Holocaust filmmaking blossoms

LOS ANGELES, July 12 (JTA) — Steven Spielberg is one of several prominent American and European filmmakers launching film projects on the Holocaust.

The creator of “Schindler’s List” has lined up four top Eastern European directors for a series of one-hour documentaries, based on the testimonies of Holocaust survivors, according to the entertainment trade newspaper Variety.

Vojtech Jasny is due to start filming the Czech documentary next week and Andrzej Wajda has been signed for the Polish segment. The two other documentaries are slated to be filmed by Russian and Hungarian directors.

In another European-based project, director Roman Polanski plans to start shooting early next year on “The Pianist,” based on Polish author Wladyslaw Szpilman’s best-selling memoir of survival in the Warsaw Ghetto.

The project marks the first time that Polanski, who survived the Krakow Ghetto as a child, will direct a film on the Holocaust, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

In a third project, production is slated to begin in late August on the Holocaust drama “Gray Zone.” Tim Blake Nelson will serve as director and writer of the independent film, based on his award-winning off Broadway play.

Slated for leading roles are Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, David Arquette and Mira Sorvino.

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