SPECIAL SCREENING IN WARSAW
ATLANTA JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL 2015
YOUR COPY OF THE DVD
October 26, 2014: After an all night flight, we landed at the Chopin Airport in Warsaw and headed down to the baggage claim.
There, on a huge backlit billboard was a photograph of the Gwoździec synagogue’s bimah and ceiling. It was an announcement for the Grand Opening of the Core Exhibition of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. We got in a taxi and headed into town and the same poster appeared again and again all over the city of Warsaw. The Gwoździec synagogue roof and ceiling had clearly become the star attraction of the new museum and an iconic symbol of the city of Warsaw.
October 28, 2014: A sunny autumn day. There was outdoor seating for the huge crowd at the Grand Opening of the POLIN Museum. It was a spectacular event. The presidents of Poland and Israel spoke. Program Director, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett and Executive Director Robert Supeł were finally able to breath a sigh of relief and enjoy the breathtaking results of their years of hard work and undying belief in the new Museum.
October 29, 2014: On this day the Museum’s Core Exhibition was opened to the public. As part of the opening events, our film, Raise the Roof, was shown at a special screening. Our US and Polish crews and volunteers were there at 10:30 helping set up the reception and getting the special projector and the 500 seat auditorium ready for the screening. At 3:00 pm the auditorium doors opened and the audience began to arrive. This would be the first and possibly the only time so many of the people who were directly involved in the reconstruction of the Gwoździec synagogue roof and ceiling and people who made the film Raise the Roof would gather in the same room.
Many of the students, timber framers, and painting leaders were there for the screening as were Handshouse Studio’s Rick and Laura Brown, Core Exhibition Director Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, historians Antony Polonsky and Thomas Hubka, and Irene Pletka whose generous donations made the Gwoździec reconstruction possible.
Dariusz Stola, the Director of POLIN Museum introduced the film. The lights went down. The screening began and the remarkable story of the Gwoździec synagogue unfolded before our eyes. Even for those of us who had worked on the film every day for many months, it was a magic moment. We wished only that all of our donors could have been there.
After the screening we were pleased to have the opportunity to honor architect and historian Maria Piechotka. She and her husband Kazimierz scoured many archives after the war and wrote the first and most definitive histories of the Polish wooden synagogues.
ATLANTA JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL 2015
Within a few days of the Warsaw screening we received word that Raise the Roof had been selected for screening at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival in January and February, 2015. The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is one of the largest Jewish film festivals in the world, attracting an audience of more than 31,000 filmgoers.
YOUR COPY OF THE FILM
The special Kickstarter Donor’s copy of the film is now in production and will ship to you in December if your donation was $50 or more. When we began this project we planned to make a 10 to 20 minute documentary of about the Gwoździec synagogue reconstruction. The story grew and grew. More donors came forward and the film is now a feature length documentary. Thank you for helping make this possible!
More information about purchasing commercial copies of the DVD will be available soon. Please visit PolishSynagogue.com.
We’ve launched a Raise the Roof Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/raisetheroofmovie
Please Like us on Facebook to get updates on where and when the film will be screening in the near future.
Cary, Yari and Babs Wolinsky
Rick and Laura Brown