The Tribe hits #1 on iTunes


A documentary about Jewish identity is in the #1 spot of most downloaded short films on iTunes.

Tiffany Shlain, director of “The Tribe,” a humorous look at American Jewish identity through the lens of Barbie, says she launched her film on iTunes Oct. 2, hoping to crack the top 10 list. It is now the first independent documentary to hit #1, Shlain notes.

“This says there’s an audience that wants to watch documentaries about American Jewish identity,” says Shlain, who lives in Mill Valley, CA. “This opens the doors for other filmmakers and expands the options of what is available to download.”

The other films in the top 10 are all by major studies such as Disney and Pixnar, except for the indie “West Bank Story,” in the #7 spot, which won this year’s Academy Award for Best Short Film.

ITunes is the premier online provider of music and films for downloading. Unlike YouTube, the site is curated.

“The Tribe,” released in December 2005, was shown at 75 film festivals, including Sundance and Tribeca, and won nine awards. It is available at, along with a discussion kit that is used by educators in many Jewish and secular classrooms.

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