THANKS TO ALL OF OUR BACKERS! We've reached our initial goal. However, additional funding is welcome and much needed. We can extend the distribution and life of the film through more festival entries and by editing individual survivor stories (from the 40 hours of footage). Please see our stretch goals below the Project Description and in the Updates.
Picking Up the Pieces is an examination of the memories, emotions, and beliefs of a group of child survivors, highlighting how they coped with their trauma in rebuilding their lives after the Holocaust.
Child survivors were largely silent for 40 years after the Holocaust; as a result the 'child's perspective' has been largely untold.
My film asks the question: How do you "live" after surviving the Holocaust? It does so by focusing on 5 themes of special relevance to survivors: Forgiveness, Belief in God, Home, Jewish Identity and Memory.
The film focuses on these themes, by combining our familiarity with the Holocaust together with the unique stories of a group of Child Survivors. This creates an unconventional approach and fresh telling of the survivors' traumatic childhoods that shows the unique challenges faced by Child Survivors.
My film is unadorned and intimate: The Child Survivors almost literally complete each others sentences, constructing a single narrative from their diverse experience.
Telling the story this way makes it unlike any other documentary. It creates a choral effect with individual voices merging into a haunting harmony.
Filming Across the Globe
In the summer of 2014, I traveled between Europe and North America interviewing survivors in Toronto, Washington D.C., Berlin, Leeds, Brussels and Warsaw. I collected more than 40 hours of interview footage and supporting materials.
I am currently editing of the final cut which will be approximately 25 minutes in length. Once this is complete, we start post-production to build the final cinema print.
Nearing Completion & Professional Support
I am nearly finished with the film after 4 years of working on this project. Prior to filming last summer, I had extensively researched the topic, constructed the film and chosen Child Survivors to interview.
I also raised money among family and friends as well as via grants and awards. Among the awards I received was the "Cost Family Award" from Deerfield Academy, where I am a student.
I have also sought out experts in filmmaking and history to support me in this undertaking. I have received mentoring and assistance in preparing the film from Agora SA, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, award-winning film producers (like Breakthru Films) as well as the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw.
I will complete the film by the beginning of June 2015 and submit the film for documentary film festivals from the beginning of summer. In addition to film festivals, I hope to distribute the film at Universities, Community Centers, Museums as well as High Schools and Middle Schools in the both United States and Europe. I've already had interest from several influential institutions to support the distribution in local communities and schools.
I am on the final lap but still need some funding to help finish the film at the quality standards the survivors deserve.
The funds I am raising will be used to complete the editing, cover post-production expenses as well as costs of marketing and distribution. Specifically funds will be used for the following:
- finish editing/professional editing;
- cover costs of music and acquiring rights to archival footage;
- legal costs and administrative costs related to release of film and copyrights;
- travel and any final shooting necessary;
- Costs related to preparing a digital cinema print and distribution copies;
- Festival entry costs and marketing material preparation;
- Cost of preparing non-commercial distribution in schools and community centers;
- Preparing education material (in writing) to use the film and survivor testimony in middle and high schools;
- Translation of Interviews and subtitling of Polish and French interviews;
Thank you for your support WE HAVE REACHED OUR GOAL. Additional funding will be used to meet the following stretch goals:
- broader distribution at film festivals;
- funding the editing of individual survivor interviews for the educational goals of the film;
Our website and Facebook pages will both have updates on the films progress: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Picking-Up-the-Pieces/363525917148186
Please Donate! This film tells an important and untold story of the Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust. It will make a difference in the education of our children and in remembering the Holocaust.
Risks and challenges
At this stage, there is no 'completion' risk. I have completed the interviews and found archival and other footage. The greatest challenge is to translate the high quality digital filming into a high quality final print.
Your financial support at this stage will guarantee me the ability to finish the project at the highest quality and to be able to reach as large an audience as possible.
The film's technical quality is important to receiving the widest possible distribution of the film and the best audience response, ensuring that the document survives and is a testimony to the bravery and courage of child survivors.
To date the largest expense category has been travel expenses (because I ended up traveling extensively: Interviewing childhood survivors in Canada, the United States, Belgium, England, Germany and Poland).
Excess funds, should I overachieve the target, will be used as follows:
- preparing an interactive website to complement the educational goals of the film;
- editing each survivor's unique story so that it is available in archives for a future audience;
- (45 days)