So, what can I add to the following news release for our readers? Well, it turns out that the President of MarVista Entertainment went to high school with the CEO of launch flix in Sharon, Massachusetts. Then, they hooked up with Lonnie Elfbaum, who provided beautiful music for their short films on this topic. Sharon High School ended up bringing these people together for a simple cause, to eradicate hate.
Santa Monica, California–A new 501(c)(3) fundraising campaign called “Six Million for Six Million” (http://www.6Mfor6M.org) in an effort to increase awareness about the Holocaust, was unveiled by MarVista Entertainment, an international production and distribution company.
The firm is raising funds to make a feature film with a $6 million total budget based on the life story of eighty-eight year old Holocaust survivor and author Dr. Henry A. Oertelt. Dr. Oertelt’s award-winning book is called An Unbroken Chain, My Journey through the Nazi Holocaust. Born in Berlin Germany, of Jewish faith, Dr. Oertelt was twelve years old when Hitler came to power in 1933.
This project is about educating future generations about the Jewish victims – six million fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents - who perished in the Holocaust. Like the popular documentary Paper Clips, the group hopes to raise awareness about the enormity of the total number of victims and promote acceptance.
“When addressing students over the past forty years, I have always said, if you absolutely have to hate, hate HATE,” stated Oertelt. “I am very pleased to reach even more people with this message.”
In An Unbroken Chain: My Journey though the Nazi Holocaust, young Henry experiences eighteen separate but equally crucial “links” in the chain of events that kept him alive and ultimately led to his freedom. From the Nazi foreman who helped him escape the Gestapo to the SS General who gave him the medical treatment he needed, Henry faces the encounters and situations that changed his destiny from ages twelve to 24. Although often sad and shocking, the remarkable events of Henry’s life, as well as his amazing strength and hope, will touch the lives and hearts of movie goers everywhere.
"We realized that if you can teach hatred, then you can also teach understanding. With this campaign, we want to demonstrate the atrocity of Jewish victims in the Holocaust,” said Michael Jacobs, President of MarVista Entertainment, “and ultimately use this film to educate the next generation about what hate can lead to.”
MarVista is partnering with producer Stephanie Silverman Houser, CEO of launch flix and a non profit who has started a 501(c)(3) education fund for the film project that will provide tax deductions to donors.
pictured producers Stephanie Houser and Dr. Corey Samuels, granddaughter of Dr. Henry Oertelt.
We are thrilled at the amount of press coverage $6M for 6M is generating! We literally can't keep up with posting it all to our web site, but we will get r done. So far, we've seen over 30 stories including print, radio, TV, online coverage including blogs and Tweets!
We are also getting requests to translate the site into other languages. If you can do this, or want to help with a certain language as a volunteer, please get in touch.
We are also looking for social media volunteers to help with Facebook and Twitter.
Thank you to everyone who has expressed interest in our project. Our next announcement? The mystery producing partner and distributor who is involved now. Hint? The president went to high school with Stephanie - yup, it's a small world after all!
Thanks to Mike Barnes at The East Valley Tribune for this piece. It is not enough to hear a Holocaust survivor's tale, the rabbi said - you must help tell it to others.
Congregation Eitz Chaim in Chandler is gladly taking on the task of sharing one such man's story. A fundraising campaign is under way there to adapt into a movie the autobiography "An Unbroken Chain: My Journey Through the Nazi Holocaust."
The goal is to collect $6 million - in other words, a dollar for every Jewish man, woman and child lost to the Nazis' genocide.
"No one is born hating others; it has to be taught," said the congregation's rabbi, Victor Beck. "We realized that if you can teach hatred, then you can also teach understanding.
"With this campaign, we want to demonstrate the enormity of the number of Jewish victims in the Holocaust and ultimately use this film to educate the next generation about what hate can lead to."
"Unbroken Chain" is the work of Henry A. Oertelt, who was 12 years old and living in Berlin when Hitler came to power in 1933. He was seized in June 1943; in April 1945, Oertelt and thousands of others were liberated by Gen. George Patton's Third Army.
Oertelt, now 88, describes in his book 18 "links" in the chain of events that kept him alive and ultimately led to his freedom. For example, as a teen he was employed as a furniture maker; in the concentration camps, he continued that relatively safe work while his fellow prisoners were dying of hard labor.
Beck, in his career, has met many survivors of the Holocaust. Oertelt, he said, is like the others in that they had an uncommon faith that they would emerge alive from this world of death.
"It comes down to an indomitable spirit, a will to survive and a deep-seated belief they will succeed," Beck said.
But as time passes, the survivors' numbers dwindle - which makes telling their stories all the more crucial for Beck.
"We're losing these people, so we're losing the eyewitness accounts," Beck said. "And that eyewitness has such a palpable touch and feel to people, it makes it that much easier to explain and understand the story."
How the chain stretched from Minnesota, where Oertelt has lived since 1949, to Chandler involves a film producer and family ties.
Stephanie Houser is not only the chief executive of launch flix, a production house with offices in Phoenix and Los Angeles, but also the daughter of Eitz Chaim's vice president.
To aid launch flix in bringing "Unbroken Chain" to the screen, Eitz Chaim has established a nonprofit education fund that will provide tax deductions to donors. The fundraising campaign is called "Six Million for the Six Million," and its Web site can be found at 6mfor6m.org. Congregation Eitz Chaim can be reached at www.eitzchaimphoenix.org or by contacting Beck at (602) 595-3618.
"Here's the thing: as a casting office we're looking to have our name associated with work we can continue to be proud of and your enthusiasm and dedication to this story and it's author only furthers my resolve that this is precisely our mission, too.
As I mentioned on Friday, I'm further encouraged by the fact that this story has not really been told in a manner that is truly uplifting, positive and inspiring as this one is.
I'm excited to be a part of telling a story that offers so much in terms of what a true survivor really means. I honestly think that's a universal concept that plays to the heart of everyone. This story is a Life is Beautiful meets a young Indiana Jones. I think that's got legs!!"
(Stephanie pictured with Henry and his wife, Inge at our 1st mtg, almost one year ago.)
It was one year ago that Dr. Henry Oertelt called me at my sister's in Hawaii to officially invite me to work with him to adapt his book, An Unbroken Chain: My Journey Through the Nazi Holocaust into a feature film. What better way to celebrate than to share this exciting milestone for our project?
We have partnered with a non profit organization to open an education fund allow us to collect tax deductible donations towards the making of our film project (in addition to looking for investors). Ultimately they will invest those donations into the film, then, when they receive a return on the investment, we will put those monies towards continuing Holocaust Education in a number of ways: a traveling comprehensive Holocaust education seminar for students, supporting local non profit organizations in bringing educational films to schools, supporting Survivors personally including their efforts in schools, or ideally building the first Holocaust museum in Arizona to house original photos, artifacts, and documents that Henry has acquired over the past 40 years, as well as potentially housing a collection of 53 and counting life masks of Survivors from artist Robert Sutz.
Currently our attorney is reviewing the press release, email communications and our business plan to sign off and then August 14 we plan to announce our campaign to the world. We have deliberately chosen that date, a week before Inglourious Basterds, by Quentin Tarantino is released. The film stars BRAD PITT and is a fictional portayal of 8 American Jewish Soldiers who want revenge on the Nazis. As we get closer I will start sharing information about our key players as well as providing tools to our supporters who may want to spread the word. Thanks for your support and stay tuned.