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Production Still "An Unknown Country"
Member Screening Series: An Unknown Country

The NYWIFT Member Screening Series provides members with the opportunity to show their work in a theatrical setting. The screenings take place at Anthology Film Archives, followed by networking at a nearby bar.

Join us for this month's feature An Unknown Country written, directed and produced by member Eva Zelig. Eva will be available for a Q&A immediately following the film.

An Unknown Country
Eva Zelig (Director/Writer/Producer)
2015, 90 min.

The documentary An Unknown Country tells the story of European Jews who escaped Nazi persecution to find refuge in an unlikely destination: Ecuador. This small South American country, barely known at the time, took them in when most other nations had closed their doors. Featuring first-hand accounts, family photos, and archival material, the film follows the exiles' perilous escape and difficult adjustment as they remade their lives in what was for them an exotic, unfamiliar land.

The film reveals fresh insights as it chronicles the refugees’ struggles to build new lives while holding on to elements of their European culture. It explores the relations between the local inhabitants and the European exiles in their midst, and highlights the contributions the refugees made to the economic, artistic, and cultural life of their host country. Their poignant experience is a lesson in survival and perseverance echoed in current events. The film fulfills a vital mission in capturing and preserving the stories of those who witnessed and endured one of the most harrowing periods of the 20th century.

Eva Zelig
is a producer/writer whose work has appeared on PBS and other major TV networks. She has won several awards, including an Emmy, two CINE Golden Eagles, Gold Apple/National Educational Media Network, Pinnacle Award/American Women in Radio and TV, Gold Medal/International Film and TV Festival of New York. Zelig  was a producer for the award-winning PBS series Innovation and many other PBS productions. She has created educational videos for schools and museums, including the first multimedia exhibit on climate change for the American Museum of Natural History — winner of the American Association of Museums Curators Award.

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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts