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Getting "Religulous" in The YouTube Screening Room

By Sara Pollack

YouTube Film

Today marks the beginning of something new in The YouTube Screening Room, our recently launched platform for premium film content. It's the beginning of a one-month sponsorship by Lionsgate, during which upcoming releases from the Hollywood studio have set the theme for the selection of independent short films you'll see featured in the program.

For the next two weeks, we're showcasing a hilarious line-up of religious satires in honor of Bill Maher's forthcoming documentary, Religulous, directed by Borat's Larry Charles, in which Maher examines the state of religious fundamentalism around the world.

Our selection of short films, which broach the topics of religion and spirituality with irreverence reminiscent of Mr. Maher's, include Bob Odenkirk's "The Pity Card," from the US, in which Odenkirk, a former Saturday Night Live writer, explores modern Jewish identity through the awkward lens of a first date at the Holocaust Museum; Stephen Irwin's "Ascension," from Australia, in which a man accidentally stumbles upon his neighbor's apocalyptic cult, risking more than a good night's sleep; the Oscar-nominated, "Give Up Yer Aul Sins," from Ireland, a cartoon in which a young Irish schoolgirl offers a rather unconventional retelling of the story of John the Baptist; and Zam Salim's BAFTA-nominated, "Laid Off," from the UK, in which a recently deceased young man mourns his own carelessness in concealing his "private reading material" before his death.

Curious to see which upcoming film sets the tone of the next selection? Then check back in two weeks to find out!

Happy viewing,

Sara P.