The Holy Land

Written and directed by Gorlin, The Holy Land was shot in Israel and tells the story of a rabbinical student who falls in love with a Russian prostitute during a wave of terrorist bus bombings. The Holy Land played theatrically in over fifty cities with an eleven-week run at the Angelica Film Center in New York City. It won the Grand Jury Prize at the Slamdance Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Avignon Film Festival.  For his directorial debut, Gorlin was nominated for an IFP Spirit Award.

Martin Eisenstadt

Just after the 2008 election, noted McCain advisor Martin Eisenstadt took credit for being the anonymous source who told Fox News that Sarah Palin didn’t know that Africa was a continent. MSNBC ran with Martin’s admission as “breaking news.” Two days later, the New York Times revealed that Martin Eisenstadt, an avid blogger and purported head of a conservative think tank, was a fictitious character created by two filmmakers, Eitan Gorlin and Dan Mirvish, with Gorlin playing Eisenstadt. The story got picked up by the Associated Press, the Washington Post, ABC News, CNN, NPR, BBC and media outlets in virtually every country in the world.

Eisnestadt’s blog hit 500,000 page views, and Gorlin and Mirvish were offered a book deal by the prestigious New York publishing house, Farrar, Straus and Giroux. I am Martin Eisenstadt: One Man’s (Wildly Inappropriate) Adventures with the Last Republicans became a critical hit and cult classic—one of the Top 3 books of the year, according to the Washington Monthly. Click here to read more about the book.

This is a sizzle reel (edited with Ari Pinchot and Interface Media Group) of the videos Gorlin and Mirvish co-wrote, co-directed and proliferated during the campaign:

Our Uncle from the Bronx

Directed by Gorlin, Our Uncle from the Bronx chronicles the colorful life of Stan Hoffman, a legendary boxing manager. With thirty-eight World Champions, Stan was an integral behind-the-scenes player in boxing for more than two decades. Before he even entered boxing, Stan achieved tremendous success in the music business, owning the iconic disco label Prelude Records, and working with such luminaries as Chubby Checker, Fats Domino and Tito Puente.

No stranger to scandal, Stan was called before the Senate twice, once in music during the Payola hearings and once in boxing during its investigation into organized crime. A real life example of how business used to be done before corporations and computers took over, Stan is a walking history book with much to teach about doing one’s best at life.

A work in progress, here is a preview:

The Bitter Valet Ad Campaign

The Bitter Valet character, played by Gorlin, was first introduced in Sheldon, a short film that screened at the HBO Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen and the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. He then appeared in a succession of seemingly pro-Rudy Giuliani campaign ads, which became the most talked about stealth viral videos of the 2008 presidential primary season. After media like ABC News and the New York Times suggested they were too extreme to be real ads and could be a negative campaign launched by one of Giuliani’s rivals, the McCain, Romney and Obama campaigns denied their complicity. Even the consulting company responsible for the anti-John Kerry Swift Boat was pressured into vigorously denying their involvement. No one in Washington ever suspected that the hit viral campaign was the brainchild of two award-winning filmmakers (Eitan Gorlin and Dan Mirvish) trying to promote a sitcom pilot they wrote centered around this character. It would eventually lead to the creation of Martin Eisenstadt—an even bigger transmedia project the next year.

Here is the short film Sheldon: