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After Auschwitz


A short fiction film about survival, truth and reflection.

As she sets about preparing the Sabbath table, Rebeka reflects on the paths not taken, of loves lost and the moral obligations of being a survivor.

‘After Auschwitz’ is a short film about survival, truth and reflection. It explores one woman’s struggle to escape the shadows of the past and to contend with the choice that she has made in life.

English subtitle: 
Information for the Audience: 

Director - Paul Blinkhorn

Bio (short):
Paul Blinkhorn is a director of short film, audio drama and theatre and a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab (New York) and the Young Vic Directors Program (London). His previous short film 'Duty Calls' featured at festivals in Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and Romania.

Bio (long):
Paul Blinkhorn (Writer-Director) was shortlisted for the Genesis Future Directors Award 2016 at the Young Vic. He is the Artistic Director of Northern Outlet Theatre Company and a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, New York.

Training: MA in Theatre Directing from East 15 (supported through an AHRC bursary).

Short film includes: As a writer-director his award-winning short 'Duty Calls' screened at festivals in Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and Romania.

Radio includes: 'The Mighty Carlins' (selected to be part of the UK Radio Drama Festival 2015 and the HEAR Now: The Audio Fiction and Arts Festival in Kansas City, USA) and 'Country Life' (Wireless Theatre Company)

Theatre includes: JB Shorts 14 - 'Sugared Armour' (a new play by BAFTA-winning writer Anita Pandolfo), JB Shorts 12 - 'A Hairline Crack' (selected to be a part of the Re:play Festival at HOME), 'Shakespeare Lives!' (Irlam Festival Fringe 2015), 'Naked Old Man' (UK premiere by Academy Award nominated writer Murray Schisgal) and 'John and Mark' (Northern Outlet Theatre Company, tour), 'Country Life' (RADA GBS Theatre/ Camden Festival Fringe before transferring to the Old Red Lion), 'Spring and Port Wine' (Northern Outlet Theatre Company, Kings Arms Salford), 'Raving Beauties' (Broken Echo Theatre Company, Kings Arms Salford), 'Tape' (regional premiere, tour, selected to be part of re:play at the Manchester Library Theatre 2009)

As assistant director: 'Two' and 'Two 2' (World Premiere) (Octagon Theatre Bolton, Dir: David Thacker), 'Frozen' (Library Theatre Manchester, Dir: Roger Haines)

Other capacities include:
* 2nd AD - 'Fairytale of London Town' (TV), Dir: Louis Neethling, Mutt & Jeff Pictures
* 2nd AD - 'Screen Acting: Close-Up' (documentary), Dir: Nic Phillips, Clever Boy Media
* 2nd AD - 'Do it like a Dude' - Jessie J (music video), Dir: Ben Peters, Luti Media
* 2nd AD - 'Sing, Sing, Sing' - Yolanda Be Cool (music video), Dir: Ben Peters, Luti Media
* 2nd AD - 'I Am Ruthie Segal, Hear Me Roar!' (short), Dir: Minkie Spiro, Third Man Film & Company Films (Official Selection: UK Jewish Film Festival, Toronto International Jewish Film Festival).
* 1st AD - 'No Regrets' (short), Dir: Nicolas Challenor, NC Films (Deep Fried Film Festival, Speak Up International Film Festival)

Director Statement

After Auschwitz' is a short film about survival, truth and reflection.

At a time when we are becoming increasingly concerned about what the future has in store for us economically and politically I wished to write something about hope and inward reflection. And more importantly about moving forward. As a filmmaker I wanted to be a part of a discussion around faith and tolerance.

We often see what sets us apart, rather than what can ultimately bring us together. Rebeka; this elderly Jewish woman preparing a Sabbath table found her way onto the page and I chose to tell her story.


As both the writer and director of 'After Auschwitz' I was heavily influenced by documentary film. The film very deliberately blurs the line between fiction and documentary and places great emphasis on the instrumental roles of the actor and story. I chose this particular style as I believed that it would best serve the story I wished to tell. The result is a very stripped back aesthetic which places truth at its very core.

When approaching the look for 'After Auschwitz' the DOP Paul Anderton and I knew how important the cinematography would be, especially given that the dialogue is being delivered solely from one character. Not only did it need to be visually interesting, it also needed to emphasise her sense of separation and her inner struggle with her own faith. Paul Anderton and I have been admirer's of Christopher Doyle’s work with director Wong Kar-Wai, and the characteristic splitting of the screen proved to be something which we felt suited the style that we where after with 'After Auschwitz'.

The film benefited greatly from the editor Steven Hutchinson being on set throughout. We always wanted the editing to have a hand in telling the story. It was our intention to elevate the piece beyond being a filmed monologue, so applying subtle yet cinematic storytelling techniques through the edit was essential. One technique we used was to overlap images with a disembodied delivery of the dialogue, done as a means to suggest a stream of consciousness. This signified that Rebeka's musings were perhaps internal, and perhaps in actual fact not really being voiced at all. This very deliberately impacted on how the passage on time would be perceived at the short progressed. The flashback sequences provided an extra texture to the piece and allowed us to break up the often static imagery and stillness within the main bulk of the dialogue driven sections of the film which featured the older Rebeka played by Cathleen Blower.

Screenings / Awards: 

The Taste Awards (Los Angeles, USA) *award-nominated 'Best Short Film or Documentary'

Cumbria Short Film Competition (Cumbria, UK) *award-nominated 'Best Original Screenplay'

Tirana International Film Festival (Tirana, Albania)

Tryon International Film Festival (Tryon, North Carolina, USA)

AHRC Film Award (London, UK) *award-nominated 'Inspiration Award'

Awareness Film Festival (Los Angeles, USA)

Universal Film Festival (Kansas City, Missouri, USA) *award-nominated 'Best Documentary'

Eureka Springs Human Rights Film Festival (Eureka Springs, Arkansas, USA) *award-winning 'Silver Award'

Immigrants of Spitalfields Festival (London, UK)

Phoenix Film Festival (Melbourne, Australia)

Shorts Off Film Festival (a BAFTA Cymru qualifying festival)

Total votes: 1282

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