Award-winning local film to debut at international New York City Film Festival Sept. 24
Award-winning local film to debut at international New York City Film Festival Sept. 24September 13, 2002Christine Fawcett-Shapiroinfo@syrfilm.com
“Prisoners of Freedom” recreates story of Fort Ontario World War II refugees
Point of Contact Productions announced that its recent documentary, “Prisoners of Freedom,” will be screened at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival, September 18 to 27 in New York City.
“Prisoners of Freedom,” directed by Syracuse University film professor Owen Shapiro and written by SU adjunct professors Tom Friedmann and Lester Friedman, ” is a dramatized documentary that recreates the story of the only European refugees allowed into the United States during World War II, who were settled in Oswego, N.Y. The film merges traditional documentary footage and interviews with tableaus, representative narrators and authenticated dramatizations.
The film will be shown on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 12 p.m. at the Village East Cinema, 181 East 12th Street. Tickets are free.
The film has been presented at a number of international film festivals, including Yellowstone, Rhode Island, Arizona, Dahlonega (nominated for Best of Fest award), Salt Lake City and Philadelphia (winner of the Silver Award for Feature Documentary). It has also been shown on regional PBS and Time Warner Cable in Upstate New York, as well as in Chicago’s Block Museum and at the St. Louis Holocaust Museum.
In 1944, President Roosevelt granted a temporary haven to a select group of Holocaust survivors. Homeless and destitute in liberated Italy, but hoping for safety in America, 982 men, women and children were transported to Fort Ontario, a converted military base in Oswego. The film traces the refugees’ unforgettable journey from Italy to New York City to Upstate New York, and their strange return via Canada as they struggled to become more than temporary citizens and begin a new life in America.
“Prisoners of Freedom” was sponsored by Syracuse University, the Safe Haven Museum in Oswego and the Syracuse Jewish Federation. It was shot on location in Oswego, Syracuse and New York City.
Shapiro will be in attendance at the showing at the Village East Cinema, as well as at the festival’s opening night party in Madison Square Garden, 7 p.m. Sept. 18.
For more information about the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival, visit the festival Web site at www.nyfilmvideo.com. For more information about “Prisoners of Freedom,” contact Point-of-Contact Productions at 315-443-2247.