Filmmaker Bryan Fogel and actor Ivan Sergei talk ‘Jewtopia’

Writer/director Bryan Fogel and actor Ivan Sergei recently spoke with “Breakthrough Entertainment” about their new comedy “Jewtopia.”

In “Jewtopia,” which opens Friday, Sept. 20 exclusively at Harkins Valley Art, Sergei plays a man who, desperate to keep the girl of his dreams (Jennifer Love Hewitt), turns to his best friend (Joel David Moore) to teach him how to “act Jewish.” However, his friend has problems of his own with a fiancé (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) pushing him closer to a mental breakdown as their wedding approaches.

Listen to “Breakthrough Entertainment’s” full interview with Fogel and Sergei by clicking HERE. The following is an excerpt from the interview in which the writer/director and actor discuss “Jewtopia’s” universally relatable comic sensibility.

There are some things that kind of came from a personal place in a sense of myself growing up Jewish and just all of the kind of craziness that goes along with it and mining that for humor. But then there is so much stuff in the movie that has nothing at all to do with being Jewish or religion. It’s just comedy. And I think that you just never know if other people are going to share your sensibility until you see it in front of an audience.

That is always the ultimate excitement of comedy. You come up with something and go, ‘I think this is funny. I think people are going to laugh.’ But you really never know. Even when I first saw the film in front of an audience, I sat there and went, ‘Oh my God! I hope that they find this moment funny.’ Then it would get a laugh and I would go, ‘OK, phew!’ That is always the excitement of comedy – when you are sitting there, watching it and wondering, are people liking this or are they not liking this? With comedy, it is very intimate.” – Bryan Fogel

Bryan was using the Jewish stereotype for comedy and all but, really, this is a story that a lot of people can understand because everybody has parents. Everybody loves their parents, hates their parents, loves their wife, hates their wife, etc. It is kind of universal in that sense. It is a people piece. It is really just about different personalities. Ultimately, you have just got a lot of different people in different walks of life being crazy. And it was just a lot of fun to do.” – Ivan Sergei

Joseph J. Airdo

Joseph J. Airdo is a film critic, producer and on-air personality for Breakthrough Entertainment, a talk radio show airing 10-11 a.m. Saturdays on KPHX 1480 AM and that shines a spotlight on the practical perspectives of the topics and themes explored in movies. He has a pet duck named Frozen who is as opinionated about movies as he is. E-mail him at

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