Latke vs Hamantash: The Movie

The film about the debate about the food.

Project type: Nonfiction Feature
Project status: Post Production
Director/Executive Producer: Amy Krause
Editor/Post Production Producer: David Beerman
Animator/Graphic Designer: Marilyn Zornado
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This documentary uses the long-standing satirical University of Chicago’s Latke Hamantash Debate as a framework to explore Jewish culture, revealing both the seriousness and utter absurdity of one of the most passionately debated topics in history.


The heart and soul of this documentary is the University of Chicago’s Latke Hamantash Debate. It is also the main character and connective tissue of the narrative thread of the film. The documentary weaves together the story of the debate that has been happening annually for almost 80 years, with the stories of the latke, Hanukkah, the hamantash, and Purim, which have been told for centuries. At the U of C this debate is limited to the academic elite, but this film makes the debate accessible to all.

As the audience is introduced to the conceit of the debate they realize they are entering a world of the academically elite, where intellectual rigor is engaged with razor sharp wit, at the expense of participating professors themselves & their academic disciplines to defend the virtues of either the latke or the hamantash. A dissertation, SNL style.

Since 1946, Nobel laureates, MacArthur Genius Grant recipients & university presidents have answered the call to the debate stage. The rules of engagement at U of C are simple: each debater must have a PhD, and the argument for which is better – the pancake or the pastry – must be made from the debater’s area of academic expertise. The stakes are high. Not only do the participants need to exemplify extraordinary debate skills, to an audience of their peers & students. They must also adeptly and humorously apply the principles of their area of expertise in a unique & convincing way, all while exhibiting an understanding of thousands of years of Jewish history & culinary arts.

The documentary starts as a fun, lighthearted yet deep dive into a quirky subculture at an intellectually elite university, and ends up being a reflective celebration of Jewish culture.

Meet the Filmmakers

Amy Krause – Director/Executive Producer
Amy Krause is an award-winning content producer. Working with brands both large and small for over 20 years, she’s managed everything from major commercial productions with million-dollar budgets, to pro-bono PSAs and short films. She has a passion for bringing stories to life that resonate with her values.

David Beerman – Editor/Post Production Producer
David Beerman is a Los Angeles based editor with over 15 years experience. Beginning his career in commercials, he later expanded into narrative filmmaking, working with other editors on films such as The Bronze which opened Sundance in 2015 and The Pirates of Somalia which premiered at Tribeca in 2017. David continued with the feature documentary, Day One, shown on PBS nationwide, and the forthcoming documentary feature Clean Wine. He began his television career editing numerous episodes of the docu-series The Chef Show directed by Jon Favreau on Netflix. David is working on The Curse of Oak Island, which is the highest rated show on the History Channel.

Marilyn Zornado – Animator/Graphic Designer
Marilyn Zornado is a director, animator, motion graphics artist, and calligrapher. After a career as Senior Producer at Will Vinton Studios, she now works
full time as an artist and educator. She is currently in production with Academy Award-winning director Joan C. Gratz, working on special effects for an independent short film. Marilyn teaches motion graphics and animated arts classes at PNCA in the BFA program. She is a member of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences and ASIFA International.

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