Announcing Hey Alma’s Fifth Annual Hanukkah Movie Pitch Challenge

We need the light and joy of this contest even more this year.

For the last four winter holiday seasons, we at Hey Alma have hosted our Hanukkah Movie Pitch Challenge with great excitement. Asking our readers to submit a synopsis for their ideal Hanukkah movie, the wide variety of entries we’ve received each year, spanning genres from classic rom-com to heist movie to stoner romp to Hanukkah horror, has been truly inspiring. Last year, the winner was Beth Kander with her original Hanukkah rom-com thriller, “I Made It Out of Clay.”

Here’s the poster we made for Beth’s masterpiece — it is quite good if we do say so ourselves:

I Made It Out of Clay
Design by Avital Dayanim

This holiday season, for obvious reasons, things are a little different.

Ever since October 7, the ongoing crisis in Israel and Gaza has been at the forefront of our minds and hearts here at Hey Alma. During this time, we’ve served our community through our guide on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, tips for assessing reliable news sources, community event for grieving and playlists of Jewish songs with messages of healing and hope. As the Hanukkah season approached, the Hey Alma team wondered if it made sense to host our beloved Hanukkah Movie Pitch Challenge this year, what with all the darkness and suffering in the world right now.

Ultimately, we decided that yes, we need the Hanukkah movie pitch challenge this year more than ever. Hanukkah is about bringing light and joy into the world, after all, and our community is exceptionally good at doing that.

As in previous years, the contest parameters are wide open: You can pitch us any genre of film. It can be about a Jew celebrating Hanukkah. Or a Jew on Christmas. Or a Jew just generally living through the December holidays. We’ll take gritty action films. Epic historical romances. An animated family romp. Or, obviously, you can stick with the classic and give us the cheeseball Hanukkah Hallmark film of your dreams.

Will the winning movie idea get made? Sorry, the answer to that is still no. But the winner will get fame, glory and a custom-designed digital movie poster for their idea that they are free to brag about until the next Festival of Lights.

The details:

  1. Enter by using this form. Submissions will be open until Friday, Dec. 1 at 9 a.m. ET. We are looking for the name of your Hanukkah movie and a one-paragraph description of the plot. Feel free to namedrop the cast, though that is not required. Take inspiration from last year’s finalists.
  2. On Dec. 6, check back here for how to vote on the finalists.
  3. We’ll announce the winner on Dec. 13 — just in time for you to brag about it at your Last Night of Hanukkah Party!

We can’t wait to read all your entries and bring some Hanukkah joy to the Hey Alma community!

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