2021 Winners of the Pears Short Film Fund at UK Jewish Film

The highly regarded Pears Short Film Fund at UK Jewish Film is delighted to announce this year’s two film production award winners: ‘Make Me a King’ and ‘Hold My Hand’.

Chosen from among 62 new film scripts, these two film projects were each awarded £13,500 for production of their short films, which will be premiered at the 25th UK Jewish Film Festival in early November 2021. Both scripts were chosen for their unique representation of British-Jewish life, culture and experience.

The 2021 Pears Short Film at UK Jewish Film jury comprised:

Nicholas Martin – award-winning screenwriter of films and TV, including Florence Foster Jenkins, Between The Lines, Big Bad World and many others

Marilyn Milgrom – actor, casting director, TV director, producer and a script consultant to the BFI Film Fund. Marilyn developed various films including Suffragette, Dark River, A Syrian Love Story and many others.

Jonny Persey – Film Producer and Director of Met Film School, London

Judy Ironside MBE – Founder and President of UK Jewish Film

Michael Etherton – Chief Executive of UK Jewish Film



director: Sofia Olins

writer: Natalie Arle-Toyne

producer: Martina Russo

Ari, a Drag King ostracised by her family, clings to her hero, Pepi Littman, the first Jewish proto-Drag King, who performed in the early 20th century. In a moment when Ari is looking for acceptance and family, will she be finally able embrace herself and her true voice? History and present come together in this music-loving and brave story.


director/writer:  Dean Marriott

producer: Steven Jeram

When Esther, an elderly Jewish lady with dementia meets her great-granddaughter’s boyfriend, Lucas in London, she has flashbacks to her childhood in 1930s Berlin and is enabled to fulfil an outstanding promise. Hold My Hand explores the concept of memory and hope in the face of adversity.

Applying for the Pears Short Film Fund at UK Jewish Film

Two grants of up to £13,500 are available for the production of a short film – drama, animation or factual –  with a Jewish theme of significance to both Jewish and general audiences. The fund focusses on supporting the production and exhibition of short films that reflect British-Jewish stories, life, history and culture. Areas of relevance include identity, interfaith, assimilation, integration, antisemitism and racism.

Maximum length – 10 minutes. The judging panel is drawn from experienced professionals in the British film and television industry and the scheme is open to all filmmakers resident in the UK.

Applications for the 2021 fund are now closed (as of 11th January 2021).

If you have any queries, please email: shortfilmfund@ukjewishfilm.org.

World Premiere of 2017 Pears Short Film Fund at UKJF Winners

World Premiere screening of the Pears Short Film Fund at UK Jewish Film winning films The Master of York and The Outer Circle. Followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.

Saturday 11 Nov 8pm, JW3

Sponsored by Pears Foundation

Sign up to our newsletter

To receive the latest info about our film festivals, year-round screenings and events, or to adjust your newsletter preferences