world war 2
Posts

  • “Shanghai 1937: Where World War II Began” Previews at New York Film Academy (NYFA)

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    This is a big week for me, and for a group of instructors, here at the New York Film Academy (NYFA). On Wednesday, my latest documentary will make it’s US television premiere. And it could never have been made without the support of NYFA, and my fellow faculty members.

    Distributed by American Public Television, Shanghai 1937: Where World War II Began will debut on WLIW/21 in New York on Wednesday, November 7 at 10pm. The following evening, November 8, the program will air on NJTV at 9pm and will be seen by viewers in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. (A schedule for key US markets can be found below.) Eventually we anticipate 200+ channels airing the program. 

    Following a six-month exclusive “window” for Public Television distribution, the documentary will become available on popular streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and iTunes.

    Shanghai 1937

    Shanghai 1937

    World War II started in 1937? In China?

    Those are the provocative questions behind the new Public Television documentary Shanghai 1937: Where World War II Began. While largely forgotten outside of China, the Battle of Shanghai in 1937 marked the first time the military forces of Imperial Japan came up against effective, ongoing resistance. The first American civilians killed in what would become World War II, as well as the first American serviceman, died in Shanghai during August 1937.

    In Shanghai 1937: Where World War II Began, a group of internationally recognized historians and scholars describe how the events that took place in Shanghai pulled the world inevitably towards war, while at the same time instilling in the Chinese people a true sense of nationhood. The results of that transformation continue to be felt today. In fact, to understand contemporary Chinese attitudes and policies, you have to look to its past.

    Still, at its heart, this is the story of shattered lives and enduring dreams. That story is told in part by Liliane Willens, who at 92 years old is one of the few witnesses to these events still alive. She and her family were members of a community of stateless Russian Jews. Deemed “citizens of nowhere,” they were welcome to live in Shanghai, but could never leave.

    Shanghai’s large expat community controlled the city’s economy, living lives of privilege. War destroyed their world, and set the stage for the China of today. Liliane would eventually be admitted to the United States in 1951, and went on to teach at prestigious American colleges and universities. Today she is a lecturer and author, living in Washington, D.C.

    Production of Shanghai 1937: Where World War II Began spanned three years and three continents. It incorporates little-seen footage located in film libraries around the world, as well as original interviews and scenic footage shot specifically for this documentary. Contributors include two of the leading Chinese experts on this subject: Su Zhiliang, Ph.D. of Shanghai Normal University and Ma Zhendu, Director of the Second Historical Archives of China, as well as Hans van de Ven, Ph.D. of the University of Cambridge in England, American military historian Edward Drea, Ph.D., and Danish historian and author Peter Harmsen.

    Teacher’s Notes written by Syd Golston, a past president of the National Council for the Social Studies, can be downloaded free of charge. Included in these materials are poems written by Chinese American author Wing Tek Lum. The Teacher’s Notes are at Shanghai1937.tv, where additional information about the program is also available along with a trailer.

    I am the Producer/Director of Shanghai 1937: Where World War II Began. Previously I developed and produced programming for PBS, CBS, ABC, HBO and Discovery. I’ve been telling stories about China for more than 25 years. My four-part documentary series tied to the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beyond Beijing, was seen in 43 countries by 250+ million viewers. I became Chair of the Broadcast Journalism school at the New York Film Academy in 2013.

    Co-Producer/Editor Evgenia Vlasova was the anchor and co-producer of an award-winning morning show in her native Russia. Born in the Russian Far East, she is no stranger to China. She too is a faculty member in the Broadcast Journalism department at the New York Film Academy.

    Digital Producer Theresa Loong traces her family heritage back to southern China. She is a multimedia producer and director based in New York.

    Associate Producer Nancy Hanzhang Shen previously worked in admissions and social media at NYFA. She is now a freelance video editor. NYFA audio instructor Dionysius Vlachos was the Supervising Sound Editor, NYFA editing instructor Lexi Phillips was the Colorist, and NYFA acting instructor Lea Tolub Brandenburg narrated key passages. Wenting Wu was the Graphic Designer. (That is her wonderful work that you see in the trailer, and the opening of the program.)

