Directed by Jordy Sank, “I Am Here” tells Blumenthal’s incredible life story, starting with her youth in Poland during World War II, where she witnessed the Warsaw ghetto uprising and was a prisoner in the Majdanek, Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps. Shot as Blumenthal celebrated her 98th birthday with family and friends in South Africa, the film uses evocative, hand-drawn animation to illustrate stories from her life.
Blue Fox will release “I Am Here” theatrically in early 2022. Metro International, who is handling worldwide sales on the film, negotiated the deal with Blue Fox. Metro has also concluded deals with Kismet Movies in Australia/New Zealand, where the film will have a theatrical run at the end of the year, DNC Entertainment in Italy, and Nos Lusomundo in Portugal, with further deals to be confirmed soon.
“Having Ella’s voice to remind us all of the horrors of the Holocaust is not to be forgotten, but even more powerful and uplifting is her example of forgiveness and tolerance,” said Blue Fox’s James Huntsman.
“We are so thrilled and privileged to be working with Blue Fox to share Ella’s remarkable spirit, boundless energy and magnetic personality with U.S. audiences,” said Sank.
“I Am Here” premiered at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award for Best Documentary, and also screened in the Miami International Jewish Film Festival and the Encounters Documentary Festival in South Africa. The film’s Durban triumph came as Blumenthal celebrated her centennial birthday on July 24.
Pic is produced by Gabriella Blumberg and Sank of South Africa’s Sanktuary Films, with financial backing from Claims Conference, an organization that provides reparations for Jewish Holocaust victims. Claims Conference previously backed Lázló Nemes’ foreign-language Oscar winner “Son of Saul.”