Born in Santiago, Chile, Salvador Alejandro Litvak moved to New York at age five. As a gangly Jewtino redhead, he forever felt like an outsider, but he was also blessed with a few good friends, lots of adventures, and one preposterous dream after another; dreams he realized by falling on his face early and often, and always getting up for more. These challenges included a state cycling championship, an ivy league degree, rowing on a championship crew team, earning a black belt in tae kwon do, and making When Do We Eat?
Litvak majored in English and graduated with honors from Harvard College. As an immigrant, he honored his parents' wishes that he enter a safe profession and enrolled at NYU Law School. It was during this period, however, that he looked deep inside and discovered that his parents' plans for him were just that: his parents' plans. In search of his real self, he filled many journals, wrote poems, and even had a short career as a performance artist in Greenwich Village. He realized, however, that he'd never make rent telling his Stories for Voice, Drum and Ladders, and so moved on to more serious writing. Litvak did practice mergers & acquisitions law for two years at powerhouse firm Skadden Arps, but he worked on his first novel in every spare moment and earnestly sought a way to turn his avocation into an occupation. The surprise answer arrived when a friend went to film school.
A filmmaking career had simply never appeared on Litvak's radar - if asked who gets to direct movies, he would have said, "Children of celebrities?" It seemed like such a long shot, and he was still holding law school loans, so he applied to one film school, UCLA, the only affordable choice among the top three. Knowing they would accept only 18 of 700 applicants, he figured he'd end up writing novels, but "if fate plays its hand, I'll ride with it." Amazingly, he talked his way in, and it was at film school that he found his true calling, and won numerous prizes for his short films. After graduating, Litvak got by as a script reader, film professor, building manager, and tae kwon do instructor, all the while writing scripts and chasing that ever-elusive financing for his first feature. Not once, nor twice, but three times he had a picture set up, only to receive the heartbreaking call that the deal fell through.
Unwilling to wait any longer for somebody else's green light, Litvak teamed up with his writing-partner, wife and soulmate, Nina Davidovich, to pen a small Passover comedy, one that could be shot with their friends and a video camera if necessary. They would not compromise, however, on three points: 1) the picture had to matter, so they drew from experiences that mattered in their own lives; 2) it had to be cinematic, which led to the biblical tent and the father's hallucinations; and 3) it had to make people laugh. Funnily enough, it was precisely these three elements which impressed executive producer Horatio Kemeny enough to ask, "What do you need?" and for that, Sal Litvak will be forever grateful.
Sal’s next project is Saving Lincoln, a movie of the people, by the people and for the people.