When a Jewish high school history teacher wears his yarmulke to school for the first time, he suddenly becomes the target for extreme abuse. Exploring the darkest side of humanity, Ivver speaks on issues of discrimination and Anti-Semitism.
Inclusion StatementIvver shines light on issues still faced by the Jewish community after years of persecution. In addition, it gives a voice to other minority communities both on and off screen, with a diverse crew putting together the story.
About The Project
"Ok. I've noticed what's going on."
The story follows Matt Kowalski a high school history teacher, a loving husband, and a caring father who suddenly has to face the aggressive prejudice of his students and colleagues once they find out that he is Jewish.
Matt has a happy home life and is well respected by his students and co-workers in the school he teaches at. One day, Matt decides to wear his yarmulke to school for his lecture on the Holocaust. Without warning, the school turns against him and Matt suddenly becomes a target of discrimination and torture. In the end, we truly see how the history of Matt’s people has come to haunt him.
“We don’t like your kind around here.”
Ivver sheds light on the problem of discrimination.
The protagonist, Matt, faces discrimination that the Jewish community has been facing for centuries from the horrific events of the Holocaust to the recent shooting at the Pittsburgh Synogague. The film's themes speak on issues of abuse that not only apply to the Jewish community but any marginalized group.
A note from our director,
My entire family is Jewish through and through. However, from a young age I began lacking confidence in my Jewish heritage after experiencing anti-semitism at my public school where I was greeted with Nazi salutes and various slurs when some of my peers became aware of my Jewish identity. I hope that Ivver can spark a conversation around anit-semitism and discrimination by highlighting the profoundly negative impact that these behviors can have on an individual.
- Evan Siegal
Nowadays social justice issues are being brought up in the mainstream media with films such as Get Out or The Hate U Give. Ivver is a project with similar themes but instead focuses on the Jewish perspective, which is one that is not too commonly addressed.
By contributing to this project you will help spread awareness regarding discrimination the Jewish community faces to this day.
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About This Team
The Ivver Team
Evan Siegal (Co-writer/Director)
Evan is currently a Junior in the USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles, California. Evan first took an interest in filmmaking when he was tasked to make documentary films for his high school marching band. Years later, with 3 short films and a variety of side projects under his belt, he is ready to take on his most ambitious project yet: Ivver. After experiencing harassment while growing up as a Jew along with the growth of anti-Semitism across the globe, Evan has decided to pursue his passion project that directly addresses these issues in the world and how he has been affected by them.
Erik He (Co-writer)
Erik is a Junior in USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Film and Television Production Program. Growing up in Dubai, Malmo, New Jersey, and Montreal, Erik has had the experience of interacting and adopting various cultural elements in which he utilizes as a foundation for his artistic inspirations. His first short film Lemniscate won Best Open Short at the FLAK Polish Film Festival and Best Editing at the INNOVENTURES Film Festival in Dubai. Erik strongly believes in providing content that’s both meaningful and engaging but also challenges viewers with new perspectives. This mantra has led him to work with the talented Evan Siegal, a close friend of his, and to work on his biggest project yet.
Vasilisa Belokon (Associate Producer)
Vasilisa is a current Sophmore at USC, majoring in Cinema and Media Studies with a minor in Entertainment Industry. She is natively Russian, raised in Madrid, Spain. Vasilisa has directed several short films, both narrative and documentaries. One of her most notable accomplishments was winning the award of 'best director' for one of her most recent shorts Perspicacia, or "Insight" in English, at the Cinerama Film Festival in Valladolid, Spain. Vasilisa takes great interest and hopes to build a career in directing and producing. She is passionate about telling and collaborating on stories that shed light on current social problems, hence her participation in assoicate producing Ivver.
