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Cigar News: Cigar Maker Turned Filmmaker, Marvin Samel, Begins National Tour for His Debut Movie, iMordecai

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Former Drew Estate Cigars Co-Founder Takes a Slice of Real Life on Tour

MIAMI, FL—iMordecai, a heartwarming comedy produced, written, and directed by former Drew Estate Cigars co-founder, Marvin Samel, is commencing a multi-city tour of the country this week. The film, which stars Judd Hirsch (Taxi, Ordinary People, Independence Day, The Fabelmans), Carol Kane (Taxi, Hester Street, The Princess Bride, Scrooged, Unbreakable Kimmy Shmidt), and Sean Astin (Rudy, The Lord of the Rings), is not only Mr. Samel’s first screenplay, iMordecai is also his directorial debut.

cigar advisor news – cigar maker turned filmmaker marvin samel begins national tour for imordecai movie – release – imordecai movie posterShot on location in Miami, Florida, the multi-city iMordecai tour will begin in Florida with showings scheduled for Aventura (Feb.8) and in Boca Raton (Feb.10) with many more dates to follow this month including Los Angeles and New York City. Tickets can be purchased through the iMordecai website at

iMordecai marks Hirsch’s and Cane’s first on screen reunion since being cast members on the hit TV series, Taxi. Additionally, breakout star, Azia Dinea Hale (F9:The Fast Saga), is starring in her first major film role as Nina,

cigar advisor news – cigar maker turned filmmaker marvin samel begins national tour for imordecai movie – release – photo of hirsch and samel on the movie set
Nominated for an Oscar for his role in Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans, Judd Hirsch (Mordecai) has a laugh with writer/director Marvin Samel on the iMordecai set.

Based on a true story, the film was inspired by a pivotal chapter in the life of the real Samel family. iMordecai centers around an aging Mordecai Samel (Hirsch), a Holocaust Survivor from Poland now living in a Florida retirement community with his wife Fela (Cane), also a survivor from Poland. The story begins when Marvin (Astin) has to take Mordecai to buy a new cell phone. Meanwhile, Marvin is under heavy pressure to negotiate the sale of his cigar company. This leaves him with practically no time to show his father how to use the phone. However, an attractive young store employee, Nina (Hale), steps forward to help Mordecai. Nina and Mordecai not only become friends, they eventually discover that they share a dark secret. In the meantime, Marvin has to referee Mordecai’s eccentricities while his Mother’s failing mental condition has begun to take an emotional toll on both men. Through a series of flashbacks, animation, and poignant performances, the message of iMordecai is a simple one: Live Life to the fullest.

cigar advisor news – cigar maker turned filmmaker marvin samel begins national tour for imordecai movie – release – photo of sean astin as marvin smoking a cigar
Sean Astin as Marvin, lights up in the movie to see if the his cigars are ready for sale.

During an upcoming interview about the film, Marvin Samel was asked if it was fair to call iMordecai an octogenarian coming of age movie. Samel replied, “iMordecai is a coming of age movie for every age.”

You can watch the official iMordecai movie trailer here. CA

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Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and Executive Editor of Cigar Advisor. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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