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Di Kovboy

A cowboy goes and proves to the world that being a Jew doesn't mean he can't be a cowboy.

  • Max R. Zabell
  • Max R. Zabell
  • Ari Zabell
  • Michelle Zabell
  • Sara Eustaquio
  • Tristan Boesch
  • Tristan Boesch
    Key Cast
    "Ira the Cowboy"
  • Max Zabell
    Key Cast
    "Canary James"
  • Rebecca Lerman
    Key Cast
    "Mama Cowboy"
  • Sara Eustaquio
    Director of Photography
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Di Kovboy
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Western, short, comedy, dark comedy
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 52 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 11, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, RED
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Max R. Zabell

Max R. Zabell was born in Kirkland Washington and raised in Vancouver Washington. Max started Filmmaking in his 9th-grade year at his arts high school, VSAA. He was accepted to the film program at the California Institute of the Arts and is set to graduate in the spring of 2021.
His films have been described as very narrative. Max has been known to adapt stories from other mediums and write scripts and produce shorts. Max has also created many wrote and directed many original shorts.
Max is highly talented both as a thinker about film and as a maker of images. As a person, Max is friendly, resourceful and collaborative. He is also generous, and while able to focus strongly on his own work, is open and willing to assist and support others.
During high school, he had a part-time job working on set of
V-Force: New Dawn of V.I.C.T.O.R.Y. (2017) directed by Frank E. Johnson. He worked as a practical special effects artist. This is where Max developed his love for production.
Since then, Max has worked on many productions as miscellaneous crew members, (director, director of photography, assistant camera, assistant director, boom operator, gaffer, production manager, make-up artist, grip.

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Director Statement

Di Kovboy or The Cowboy in English is a film about a Jews journey to become a cowboy. He must face physical obstacles and the oppression of the people who want him to conform to his stereotypes. When making this film I originally thought about a comedy where the cowboy is the opposite of every cowboy in the westerns: dorky, unheroic, a putz. I think I said something around the lines of “he is supposed to be if Woody Allen was a cowboy.” This unintentionally sparked a new, better story. I did some research and found Jews are usually represented as bankers, lawyers, or doctors in westerns. Fitting into the Jewish stereotype.

I started thinking about my life, and how it fits into a Jewish stereotype. My great grandfather Seymore was a roofer in Manhattan and saved money for most of his life. He married my great grandmother Florie and had two sons. Richard and Stan. Richard being my grandpa had three kids. Ari my father who later got his doctorate in veterinary medicine. Saul my uncle who is now a lawyer in Long Island. And Zvi Tov who is an occupational therapist who disappointed his mother for not becoming an “actual doctor.” Luckily for me, my father is more or less a holiday Jew. I remember one year for Passover we couldn’t find a lamb shank so we got a pork chop bone from yesterday’s dinner and placed it on the seder plate. And my mother who is Cuban American has, strangely enough, adopted many qualities of a Jewish mother, but then again Cubans are considered the Jews of the Carribean. I can still count my blessings and say I wasn’t raised in a family that had a lot of expectations on what I became one day (I'm at CalArts for crying out loud.) However, my family from New York I had a lot more pressure to get an actual job. I had a doctor, accountant, lawyer, banker, and a lot more “actual” jobs pushed on me. My immediate family, however, was very supportive, just as long as I'm employable one day.