Los Angeles, CA — Independent production company Metaphor Entertainment, LLC is proceeding to the announced plans to produce “Land of The Angels,” a film depicting the termination of Salonica, Greece’s Sephardic Jewish population and the Sonderkommando uprising at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. Production is now aiming to begin filming in Spring 2011 from Thessaloniki, Greece. The screenplay was co-written by Vorris and longtime collaborator Michael Kokkinaris after eighteen months of research.
Rabbi Andrew Baker, Director of International Jewish Affairs of the American Jewish Committee, said : “The story of this onetime center of Sephardic Jewish life as well as the heroic episode of Greek Jewish concentration camp inmates to lead a genuine revolt at Auschwitz deserves to be told to a wide, international audience.
We commend the plans of Dimitri Vorris to direct the film, “Land of the Angels,” which will do just this.
“This is one of the most heroic pages of humankind history. The world forgets not only that Sephardic Greek Jewry suffered during the Holocaust too, but that Greek Jews were brave enough to revolt and fight under the most hopeless circumstances. These historical events have striking similarities with Leonidas and the 300 Spartans fighting the Battle at Thermopylae. The major difference is that, in this film, you don’t have an elite army fighting an Empire, but imprisoned, entrapped, everyday people in a death camp. They are hungry, tortured, abused, sick, ailing, armed only with an ingenious plot and self-made guns, against the Empire of the Third Reich. They are performing the ultimate sacrifice for their fellow man and woman,” said Vorris. Adding “The film is going to have a great ensemble cast. Its main protagonists at the Sonderkommando riots were 16-24 year olds. This is a different Holocaust movie. It can definitely bring in to the theaters younger demographics”.
“The existence of Shoah Foundation’s visual archives is assisting us tremendously to make a better film”, said producer-director Dimitri Vorris.
The Shoah Foundation Institute was founded in 1994 by Steven Spielberg, after he completed Oscar-winning film “Schindler’s List”, to document the experiences of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust before it was too late. Nearly 52,000 video testimonies, or 105,000 hours of unique life stories in 32 languages from 56 countries have been recorded.
Other organizations supporting the film are Central Board of Jewish Communities of Greece, Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, Greek Heritage Society of Southern California, The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati and others.