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'Symposium on Holocaust Education' to present free screening of films by Kofman, Shapiro

October 22, 2008

Erica Blust
(315) 443-5891

Erica Blust

Syracuse University's "Symposium on Holocaust Education: A Tribute to the Voices Lost" will present a film screening Monday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. at the Everson Museum of Art, 401 Harrison St., Syracuse. The screening, which is free and open to the public, will feature the films "The Memory Thief" by Gil Kofman and "The Dr. John Haney Session" by Owen Shapiro. A reception and talk-back with the filmmakers will follow. The screening is sponsored by SU's College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) and the Syracuse International Film Festival.

Both films challenge traditional portrayal and visual conventions for dealing with the Holocaust. "The Memory Thief" (90 min.) has generated controversy and discussion by virtue of its unconventional way of presenting the story of the Holocaust. Its impact is memorable and powerful. The 1986 screening of "The Dr. John Haney Session" (17 min.) in Tel Aviv, Israel, was instrumental in the creation of Children of Holocaust Survivors groups. The film has served as a discussion trigger at numerous national and international conferences and Holocaust Remembrance Day events.

Kofman is a writer and feature film director born in Nigeria and raised in Kenya, Israel and New York City. "The Memory Thief," his first narrative feature, received the Digital Feature Award at the 21st Edmonton International Film Festival in Canada and the Grand Jury Prize at the Red Rock Film Festival in Utah. He has written numerous plays, including "American Magic," produced in New York City, Los Angeles and London; "Entrivista 187," produced in Los Angeles and Dallas; and "The Report" and "Pharmacopeia," both produced in Los Angeles.

Shapiro is the Maurice E. Shaffer and Dorothea I. Shaffer Professor in the film program of VPA's Department of Transmedia. He is also the co-founder and artistic director of the Syracuse International Film Festival. Since 1969, he has made more than 30 films and 12 videos on a wide range of subjects in the documentary, narrative and experimental genres. He recently co-wrote and co-produced "Session," a feature film that he now has in post- production for a scheduled May 2009 release. He also recently co-wrote the feature film "Hotel Syracuse" with director Haim Bouzaglo. His latest personal work, "Rain and a Woman," is an experimental video exploring women in domestic and public spaces. His films have been in numerous festivals in England, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Scotland and the United States.

"Symposium on Holocaust Education: A Tribute to the Voices Lost" is a week of Holocaust education events Oct. 23-31 that will bring together a diverse group of people-from scholars to performers-to build knowledge and understanding about the realities of the Holocaust. The symposium is sponsored by Marilyn Ziering G'56 and the Ziering Family Foundation.

For more information about the screening, contact the VPA Dean's Office at (315) 443-5889.

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