By Scott Pukos
For screenwriter Jess Zeidman, Tiny Furniture was a certified mindblower.
“It was the first movie I ever saw at The Little and immediately my teenage brain was like, ‘why have my parents been hiding this from me?’” Zeidman said. “This is the only cool place in Rochester."
Zeidman was 14 when her parents took her to the Little Theatre District to watch the Lena Dunham comedy about a recent film school grad moving back home with her mother and sister. It was more than just a good film for Zeidman, it was an inspiration.
“I fell in love with the idea of making and writing movies at The Little,” she said.
She’s back in Rochester this month to film her latest project, Tahara. It’s about an anxious teen girl who is manipulated into a surprising romantic encounter with her straight best friend during the funeral of their Hebrew school classmate. Zeidman wrote the film, and the director is her friend, Olivia Peace.
If you’re thinking Zeidman’s story sounds cool, well, you’re absolutely correct on that. But there is more good news. You can help be a part of Tahara.
The crew is looking to cast extras. Participants would play a funeral service attendee, and would need to arrive dressed in all black. Their dates for extras are May 17, May 20, and/or May 21. They will have craft service, and meals would be served. Anyone who's interested should fill out this form. Zeidman notes that these roles are unpaid. If you are curious about volunteering behind the scenes, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zeidman adds that this is also a good opportunity to network with filmmakers. Much of the Tahara crew is affiliated with the Sundance Institute, New York University, Northwestern, and more.