2019 Filmmakers in Residence

Sari Gilman

Gilman is an award-winning filmmaker with 20 years of experience. Her directorial debut, Kings Point (2012) was nominated for an Academy Award, won prizes at film festivals nation-wide, and aired on HBO. Most recently, Sari co-directed and edited the Netflix original Saving Capitalism, about Robert Reich. She was nominated for a Prime Time Emmy for her work on Rory Kennedy's Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, and the first feature documentary she cut was Judith Helfand's Blue Vinyl, which also aired on HBO and premiered at Sundance. She wrote and edited Trapped, which premiered at Sundance, had a theatrical release in March of 2016 and aired on PBS' Independent Lens. Sari is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

About "One Family"

One Family is about the wildly divergent views on Israel that exist within the filmmaker's own Jewish family. A hybrid of fiction and nonfiction, it is a meditation on the meaning of home and belonging. The film begins with a scripted, fictionalized flashback to Sari's start as a filmmaker: she is given a camera for her 13th birthday and begins to document her family, her home, and particularly her father, whose unconventional views on Israel are the inspiration for the story. As the years progress and Sari continues to film her world, we encounter relatives, neighbors and friends, whose beliefs on religion, Zionism, class and cultural affiliation inform her own questions about the nature of belonging.

Eva Ilona Brzeski

Eva Ilona Brzeski is the award-winning writer, director and editor of Fellow American, This Unfamiliar Place, 24 Girls and China Diary, and the director and editor of the independent feature LAST SEEN. A graduate of the Stanford Masters Program in Documentary Film, she edited the acclaimed documentary films Under Our Skin, Unsettled (in post-production) As She Is, Twitch and was a co-editor on Serenade for Haiti and Sacrifice, as well as editing other documentary and narrative films & television series. Eva's films have screened worldwide at such festivals as Sundance and Tribeca Film Festival, and have received numerous awards. Eva lives in the Bay Area where she also works as a free-lance editor and studies meditation.

About "Fatherland" (working title)

Pawel Jesion escaped the Warsaw Ghetto at age 14, leaving his family behind. In his pocket was an identity card from a Polish classmate Andrzej Brzeski. Pawel, now Andrzej, fled to the countryside, where he lived in hiding. He never saw his family again. He never told his children his real name.

A filmmaker finally confronts her 93 year old father trying to understand the story he has never told her. Raised with no awareness of her Jewish ancestry, she remains haunted by the reverberations of his past in her own life. He denies any connection to his original identity, and she is left to forge her own relationship with the history he has hidden for so long.

Yoav Potash

Yoav Potash is an award-winning Bay Area documentary filmmaker whose past films include "Crime After Crime," which screened at the Sundance Film Festival, earned the New York Times Critics' Pick distinction, and garnered over twenty honors, including a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the National Board of Review Freedom of Expression Award, and six audience awards. Yoav also directed the San Francisco IndieFest Jury Prize-winner "Food Stamped," which was nationally broadcast on Pivot, Participant Media's cable/satellite network.

 

About "Diary from the Ashes"

Many mysteries unfold when a long lost diary—first discovered in the ruins of an Auschwitz crematorium in 1945—surfaces in present-day San Francisco. Unlike Anne Frank, this diary's author did not write her diary while in hiding with her family. Rywka Lipszyc, a determined and imaginative teenage girl, penned her account as an orphaned captive in the brutally oppressive Lodz ghetto, where she was forced to work for the German war effort, even as the Nazis prepared to wipe out her entire people. Nonetheless, Rywka used her writing to conjure up hope, relying on her imagination to escape the unimaginable.

About "The Remembered"

"The Remembered" combines heart-rending interviews, rare archival footage, and evocative animation to bring to life the lost Jewish history of Gniewoszów, a small Polish town where its once-vibrant Jewish community seems to have vanished without a trace. When descendants of the town's Jews return to search out and honor their heritage, the town's oldest residents reveal secrets held their entire lives, describing how ordinary Polish townsfolk made life and death choices about their Jewish neighbors. The film reunites individuals separated for a lifetime—and makes surprising discoveries that continue to resonate today in a political landscape of renewed anti-Semitism, fear, and nationalism. 

Steven Pressman

Pressman was born and raised in Los Angeles and received an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of California at Berkeley. He worked for many years as a newspaper and magazine reporter and editor in Los Angeles, Washington DC, and San Francisco. He wrote, directed and produced the documentary film 50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus, which premiered on HBO in 2013 and received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Historical Programming. The film was shown at the 2014 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, and has also been shown at numerous other film festivals, schools and colleges, U.S. State Department, embassies and other venues throughout the United States and abroad.

About "Holy Secrets"

More than seven decades later, the actions of the Vatican during the dark period of World WarII and Nazi Germany's unleashing of the Holocaust against European Jews remain a hotlydebated and highly controversial topic.Only weeks before his death in early 1939, Pope Pius XI was on the verge of issuing a sweepingpapal encyclical that, on the eve of the Final Solution, would strongly denounce the Nazis andtheir virulent anti-Semitic policies. But the new pope, Pius XII, had his own papal agenda, whichdeterminedly steered the Holy See away from outright condemnation of Nazi Germany and itsincreasingly brutal campaign to wipe out European Jewry.

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