The Hollywood filmmaker and humanitarians offered seed financing through their Righteous Persons Foundation for Jewish Story Partners, a new film foundation unveiled Thursday, to be led by filmmaker Roberta Grossman and former Sundance senior programmer Caroline Libresco.
The goal is to tell more social justice stories and expand the range of stories reflecting Jewish lives. “There is nothing like storytelling to foster connections and help us understand life’s deepest truths. We are especially proud to help establish this initiative — which will make visible a fuller range of Jewish voices, identities, experiences and perspectives — at a time when social divisions run painfully deep and mainstream depictions too often fail to reflect the Jewish community in all its complexity,” Spielberg and Capshaw said in a joint statement as the new film foundation, headquartered in Los Angeles, was unveiled.
Jewish Story Partners has $2 million in launch financing also from the Maimonides Fund and the Jim Joseph Foundation. Grossman will serve as producing director and Libresco becomes artistic director to support Jewish stories that challenge established positions and confront difficult realities.
That includes reflecting a rapidly evolving sense of Jewish identity and diversity beyond a sense of belonging to one Jewish people. With around 15 percent of American Jews identifying as Jews of color — including those from African, Asian or Latin American countries — the new film foundation will tell a broader range of Jewish stories.
“We hope that JSP projects will long be a source of meaning within the Jewish community and beyond,” Spielberg and Capshaw added.
“We’re thrilled to create something that is both additive to the independent film community as well as critical to the Jewish arts and culture landscape,” added co-directors Grossman and Libresco in their own statement.