    Last Thursday we had a preview screening at NYFA, with our own version of a red carpet. Only at this event, it was the production personnel who took center stage.

    Shanghai 1937

    L to R: Bill Einreinhofer, Theresa Loong, Nancy Hanzhang Shen, Evgenia Vlasova

     

    Shanghai 1937

    L to R: Nancy Hanzhang Shen, Wenting Wu, Evgenia Vlasova, Bill Einreinhofer, Dee Vlachos

     


    U.S. TOP 50 MARKETS CARRIAGE
    (Partial list, all times are local. Some stations will air the program more than once.)

    New York
    WLIW Wednesday 11/7/18 @ 10p
    WNJB (NJTV) Thursday 11/8/18 @ 9p
    WNJN (NJTV) Thursday 11/8/18 @ 9p

    Los Angeles
    KLCS Tuesday 11/13/18 @ 9p
    KCET Tuesday 11/13/18 @ 8p

    Chicago
    WTTW Sunday 11/11/18 @ 5p

    Philadelphia
    WNJS (NJTV) Thursday 11/8/18 @ 9p
    WNJT (NJTV) Thursday 11/8/18 @ 9p

    San Francisco
    KQED Sunday 11/11/18 @ 7p
    KRCB Sunday 11/18/18 @ 10p

    Seattle
    KCTS Monday 11/12/18 @ 1p (Veterans Day programming)

    Miami
    WLRN Monday 11/12/18 @ 8p

    Denver
    KRMA Tuesday 11/20/18 @ 10p

    Orlando
    WEFS Sunday 11/11/18 @ 9p

    Charlotte
    WNSC Sunday 11/11/18 @ 2p

    Nashville
    WNPT Thursday 11/8/18 @ 11p

    Salt Lake City
    KUEN Wednesday 11/14/18 @ 9p

    Kansas City
    KCPT Sunday 11/11/18 @ 2p

    Cincinnati
    WCET Tuesday 12/4/18 @ 8p

    Greenville-Spartanburg
    WNEH Sunday 11/11/18 @ 2p

    Austin
    KLRU Thursday 11/8/18 @ 9p

    Albuquerque
    KENW Friday 11/9/18 @ 9p

    Louisville
    WKMJ Sunday 11/11/18 @10p

    Grand Rapids
    WGVK Sunday 11/11/18 @ 3p

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    November 6, 2018 • Broadcast Journalism, China, Documentary Filmmaking, Faculty Highlights • Views: 641

  • Watch Broadcast Journalism Chair’s WWII Doc ‘So Very Far From Home’

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Eight years ago, New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism Chair, Bill Einreinhofer produced a documentary called So Very Far From Home. The documentary is about innocent American, British, Australian and Dutch children who were sent to prison camps in Japanese-occupied China during World War II. The camps were places of hunger, disease, brutality and death. A fictionalized version was the basis of Steven Spielberg’s epic film Empire of the Sun.

    To mark the 70th anniversary of the rescue of these child-prisoners, Einreinhofer hopes to share the documentary to new viewers via social media as a way to remember, and commemorate, a forgotten bit of history.

    With the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II rapidly approaching, this is probably the last opportunity to get this story out!

    You can watch the documentary in its entirety below.

    So Very Far From Home from Bill Einreinhofer on Vimeo.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    August 11, 2015 • Broadcast Journalism, Documentary Filmmaking • Views: 3451

  • NYFA Screens ‘The Monuments Men’ with Writer / Producer Grant Heslov

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
    Grant Heslov NYFA

    Tova Laiter with Grant Heslov at a full house

    Grant Heslov, Academy Award winning Writer/ Producer (Argo) and George Clooney’s partner at Smokehouse, was the guest tonight at the New York Film Academy for a sneak preview of the upcoming SONY Pictures release The Monuments Men! Over 220 eager students participated in the Q&A, which was moderated by Producer Tova Laiter.

    One of the first questions on Tova’s mind was how the film came about. Grant, a very funny and charming speaker, told the students that, “I was traveling, forgot my book at the hotel, so I went to the airport bookstore. I really loved it. It was a story I’d never heard before and George (Clooney) and I decided to make it. You never know what you’re going to find in an airport!”

