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Award-Winning The Labyrinth Documentary Screens at USF's 2012 Human Rights Film Festival on March 30

3/13/2012 - 11:36 AM PST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA ADVISORY
Catholic PRWire

CHICAGO, IL (March 13, 2012) - The Labyrinth: The Testimony of Marian Kolodziej, the award-winning 37-minute documentary short on Polish Catholic artist and Auschwitz survivor Marian Kolodziej by award-winning documentary filmmaker Jason A. Schmidt, will screen at the University of San Francisco’s 10th annual Human Rights Film Festival at 1:00 PM on Friday, March 30, announced Fr. Ron Schmidt, the producer of the short from December 2nd Productions which was recently named 2012 Notable Video by the American Library Association, received the 2012 SIGNIS International Award for Best Documentary and named Best Documentary-Spiritual Section, 2012 Dhaka International Film Festival, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The Labyrinth screens at USF’s Presentation Theater, University of San Francisco’s School of Education, 2350 Turk Blvd. San Francisco, CA. The Labyrinth screening is free and open to the public. For further information, visit: http://www.usfca.edu/artsci/hrff/. The Labyrinth has screened at 20 US and international film festivals to date.

The Labyrinth is the recipient of the following awards, prizes and honors: Grand Prix (2011 Magnificat Film Festival; Minsk, Belarus); Best Short Documentary (2011 Ventura Film Festival); two 2011 Silver Telly Awards (use of music and cinematography); The Reel Rose Award for Best Short Film (2011 John Paul II Film Festival; Miami, FL); The Redemptive Storytelling Award (2011 Redemptive Film Festival; Newport News, VA); Honorable Mention Award (2011 Los Angeles New Wave International Film Festival; Los Angeles, CA); 2012 SIGNIS International Award for Best Documentary and Best Documentary, Spiritual Section, 2012 Dhaka International Film Festival (Dhaka, Bangladesh); 2012 Notable Video – American Library Association.

The Labyrinth documentary short received its world premiere at the International Documentary Association’s 14th Annual DocuWeeks™ Shorts 2010 Theatrical Documentary Showcase, Hollywood and has screened at 20 US and international film festivals to date, including: 2010 Boston Film Festival; 2010 Polish Film Festival of America (Los Angeles, CA); 2010 Plus Camerimage Film Festival (Poland); 2011 Redemptive Film Festival (Newport News, VA); 2011 Santa Barbara International Film Festival; 2011 Boulder International Film Festival (Boulder, CO); 2011 Peace on Earth Film Festival (Chicago, IL); 2011 Beverly Hills Film Festival (Beverly Hills, CA); 2011 Docaviv International Documentary Film Festival (Tel Aviv, Israel), 2011 John Paul II Film Festival (Miami, FL); 2011 Palm Springs Intl. ShortFest, 2011 Religion Today Film Festival (Trent, Italy); 2011 Magnificat Film Festival, (Minsk, Belarus); 2011 Gdansk Film Festival (Gdansk, Poland) 2011 Polish Film Festival (Buffalo, NY); 2012 Whitehead International Film Festival (Claremont, CA); 2012 Dhaka International Film Festival (Dhaka, Bangladesh); 2012 University of San Francisco Human Rights Film Festival.

“I built Auschwitz…because I arrived in the first transport.” Memory, art and hell collide as an Auschwitz survivor finally confronts the horrors of his past after 50 years of silence. Marian Kolodziej, prisoner number 432, was 17 and on one of the first transports to enter Auschwitz on June 14, 1940. Kolodziej, a Polish Catholic, survived five years imprisonment and never spoke of his experience until after a serious stroke in 1993. He began physical rehabilitation by doing pen and ink drawings depicting his memories of that horrific experience at Auschwitz 50 years earlier.

Kolodziej’s drawings and art installations, which he called The Labyrinth, fill the large basement of a church near Auschwitz. In The Labyrinth, Kolodziej takes the audience on a journey through his drawings and art installations. Through the blending of his testimony and graphic drawings, we explore the memories and nightmares that were buried for years. The documentary is eyewitness testimony to the horrors of Auschwitz that is unique in the annals of documenting the Holocaust. Marian Koldziej’s story of survival and persistence, of life before, during, and after Auschwitz is a testament to courage, the power of faith and the resilience of the human spirit.

Filmmaker Jason Schmidt notes: “Once I saw footage of Mr. Kolodziej’s artwork in a documentary I previously edited, I knew I needed to make a film about his artwork, his life and The Labyrinth. My goal was to immerse the audience in The Labyrinth and ultimately they would walk out of the theater as enriched in spirit, as I was, after ‘experiencing’ The Labyrinth. We shot for a total of 8 days in The Labyrinth on two separate trips. Marian kept adding new drawings every month. One major challenge in editing was selecting the drawings to use, since there are probably over 300 total drawings in the Labyrinth. All of them were compelling and there was a story behind each one.”

Schmidt continues: ...

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