Private Project

The Shabbos Goy

THE SHABBOS GOY noun /ˈSHäbəs / goi/
1 – a non-Jew who performs certain tasks which religious law prohibits a Jew from doing on the Sabbath.
2 – a human loophole.

LOGLINE: God literally forbids she turn off a vibrator gone rogue, so an Orthodox Jew sets out on a quest to find someone who can.

  • Talia Osteen
  • Talia Osteen
  • Paul Feig
    Bridesmaids, Freaks & Geeks, The Heat, Spy, The Office, Ghostbusters
  • Laura Fischer
    Powderkeg Productions
  • Kesila Childers
    Powderkeg Productions
  • Jesse Schiller
  • Milana Vayntrub
    Key Cast
    This Is Us, Love
  • Devere Rogers
    Key Cast
    Will & Grace, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  • Tami Sagher
    Key Cast
    Don't Think Twice, Inside Amy Schumer
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 54 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 16, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Austin Film Festival
    United States
  • Napa Valley Film Festival
    United States
  • Florida Film Festival
    Orlando, Florida
    Audience Award for Best Short Film
  • Series Fest
    United States
    June 23, 2019
    North American Premiere
  • NewFilmmaker LA
  • Omaha Film Festival
  • San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

    Film Movement Award for Best Narrative Short
  • Orlando International Film Festival
Director Biography - Talia Osteen

TALIA OSTEEN recently made her feature directorial debut with a raucous and poignant comedy, SEX APPEAL, for HULU and American High Productions, to be released January 14th 2022! It stars Margaret Cho, Fortune Feimster, Paris Jackson, Mika Abdalla and Jake Short.

She is a recent fellow of comedy powerhouse Paul Feig’s Powderkeg Fuse Directing Incubator Program where she wrote and directed, THE SHABBOS GOY, which has been celebrated at festivals including Just For Laughs, the Austin Film Festival, the Florida Film Festival and more. Talia is developing a feature version of the film with Feig Co.

The multi-hyphenate storyteller got her start in the industry as an actress, starring in 5 national TV series before her passion for storytelling prompted her to move behind the camera. Talia graduated from USC's Cinema-Television Production program and went on to direct feature documentary, BLINDSIDED (HBO). She honed her skills on the producing side, becoming Head of Development and Production for NYC-based Overnight Films (MACHETE, THE LUCKY ONES, 13, BLACK SWAN).

Talia is also an established musician. Her band The Wellspring toured with Pete Yorn & Ben Kweller. They’ve released 5 albums and composed scores for Bravo/Netflix dramatic series IMPOSTERS and comedy features COFFEE TOWN (HBO/CollegeHumor) & SLOW LEARNERS (IFC/Netflix).

Talia brings her breadth of experience to her directing and writing. Currently, her slate of projects in development include: LAVENDER MENACE, a one-hour series she co-created with Sara Hess (ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, HOUSE) and Laurie Wheeler at ABC Signature Studios with Kerry Washington & Simpson Street producing, an original half-hour pilot THE MOTHER LOAD, and an adaptation of the German drama series 8 DAYS at Universal TV, and she is attached to direct feature rom com JANE AUSTEN’S GUIDE TO DATING with Robert Lawrence (CLUELESS) and Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith (LEGALLY BLONDE, 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU) producing.

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Director Statement

As a filmmaker, I like to use the power of subversion in my storytelling; setting up and then flipping expectations of characters, plot, visual style, and genre conventions. I turn things over and look for unique, illuminating angles. I want to make comedies that make people cry, and dramas that make people laugh.

As a Jewish woman in an interfaith, inter-racial, same-sex family, who can “pass” as straight, “All-American” and Christian, I live with a foot in two worlds, which has allowed me to connect with people in surprising ways. I regularly upend assumptions made about me (especially in the South where I grew up). In school, I was one of the first Jewish people many of my classmates had ever met and I fielded all sorts of questions (like, “How come you don’t look Jewish?” and “If you’re Jewish, then where are your horns?”). I witnessed people open their minds as differences that had seemed so foreign to them before, now seemed less alien after getting to know someone who embodied those differences, but looked like them.

THE SHABBOS GOY is a special project for me in that it centers a character we almost never see centered in a comedy - a young Orthodox Jewish woman - and asks the audience to consider her as a person facing universal experiences (the desire to please your family, your potential spouse & their family… humiliation in having intimate details of your personal life potentially revealed), in unique circumstances. I loved bringing Hannah together with Davian’s character - a young Black medical student outside of her Orthodox community. He’s not someone she would normally interact with, but he comes to her rescue in the most comical of ways. In a time when hate crimes against both the Jewish and Black communities are sadly increasingly prevalent, I wanted to bring these two worlds together in a way that highlights the underlying similarities that bind us all as human beings, appreciates that which makes us each distinct, and allows us to laugh together at the absurdity that life often throws our way.