ChaiFlicks, the world's first dedicated streaming service for Jewish and Israeli-themed film/tv shows, is now available and will feature content from the critically acclaimed collection of stories by The Braid/ Jewish Women's Theatre (JWT) that have entertained audiences for the past 13 years.
The Braid/JWT has agreed to share staged stories from its vast content library with the new platform so people with an interest in contemporary Jewish stories can enjoy the inspiring dramatic and comedic performances that have thus far been available only to those who attend live theater.
ChaiFlicks was founded by Neil Friedman and Heidi Oshin of the Jewish-focused distribution company Menemsha Films, and Bill Weiner, former executive vice president of New Regency Productions. The idea for ChaiFlicks was a logical next step for Menemsha, which had already sold two films to Netflix. But when Netflix shifted focus, Friedman told Deadline's Dade Hayes, "We realized then and there that if we were going to have our films on [a subscription service] we would have to initiate our own channel."
"ChaiFlicks is thrilled to include The Braid/JWT's performances in our family of programming. The performances are top-notch and add an important dimension to our cultural mission. Chaiflicks is honored to partner with The Braid/JWT," says Oshin.
"We couldn't be more excited about having the opportunity to showcase our unique theatrical offerings," says Ronda Spinak, The Braid/JWT's co-founder and artistic director. "The recent pandemic prompted us to share some of our stories online, and we were grateful for the enthusiastic reception they received."
"The global response to our performances showed us there is an audience out there that is hungry for expertly written and acted modern takes on Jewish life. Thanks to ChaiFlicks, we can now provide our shows to people throughout the world and celebrate themes and ideas that connect us all," Spinak says.
As of August 11, the service is open to all at a subscription price of $5.99 a month, or $65.99 a year. ChaiFlicks also offers a 14-day free trial. For more information, visit: www.chaiflicks.com.
The Braid/JWT will regularly be offering the new Inspiring Jewish Stories on Stage each month. These stories come from its vast collection of more than 50 original salon theatre shows and more than 600 performed stories, which explore a variety of themes and include works from national and international writers who submit their work for production consideration. Themes include forgiveness, courage, our moral compass, sex, addiction, love, courage, temptation, activism, life and death, revisiting Eve, Jewish food, family secrets, guilty parties, and diversity across the diaspora, including Jews of color, Jews from Russia, Persian Jews, and Latinx Jews, as well as the most recent theme, dealing with the coronavirus.
ChaiFlicks viewers will be able to access a list of The Braid/JWT's stories, read the synopses, and choose which ones they wish to see. "Each story is a nourishing bite, and watching one with your morning coffee is a great way to start the day," suggests Spinak. "Later, you can binge a bunch," she jokes.
Authors include Persian memoirist Esther Amini, essayist and author David Masello, playwright comedian Robin Russin, director Susan Morgenstern, and JWT artistic director Ronda Spinak. Several actors have also written and performed their own funny and touching stories, including Debbie Kasper, Joshua Silverstein, Judy Carter, Melanie Chartoff, Kate Zentall, Vicki Juditz, and Monica Piper, who wrote and starred in Not That Jewish that ran off-Broadway for 200-plus performances.
The Braid/Jewish Women's Theatre, voted one of the "Best Live Theatres on the Westside" the last three years in a row by The Argonaut and "Most Loved Theatre" by The Santa Monica Daily Press in 2020, presents American Jewish stories, art, and other programming that highlights Jewish contributions to contemporary life. Now in its 13th season, The Braid/JWT's salon theatre of original dramatic shows, each written to a specific theme, displays the diverse and eclectic community of writers, artists, and creators who celebrate Jewish life, one story at a time.
Learn more about The Braid/JWT at: www.jewishwomenstheatre.org