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Short Russian Holocaust film Violin to seek Oscar, says producer

The short film, directed by Konstantin Fam is the last, third part of a full-length project of three novels in memory of Holocaust victims

MOSCOW, October 11. /TASS/. The Russian short film Violin, part of a full-length project in memory of Holocaust victims, seeks to contend for an Oscar award, film producer Yegor Odintsov told TASS on Wednesday.

"Representatives of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have confirmed that the film has qualified and will contend for the Academy Award for Live Action Short Film," he said.

The short film, directed by Konstantin Fam is the last, third part of a full-length project of three novels in memory of Holocaust victims.

Violin is built around an amazing fate of a unique musical instrument that lives through all horrors of the war. The story begins at a violin manufacturing facility, where a violin, created at the start of the 20th century, is meant as a gift to a Jewish boy, and ends years later with a concert at Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall.

The film is based on the story of musicians from the Janowska concentration camp, where an orchestra of outstanding Jewish musicians was executed in 1944. This tragic episode was part of the Nuremberg Trials. The filming took a year with locations in Russia, the US, the Czech Republic, Belarus and Israel.

The lead roles were played by Vladimir Koshevoy, Lenn Kudrjawizki, Masha King, Mikhail Gorevoy, Vyacheslav Chepurenko, Aleem Kandour and Maria Zykova.

The first series of the package film, Shoes, was released in 2012, becoming the winner of many Russian and international film festivals. The next series, Brutus, filmed along the same lines, showed the tragedy through the eyes of a German shepherd dog called Brutus.


"The filming process was truly difficult. We had to work in five countries which is too much for a small novel," producers quote film director Konstantin Fam. "I think that having finished work on the film, I discovered part of myself and I want very much to share this feeling with the viewers," he said.

According to the President of the Federation of Jewish Communities of the Russian Federation, Alexander Boroda, the novel Violin unveils the tragedy of the Holocaust from an absolutely different angle. "The fate of a musical instrument, accompanying tortures and executions at the concentration camp in Janowska with a frightening Death Tango - allegorizes the lives of those Jews who survived in the Holocaust. Their enemies failed to destroy their spirit, but they reemerged after the most awful tragedy as their former selves, continued to carry the light - like the violin that played its melody at the Wailing Wall," said Boroda.

According to the President of the Russian Jewish Congress, Yuri Kanner, "the package film is an illustration of staunches and fight for the historical truth."

The film premiered at the competitive program of the 39th Moscow International Film Festival in 2017 and will be released in 2018.