QUEER VOICES
01/16/2014 12:34 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

'Shabbat Dinner,' Michael Morgenstern Film, Explores Sexuality And Judaism

"Shabbat Dinner" is an award-winning short film from director Michael Morgenstern that portrays a boy's first kiss with the son of his parents' friends during Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest which begins on Friday night.

Having debuted at the Hong Kong International Film Festival and screened at an additional 53 film festivals around the world, "Shabbat Dinner" is a complex exploration of a teen's sexuality and Jewish culture. The success of the film has generated a social media campaign using the hashtag #WhenIToldThem and invites fans to take part by sharing their own coming out story.

"My biggest goal was to make a film for teens going through this kind of experience and tell them that they are not alone," Morgenstern told The Huffington Post. "I've been inspired by the tremendous effect this sort of media has on society at large; when people understand and can laugh along with characters, their demographic becomes less threatening. I see the film as a conflict between two people struggling, through great difficulty, to be (and discover) who they are, and four people doing their best to avoid having to say or notice anything truthful."

Check out the short film above and visit this website for the possibility of a live Q&A with the director. Additional information is also available on Facebook and Twitter.

Love Morgenstern's work? Check out the trailer for his new project, "Lily in the Grinder."

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