We’re currently developing a short film and we want you to be a part of it! At a budget of $10,000, the amount raised will help complete Refuge‘s production phase and filming on location in Vienna this July. Any money we get above that will go directly into the production value!
REFUGE is the story of Rachel, a young Jewish-American woman who moves to Vienna, Austria to work for the IAEA. She befriends an Ethiopian Jew, a former refugee, in her apartment complex named Yitzhak. Together they reconcile Austria’s Holocaust past with the current refugee crisis gripping Europe.
The film was inspired by Austria and its history, and by the parallels between the treatment of the Jews in the 1930’s and 40’s and the current treatment of primarily Muslim Middle Easterners. In addition to the narrative footage we shoot, REFUGE will juxtapose archival footage of Austria during the rise of Hitler with news footage from the refugee crisis in Austria today. This film will shed light on the plight of the refugees and hopefully inspire others to help.
On a more personal note, I have lived in both Germany and Austria; Germans constantly apologize for the actions of their ancestors, or claim that, due to a loss of a leg/eye/arm/etc in World War I, were unable to participate in World War II. They have no need to continuously apologize, but the reactions show that denazification is still in full effect. Austria, unlike its neighbor, did not fully absorb the process of denazification, and in my experience, many Austrians today claim that Austria was a victim of the Holocaust. This is further demonstrated by the FPÖ, a xenophobic political party, whose triumph in the last election indicates that Austrians have not learned from their past. The Nazi-era chant of “Juden raus” (“Jews get out”) has transformed into “Ausländer raus” (“Foreigners get out”).
RACHEL, a Jewish-American woman who works for the IAEA in Vienna, Austria, is saddened to be away from her family, yet excited to be living in a new country. She works hard and struggles to make this new location her home. Surrounded by the daily reminders of Austria’s past Holocaust involvement, she delves into her roots and discovers her family’s history intertwined with the Holocaust. Rachel’s life, enmeshed with echoes of the past, is soon overtaken by the present as the Arab refugee crisis grows. With the Austrian far-right political movement gaining power, Rachel’s inner fears are born out as anti-refugee statements begin to circulate with the growing tide of Austrian and European “nationalism.” Can it be that a new Holocaust is about to commence?
The role of “Rachel” has not yet been cast.
DAVID WURAWA as YITZHAK
David began his professional acting training/ tutelage with tutors from Neighborhood School of Theater (USA), Act UP (UK), The Actors Centre (UK), London Academy of Media, Film & Television (UK). His ability to portray a spectrum of characters has garnered him rave reviews and awards. His film and TV credits include John Wick 2, The Quest, MI-5 and Einer von uns.