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‘Big Sonia’: Not Your Typical Holocaust Survivor Film

'Big Sonia': Not Your Typical Holocaust Survivor Film

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Big Sonia

Tweetable Logline: BIG SONIA profiles 89-year old Diva and Holocaust survivor Sonia Warshawski. Deeply rooted in the past and completely relevant NOW.

Elevator Pitch: BIG SONIA is a feature documentary about 89-year old, 4’8″ Sonia Warshawski – Diva, businesswoman, and Holocaust survivor living in suburban Kansas City. She still drives herself to work every day at her late husband’s tailor shop – John’s Tailoring – in the corner of a giant dead mall. 

Sonia can barely see over the steering wheel of her giant pink Buick, but customers come from far and wide just to be in her presence.

And she just so happens to be my grandmother.

Production Team:

Leah Warshawski – Producer, Co-Director – Credits: FINDING HILLYWOOD (2013, feature doc); PERSONHOOD (2016, feature doc currently in production).

Todd Soliday – DP, Co-Director, Editor – Credits: FINDING HILLYWOOD; THE BREACH (2014, feature doc); OUT OF LUCK (2015, feature doc); PLATINUM (2005, feature doc)

Eric Frith – Story Producer – Credits: FINDING HILLYWOOD; THE BREACH; EDEN (2012, feature); HEART OF THE GAME (2005, feature)

Other production crew:
Doug Loviska – Assistant Editor 
Ni’coel Stark – Co-ep
Rachel Ignotofsky – Graphic Designer

About the Film: I have experience telling difficult stories, and try to represent tragedy authentic to the ways in which people experience it. Survival often involves preaching about “hope,” and a great deal of humor – one of the cornerstones of Sonia’s strength. Everyone (from adolescent girls to men serving life sentences in prison) sees themselves in Sonia – and she in them. BIG SONIA, encourages viewers to examine their lives and cherish each day. Rather than a typical “Jewish Holocaust Film,” we aim to represent one of the last survivors on her own terms.

Current Status: Principle photography complete, currently raising funds for post-production to hopefully complete the film before Sonia turns 90 (Nov. 2015).

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