Pittsburgh, PA October 30, 2008
The latest installment of the “Agent Emes” video series has arrived in stores and is being snapped up quickly by its enthusiastic, ever-growing fan base. The creation of Pittsburgh-based filmmaker, Leibel Cohen, “Agent Emes” follows the exploits of a pre-teen secret agent who dresses in a trenchcoat, fedora, sunglasses, and fake mustache while venturing out to fight the forces of evil. Each episode packs humor, adventure and excitement into unique stories that explore multiple aspects of Jewish philosophy and tradition.
“Agent Emes” was started in 2003 and originally featured Cohen’s son, Sholom Ber, in the title role. When the young actor outgrew the part, a search was undertaken to find a suitable replacement. Cohen received video audition tapes from all over the U.S. before he decided on a local boy, Yissachar Shollar, who came in to audition shortly before the final decision was made. “Yissachar has that intangible quality that you always look for; a certain naturalness in front of the camera that cannot be taught,” Cohen explained. He and his small crew of five filmed for over a month this past summer, getting three episodes “in the can” before Yissachar had to leave town for other obligations. “We’re trying a new approach this time”, Cohen explains. “It’s clear that there is a hunger out there for more stories, so I decided to release more episodes, more often, to satisfy the craving of our fans.”
The sixth episode is called “Hard To Forget”, and is the first of a two-part story, which ends in classic “cliffhanger” form. “I took a chance on that one,” said Cohen, “A few people have called to complain, but I think in general the audience ‘gets it’, and what they really want to know is when the conclusion will be coming out.” Fans won’t have to wait long to see the story’s outcome. Cohen plans to release the seventh episode by Chanukah time.
In addition to adding a new star, the series has a new villain as well: Pittsburgh acting legend Sam Nicotero has taken over the role of Agent Emes’ chief antagonist, Uncle Evil. “Sam is great”, extols Cohen, “bringing in a new personality like his made it much easier to create the new character. Not only that, but he has a great chemistry with Greg Caridi (who plays his sidekick ‘Clarence’).”
Thanks to Cohen and his talented cast of characters, Jewish children from observant families finally have a hero they can call their own in the form of high-quality, entertaining videos called “Agent Emes.”