The 16th Annual Awards honored two winners among a wide range of entries. The winning films demonstrated a breadth of filmmaking of the talented young directors and a commitment to the ideals of diversity and tolerance set forth by Dore Schary.
"From Third Reich to Third Generation" Amy Rubin, Stefan Knerrich, Michael Rey, Director/Writer/Producer, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
"From Third Reich to Third Generation" follows the extraordinary relationship between a young German man, the grandson of a soldier in Hitler's Wehrmacht, and a 101 year-old Holocaust survivor who is too frail to leave his New York City apartment.
Early in their relationship, 21 year-old Christoph Erbsloeh asks Arthur Lederman if he thinks every German has a little bit of Hitler in him. "Yes," the elderly man replies. "And I told you that, deep in your being, you are a Hitler."
From the first painful conversation they discover that while history is unchangeable, they share a passion for music and art that transcends their differences and their generations. Christoph is a budding cellist and Arthur was a renowned concert violinist before he fled his native Poland in 1938.
In a series of carefully constructed vignettes, the filmmakers chronicle the emergence of a complex, unexpected camaraderie as both Arthur and Cristoph begin to grope towards an understanding of each other. Their relationship becomes a metaphor for examining the meaning of atonement for the descendants of the Nazis and the possibility of one-on-one reconciliation between survivors and a new generation of Germans.
"A Place to Live" Anat Inbar, Director/Producer, Brooklyn College
A Place to Live is a story of a friendship, nurtured between two young people from enemy countries. Dikla, an Israeli girl, arrives in NYC and finds herself moving in with a Syrian guy, George. As the two new roommates try to overcome their cultural and political differences, they are on their way to an unexpected journey, in a world that is about to change forever. The story, which takes place over the course of one year, echoes the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, and deals with the effects of terrorism on our daily lives. Unfolded in a documentary style and shot with a hand-held digital video camera, A Place to Live stretches the limits of narrative drama conventions and blurs the boundaries between reality and fiction.
"Alice Liu's Adventures In America" Huixia Lu, Director, Temple University, School o9f Communications and Theater
Alice's Adventures in America follows six-year -old Alice Liu and her parents, who are from the People's Republic of China, through a typical day in inner city Philadelphia as Alice tries to negotiate the hurdles of racial and cultural difference.
"Being Ghetto" Michelle Cabalu, Director, Stanford University, Dept. of Communication
Through the eyes of the filmmaker and her family, this personal film examines the tensions that come with negotiating cultural identity.
"Big Blue Bus" Ashley H. Chiang, Director, Loyala Marymount University, School of Film & Television
Three new immigrants to L.A. help to portray the diversity of America as they attempt to break language and cultural barriers to adjust to their new surroundings.
"Rights, Respect, Responsibility" Jason Faller, Producer, Brigham Young University
Rights, Respect, Responsibility is a short film about an American Muslim student who has recently moved to a new (predominantly white) high school in Utah. He and his father are confronted with difficult choices as they strive to maintain their cultural identity in the face of adversity.
"Dance Can Do All That" Tania Trepanier, Director, University of Southern California, School of Cinema-Television
The filmmaker has lived in Asia and Africa and values the cultures that have shaped her life. In this documentary she brings together an African American street dancer, a classical Indian dancer, and a Latin dancer who all combine their culturally diverse art forms into one unique production.
"Loyalties" John Paul Roche, Director, University of Southern California, School of Cinema-Television
This documentary details the reaction of Japanese Americans who were interned during WWII. The film explores the notion of loyalty as many of these people who were interned felt their only means to earn respect was to fight for this country in the war. As a means of parallel structure, the film questions Muslim Americans currently serving in our military on these same loyalty issues.
The descriptions of these films and their directors are taken from the synopses submitted to ADL by the directors.