THE GIFT OF LIFE. 14-minutes. Documentary. Florida. Director: Louis Molina. This is the story of Irwin Stovroff, a WWII survivor, who as a young Lt. bombardier in a B24 Liberator, was shot down over occupied France on his 35Th. mission, his last one. He was taken to a German concentration camp, where he was segregated for being Jewish and finally liberated by Russian Cossacks. After his retirement he founded Vets Helping Heroes, a non profit organization to raise funds for the training of service dogs for our war veterans. It is the story of the training and the people involved in the care of the dogs, and how those dogs can change the life of a veteran with mental and physical problems for the best. The companionship dogs provide can be the difference of life or death.
THE READER. 10-minutes. Drama. New Jersey. Director: Duncan Rogers. To date “The Reader” has been an official selection at over 40 festivals internationally and taken home 6 awards, including 3 Best Short Film Awards, a Directors Citation award from the Black Maria Film Festival, and a Best Actress award for Ms Franz. By invitation from Warner Brothers it was exhibited before a pre-release screening of Tim Burton's Corpse Bride at the famed Tribeca Cinemas in NYC. The film has been seen in Beijing China, Australia, South Africa, and dozens of U.S. cities. The Cape Codder, The Daily News (NJ), The Anchorage Daily News, and The Boston Herald have all singled out The Reader as a "best of Fest" or "must see" at the various festivals they were covering. Terry Byrne of the Boston Herald called The Reader "a story that easily could have been reduced to a cliche, was done with sensitivity and grace." And perhaps the comment I am proudest of came from Steve Lawson the Executive Director of the Williamstow Film Festival who said "When I watch shorts for WFF, I'm especially keen on works that stay with you, linger in the mind and heart. The Reader is one of these: smart script, assured direction, and subtle acting. As with all good films, what's so eloquently unsaid is just as valuable as the dialogue." The Reader is about Sissel,an older blind woman, and the young Irish gal, Eilene, that reads to her. When a letter arrives from Copenhagen for Sissel,(Tony Winner Elizabeth Franz) containing some important news, Eilene makes a monumental decision. Can an act of great love spring from a lie?