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Owen Shapiro’s “Prisoners of Freedom” featured at international film festivals
Owen Shapiro’s “Prisoners of Freedom” featured at international film festivalsApril 26, 2002Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
“Prisoners of Freedom,” a feature film about a World War II refugee center in Oswego, N.Y., that was directed by Syracuse University faculty member Owen Shapiro was selected for inclusion in the 2002 Arizona International Film Festival held April 11 to 21and in the Dahlongea International Film Festival that will be held in Georgia in June.
In addition, the film was screened at the St. Louis Holocaust Museum in late March, and has been shown in the Syracuse area on Time Warner’s public access channel.
Shapiro is director of the film program in the Department of Art Media Studies in Syracuse University’s School of Art and Design, College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA). Shapiro won a 2001 Chris Award in the Columbus International Film Festival for his 30-minute video “Prisoners of Freedom: Greta’s Story.”
The film uses a dramatized documentary style to explore the experiences of the 982 European refugees who lived at the Fort Ontario emergency shelter in Oswego during World War II. The film features 12 of the original refugees and more than 180 Central New York actors, artists and musicians.
The film was written by Thomas Friedmann, VPA adjunct instructor; and Lester Friedman, professor of communication and medicine at Northwestern University. The film’s executive producer was Toni Meltzer. The film’s original score was composed by Andy Waggoner, associate professor in SU’s Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music; and Jonathan Dinkin of East Syracuse. Cinematography was by SU alumni Alex Mendes ’01 (VPA) and Aurelio Guzman ’01 (VPA).
Major funding for the film was provided by Syracuse University, the Syracuse Cultural Resources Council, the Syracuse Jewish Federation, the New York Council for the Arts and numerous private and foundation resources.
The College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University is dedicated to providing a nurturing environment where faculty help students develop their creative and scholarly abilities. The college contains the School of Art and Design; the Department of Drama; the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music; the Department of Retail Management and Consumer Studies; and the Department of Speech Communication. Together, students and faculty play a vital role in the academic and cultural life of the University as well as the greater Syracuse community.
Officially chartered in 1870 as a private, coeducational institution of higher education, Syracuse University is a leading student-centered research university. Syracuse’s 11 schools and colleges share a common mission: to promote learning through teaching, research, scholarship, creative accomplishment and service while embracing the core values of quality, caring, diversity, innovation and service. The 680-acre campus is home to more than 18,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and 90 countries.