Sugar23 to Develop Jean Meltzer’s “The Matzah Ball” as a Feature, Lance Bass Productions Production

EXCLUSIVE: Sugar23 has opted for the rights to author Jean Meltzer’s debut novel, The Matzah Ball, with plans to develop as a feature film. Sugar23 will produce with Lance Bass Productions, Brett Gursky and Ben Savage. Michael Sugar, Ashley Zalta and Bass of Sugar 23 will serve as producers. Meltzer, Gursky, Drew Pokorny of Lance Bass Productions, Savage and Jillian Kay of Sugar23 will serve as executive producers.

The book is an alternative holiday love story, follows Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt, a “nice Jewish girl‚” with a secret: she loves Christmas. As the best-selling author of more than twenty Christmas romance novels and four made-for-TV spin-off films, she hid her glittering career from her observant Jewish family for more than a decade. But when Rachel’s publishing house tells her she won’t renew her contract unless she writes them a Hanukkah romance, she desperately needs some inspiration. She finds it in the form of the Matzah Ball, a celebration of high-end Jewish music scheduled for the last night of Hanukkah. There’s only one problem: tickets are sold out and the only way to get one is directly from the balloon’s creator, who just happens to be Jacob Greenberg, his nemesis from summer camp.

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“As a chronically ill Jewish woman who has been homebound for almost a decade, choosing The Matzah Ball is nothing short of a dream come true. I couldn’t be more excited to idea of ​​partnering with Lance Bass, Brett Gursky, Ben Savage, Michael Sugar and the incredible team at Sugar23. I know that their creative vision, combined with their many years of film and television expertise, will transform The Matzah Ball into an instant holiday classic,” Meltzer said.

The Matzah Ball was published by MIRA on September 28, 2021. The book was warmly received and Popsugar, Buzzfeed and Bustle each named it one of their most anticipated titles of 2021. The novel was also named Apple Best Audio Book of the Year and a Jewish Book Council Book of the Month Pick.

“When we first read Jean’s book, we all immediately saw the film come to life and were excited from the start to get involved. With Jean’s source material combined with the team that we’ve brought together, we’re confident the film will become not just a beloved romantic comedy, but an instant holiday classic…but this time centered around Hanukkah,” said Sugar, Bass, Savage and Gursky. .

UTA brokered the deal on behalf of Carolyn Forde and Marilyn Biderman of Transatlantic Agency, who represent Meltzer.

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