Yale Bulletin
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March 22-29, 1999Volume 27, Number 25

Slifka Center celebrates new Media Arts Endowment with preview screening of Spielberg's 'The Last Days'

To inaugurate its new Media Arts Endowment, the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale this week is hosting a private preview screening of Steven Spielberg's "The Last Days," a film about five Americans who are Hungarian Holocaust survivors.

The screening will be held at 7:15 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. on Monday, March 29, at the York Square Cinemas, 55 Broadway. Immediately following each screening, there will be discussion with James Moll, director and editor of "The Last Days"; June Beallor, one of the film's producers; and Renee Firestone, one of the survivors featured in the film. Admission is free for members of the Yale community.

The Media Arts Endowment at the Slifka Center was created through the generosity of Andrew Hauptman and Ellen Bronfman, members of the Yale College Class of 1991 who majored in film study and produced their first film, "Safe Men," in 1997.

Rabbi James Ponet, director of the Slifka Center for Jewish Life, said, "Jews embraced the motion picture industry at its inception and continue to make significant contributions to it as directors, producers, writers, actors, critics and fans." For that reason, he noted, it was "particularly fitting" that the endowment be established at the Slifka Center.

Hauptman noted, "About a century ago, the 'moving picture' jolted audiences into a new artistic experience. Today, we are still enthralled by the projected image on the 'big screen.'"

Bronfman added, "Because they document daily life, as well as epochal events, shape and preserve memory, and reach audiences worldwide, movies have transformed the way we see, remember and dream."

"The Last Days" is the first feature documentary of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. Established by Spielberg in 1994, the Shoah Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to videotaping and archiving interviews of Holocaust survivors worldwide. Yale's Fortunoff Video Archives for Holocaust Testimonies is one of the five repositories for the foundation's tapes.

The yet-to-be-released film follows five people -- grandmother Irene Zisblatt, teacher Renee Firestone, businessman Bill Basch, artist Alice Lok Cahana and U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos -- who survived the Holocaust and returned to Hungary some 50 years later with the filmmakers.

Moll, the film's director, is known for his award-winning documentaries "Survivors of the Holocaust" and "The Lost Children of Berlin." The film was produced by Beallor and Ken Lipper, and features music by Hans Zimmer and cinematography by Harris Done.

Individuals or groups interested in attending the screenings of "The Last Days" should make reservations by calling the Slifka Center at 432-1134.


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Yale announces moderate increase in term bill for the seventh straight year
Endowed Professorships: Margot E. Fassler and Rogers M. Smith
Exhibits, symposium look back at the Pop art of the Sixties
Area performers to lift voices in memory of noted conductor
Slifka Center celebrates new Media Arts Endowment with preview screening . . .
Lecture series will explore role of technology in today's culture
Noted Scottish sociologist will be featured speaker in campus events
Special program at ISM marks publication of Bryan Spinks' book . . .
Area artists invited to participate in second annual 'City-Wide Open Studios' . . .
Off-campus concerts
Conference will examine issues facing gays and lesbians in the workplace

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