up and moved to India. There she designed many productions for the Darpana Dance Troupe before moving on to Europe where she designed for The Royal Shakespeare Company, London, Dogtroep, Amsterdam and The Almeida, London. Returning to Australia, she has continued to Design theatre as well as branching into short films. Jodie brings her wealth of experience from theatre to the screen in her first film, Jewboy.

Sam Petty / Sound Designer
Sam Petty and his company Big Ears bring a wealth of experience in Sound Production and Design to Jewboy. Spanning features, documentary, short film and television, his large list of credits in film include The Boys where he was nominated for an AFI, On A Full Moon, Winner of Best Sound at the Annecy Film Festival, France, ICQ , nominated for an AFI for Best Sound in a non-feature, The Bank, nominated for Best Sound Design in both the AFI's and the IF awards and Two Thirds Sky, nominated for Best Sound in a non-feature. Most recently Sam won the AFI Sound Design award for the highly acclaimed Somersault.

Decoder Ring / Composers
Decoder Ring is a local Sydney band comprising of Tom Schutzinger, Matt Fitzgerald and Pete Kelly. Their hugely impressive debut offerings "Spooky Action at a Distance" and "Decoder Ring" (Hello Cleveland!/EMI) turned musical conventions on their head and were instantly amongst 2002/2003's best releases according to The Guardian(UK), The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Rolling Stone and Triple J.
Decoder Ring's emotive experimentalism offers the perfect mixture of electronica, rock, arthouse, ambience, dancefloor and cinematic orchestration.
Decoder Ring have contributed and collaborated on numerous drama, documentary and live productions. "The Nightshift" composed and performed by the band was featured in Alex Proyas' film Garage Days (2002). They went on to score the film Somersault and recently won the AFI Best Music Award as well as receiving accolades for their newly released album Somersault taken from the film. Currently they are successfully touring to sold out performances in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Certified M by the OFLC