in ,

Interview: Aleeza Chanowitz on Her Very Funny, Boundary-Pushing Sundance-Selected Israeli Comedy ‘Chanshi’ 

Many observant Jews go to Israel, typically to study or to find a way to be closer to their heritage. But for Chanshi, the protagonist of the Israeli series from HOT that is screening at the Sundance Film Festival in the Indie Episodic program, she just wants to have sex with Israeli soldiers. What ensues is a comedy that also has a lot to say about religion and culture.

Awards Radar had the chance to speak to Aleeza Chanowitz, creator and star of the show, ahead of the show’s first Park City, Utah screening. Among the topics discussed were whether this edgy and entertaining show was difficult to make:

“It’s an interesting question, because when the woman from the network first approached me, they were in a different place then then they are now, five years later, so along the way, there definitely were fears that this was not what their viewers are watching. I think that was the most fearful thing. Are they going to let me finish it? I was wondering, while I get to the next stage?”

On getting Henry Winkler and Caroline Aaron on board to play her parents:

“To get them on board, it was easy. They were interested, and that was surprising…Actually working with them was great. They were super professional. They asked questions, they took direction, they brought feedback. They wanted to do a good job. They weren’t doing us a favor. They came to work. That was really relieving.”

Watch the full conversation below and check out our review of the series.

The first four episodes of Chanshi are screening as part of the Indie Episodic Program at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments



Written by Abe Friedtanzer

Snubs and Surprises from the Academy Award Nominations

The Academy is Looking Into the Grassroots Andrea Riseborough Campaign