    When asked by Tova how he and Clooney met Grant described his college days. “It was the summer of my freshman year, when I was about 19. I took an acting class and George was in it. We’ve been friends ever since.”

    grant heslovGrant earned a BFA in Theater and Acting at USC and was an actor for 20 years. He feels that his education in acting has been a great base for much of the work he does in terms of writing and character, being on sets, and observing how it’s all done.

    A student asked Grant about the writing process and specifically about handling a writing block in the middle of a project. Grant admitted that writing is challenging. “The middle is always hard. I’m lucky that I write with a partner. You have to turn off your editor mind and just write whatever.”

    Steven, a student, asked Grant what drives him, especially now that he is an accomplished actor, writer and producer. “The desire to tell good stories is the drive.”

    Grant plays a doctor in The Monuments Men, although this was not planned. He told the story of a British actor whose wife went into labor and pulled out of the project at the last minute. George Clooney suggested Grant jump in and play the doctor. “I still have my SAG card,” he joked.

    Student, Marielle asked Grant about the responsibility involved in telling real stories, which he has done plenty of in recent film projects (Good Night and Good Luck, Argo, and now The Monuments Men). Grant explained, “We aren’t making docs or docu-dramas, but you try to stay true. In Good Night and Good Luck, for example, we had access to the newscasters as they were still around. In Argo, we stuck pretty close to the story except for the end. In this film, there were hundreds of Monuments Men. Then you are trying to piece it all together, and we changed the names so we can get into the flaws of the characters more.”

    Asked what were his biggest assets and obstacles in becoming a filmmaker, he joked that in both cases it was, “being an actor.”

    A student asked Grant what was his relationship with art and history as a storyteller. “I love art and I love history. I am interested in World War II –as it was a defining moment in history. I’m Jewish, and there is a connection.”

    Clearly Grant and George have a good system in place working together. He shared with the audience that all of their films have been produced and completed under budget. The Monuments Men finished $5 million under budget and they wrote it in 3-4 months.

    Finally, Grant told another comedic story about having a hard time naming their production company, Smokehouse Productions. He said that his and George’s office was directly across the street from the restaurant in Burbank, and that they used to go there to drink at the bar (It is also across the street from one of the NYFA buildings in Burbank). One day, George called him and suggested they name their production company after the restaurant.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    February 3, 2014 • Guest Speakers • Views: 4795

  • Michael Cudlitz Discusses His Acting Career with NYFA Students

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    1

    Last week, the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles screened the final episode of the television series, Southland, and the fourth episode of Band of Brothers. Why you ask? Because of our special guest, actor, Michael Cudlitz. From his introduction to when he left the stage, Michael was very down-to-earth and cordial – something that is truly refreshing in this town.

    Michael discussed his fondness for TV work, due to the fact that most series are very character driven. He also talked about coping with the ups-and-downs of being an actor. Even Michael is currently “unemployed” (although, of course, he has prospects) and this didn’t seem to bother him in the least. He encouraged NYFA’s acting students to surround themselves with positive people who motivate, not bring them down, and to always be doing something to progress their career. “I think it’s all hard and it’s all exciting,” added Cudlitz.

    2Another aspect of acting that Michael stressed was research and “doing your homework.” Michael had been on at least twenty ride-alongs with cops while preparing for his role of Officer John Cooper on Southland. Though, he admits he was fairly unprepared for his role as a World War 2 soldier in Band of Brothers.

    “You need to just go with what’s there. You need to live in that moment… What’s important is, whatever work you do at home, trust that it’s going to be there when you’re at work, and forget about it, in a way. I mean, forget about it in the moment. Don’t get so lost in the process, that the process is screwing you up. Because other people, other actors, directors, everyone’s going to bring different elements into it, things that you never thought of, and it’s going to help elevate what you’re doing.”

    All in all, his love of acting was very inspiring. He’s truly the kind of guy you’d want in your group of friends. It’s clear that his success was a result of focus and hard work.

     

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    July 17, 2013 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 4522