Claims Conference Launches International Short Film Contest for Graduate Students and Recent Grads

Winner to Receive $40,000 to Produce Holocaust Film Short

In the tradition of iconic films such as “Sophie’s Choice,” “Shoah,” “Schindler’s List,” and “The Pianist,” the Claims Conference, by launching this competition, aims to encourage a new generation of directors to tackle the Holocaust as a subject matter in their work and to use their creativity and skills to portray new perspectives and observations about a dark era in human history.

In the tradition of iconic films such as “Sophie’s Choice,” “Shoah,” “Schindler’s List,” and “The Pianist,” the Claims Conference, by launching this competition, aims to encourage a new generation of directors to tackle the Holocaust as a subject matter in their work and to use their creativity and skills to portray new perspectives and observations about a dark era in human history.

The Claims Conference has launched “Short Film, Large Subject: The Holocaust Film Competition.” This is the organization’s first film contest, open to students currently enrolled in graduate-level film schools or recent graduates from accredited programs. The competition is open to entrants from around the world.

Recognizing the potential of movies to reach large numbers of people and to spark powerful discussions among audiences, the Claims Conference is putting out a call for talented, rising filmmakers to submit screenplays or treatments for short films about the Holocaust.  The winner of this short film contest will receive a prize of $40,000 toward the production of a 20-minute short.

“Short Film, Large Subject: The Holocaust Film Competition” invites directors either currently enrolled in a graduate film program at an accredited university or who have successfully completed such a program no earlier than January 1, 2012, to submit a screenplay or documentary treatment for a short film about the Holocaust (the systematic persecution and murder of Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators between 1933 and 1945) and/or the experiences of Jewish Holocaust victims.  While the film can tell a fictional story, information relating to the Holocaust must be historically accurate.

The entry deadline is March 15, 2015. After being judged by a panel of Holocaust scholars and film industry professionals, selected entrants will proceed to the finalist round.  The winner will receive a prize of $40,000 toward the production of a 20-minute short film about the Holocaust and/or survivors.

In the tradition of iconic films such as “Sophie’s Choice,” “Shoah,” “Schindler’s List,” and “The Pianist,” the Claims Conference, by launching this competition, aims to encourage a new generation of directors to tackle the Holocaust as a subject matter in their work and to use their creativity and skills to portray new perspectives and observations about a dark era in human history.

”We believe that this competition will engage up-and-coming filmmakers in the difficult but important topic of the Holocaust. Films about the Holocaust have great potential to educate and raise awareness at a time when fewer and fewer eyewitnesses are with us. By taking on this subject, filmmakers will not only expand their own horizons, but help preserve a piece of history that must never be forgotten,” said Julius Berman, Claims Conference President.

Information about the competition, rules and entry form are at filmcontest.claimscon.org.

Separate from the competition, the Claims Conference distributes grants for selected projects and programs of Holocaust education, documentation and research. Among recent grantee films is the theatrical release “No Place on Earth.”  This work raises public awareness about the Holocaust and preserves the evidence of it; the funding of these projects will be even more critical when the eyewitnesses are gone.  For more information, see www.claimscon.org/red.