Rachel Israel (‘13) is in the process of adapting her Columbia thesis film Keep the Change into a feature. Tangerine Entertainment, a production company that focuses on films by women directors, has teamed up with producer Summer Shelton to produce the film.
A romantic drama, the film will star non-professional actors Brandon Polanksy and Samantha Elisofon (both of who appeared in the thesis short) as two individuals with autism who fall in love. Polanksy stars as David, a man who tries to hide his high-functioning autism, but is nonetheless forced to attend a support group for people with disabilities. There he meets Elisofon's character, a shy woman with autism. Keep the Change will go into production in spring of 2015.
Israel has written and directed numerous short films and screened at Festivals such as Slamdance and Florida Film Festival. She was an Associate Producer on Academy Award winner Geoffrey Fletcher’s Violet and Daisy, which was released in 2013. Keep the Change premiered in May 2013 at the Columbia University Film Festival, where it won top prize with the Focus Features Best Film Award.