The story of Elise stems from my background and my experience with the holiday season. As a Jewish person, the holiday season has been long filled with Christmas spirit. Though the term “Happy Holidays” has been a popular substitute for most businesses, there’s no doubt that come the month of December, Christmas is the widely expected means of celebration. As a child who celebrated Hanukkah, this was always troubleing. I always felt a bit left out not celebrating what everyone else did. This is exactly why I decided the tell the story of Elise. Similar to Elise, I too was a child who tried to replicate the “Christmas Spirit” at home. Whether it was creating miniature Christmas Trees, making gingerbread cookies, or pretending to wait for Santa, I would always try to do my part in order to feel included in the holiday season. Like Elise, after a conversation with my Christmas celebrating friend, I realized why embracing my Jewish background is so important. I decided to write and direct this film to give an example to the younger Jewish community: that the holiday spirit is about embracing your culture, and even if it is different, it’s what makes you…you. And that’s something to be proud of.
Whether they were little home videos or class projects, making movies has been a passion of mine from a young age. Over the years, I’ve been able to see my interests shift from editing to cinematography, and currently to writing and directing. I intend to continue writing and directing throughout my film career, and can’t wait to see what the future has in store!