Catherine Deptuch (Associate Producer)
Catherine is currently an associate producer on the film, Ivver. She is a writer, director, and producer based in Los Angeles – originally from New Jersey – pursuing a BFA in Film and TV Production at the University of Southern California. She creates short films and music videos with unique character-driven stories, usually incorporating a coming-of-age element and with music as a driving force. During her time at USC, Catherine has worked as an associate producer, first assistant director, first assistant camera, and script supervisor on various undergraduate and graduate films as well as the USC-run television series "Ensemble". She also directed the pilot episode of the independent mini-series "Funny Business". She is the founder and director of Vulcat Studio and www.vulcat.com, and wrote, directed, and produced its most recent bilingual dark comedy short, La Peche de Mort, which has been selected for LA CineFest and Newark IFF. She also was a development intern at Voltage Pictures, the film production and distribution company behind The Hurt Locker, Colossal, and I Feel Pretty. In May 2017, Catherine was a Sales and Marketing Intern for the company as well at the 70th Cannes Film Festival. She is also a regular photographer and videographer at the USC Comedy Festival and the Polish Film Festival of Los Angeles.
Jenell Louissant (Associate Producer)
Jenell Louissaint is a student filmmaker at the University of Southern California with a double major in Cinema and Media Studies and Communications. A Southern California girl born and raised she grew up in the Latino community of Los Angeles and had to navigate her identity as a mixed girl of Mexican, Filipino, and Haitian. She aspires to help bring the faces she grew up around to the forefront of the film and television industry both on and off screen. Since coming to USC she has built up her resume working on fellow student films, grad projects, and now looks forward to acting as associate producer on a story that brings to light the problems of a marginalized group.
Akshay Ravi (Associate Producer)
Akshay is currently a junior in the USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles, CA. He is really passionate about making sure that people from all sorts of backgrounds and upbringings should have the proper chance to be able to see themselves in media and decided to make it his goal to push for films that would further that view, and push for a more tolerant, understanding, empathetic world.
Brandon Le (Director of Photography)
Brandon Le is a recent graduate from USC’s Marshall School of business, where he simultaneously engaged in advanced business curriculum during the week and used any free time to explore cinematography and enhance his skills. He was born in Portland, Oregon, but has also lived a third of his life overseas in Taipei, Taiwan and Shanghai, China. Despite never having one single place to call home, he found stability in pursuing his passion for art in through the performing arts, photography and cinematography. As a cinematographer, Brandon specializes in the visual aspects of filmmaking and is most fascinated by lighting, and sculpting it to create images, rather than merely capture them, as he believes it what separates a great cinematographer from an average one. This has led him to work with many directors to create stunning music videos, short films, commercials, and documentaries. He has also worked as a videographer for acclaimed filmmaker, Freddie Wong, at RocketJump, and is now working to expand his knowledge of lighting by working at Aputure, an LED lighting manufacturer.
Angelo Salgado (Score Composer)
Angelo Salgado (b. 1998) is a Chicano composer and multi-instrumentalist from Miami, FL that now resides in San Antonio. His compositions have been performed by ensembles such as the Austin Symphony Orchestra and as a result of being a featured composer for San Antonio’s recent tricentennial events, the Soli Chamber Ensemble. From screen to stage Angelo is a versatile musician with an inclination towards multiple styles of music and enjoys collaborating with artists of all disciplines. Angelo is currently pursuing a degree in Music Composition at the University of Texas at San Antonio under the direction of James Syler. Angelo is also the founder and leader of Latin r&b/ hip-pop group Mírame (@miramemusic).
Lauryn Henry (Production Designer)
Lauryn Henry is a junior at the University of Southern California studying Cinema & Media Studies as well as pursuing a double minor in Entertainment Industry and Screenwriting. Having worked on the art department of various projects, she is super excited to come onto Iverr as Production Designer!
Emma Cataldo (Editor)
Emma will be the editor and colorist for Ivver. She has been working on films since her freshmen year of high school and has focused on editing ever since being accepted into the University of Southern California. In total, she has had experience of 7 years in post-production. Throughout these years she worked for a variety of clients including NBC Universal's Syfy Network. Emma is originally from Westport, a town outside of New York City. Westport has a sizable Jewish population, so despite not being Jewish Emma is excited to contribute to a project pertaining to a community of people she grew up around.