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Refuge, A Short Film
A Jewish American woman and an Ethiopian refugee reconcile Austria's past with its present.
Sara Hofstein
Vienna, Austria
$5,060 USD raised by 32 backers
51% of $10,000 
flexible goal
No time left

THE FILM

Refuge tells the story of Rachel, a Jewish-American woman who moves to Vienna, Austria to work for the IAEA. She befriends Yitzhak, an Ethiopian Jew and former refugee, who lives in her apartment complex. When confronted with their shared cultural history, Rachel must reconcile her past with Austria's Holocaust history and the current refugee crisis gripping Europe.

THE INSPIRATION

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. The goal is to encourage tolerance in Europe and throughout the world.

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 recent elections 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").

Below are some of the thinly-veiled racist FPÖ billboards from the October 2015 election in Austria.

                    "The ONLY ONE                                           "WE exclude no one,
       who speaks OUR language"                       especially not OUR VIENNESE"

Check out the film's blog for more information regarding the refugee crisis, reference media, inspiration for the film, and background on the cast and crew.

THE CAST

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.

His partial credit list can be seen here and his official website can be viewed here.

THE TEAM

          SARA HOFSTEIN, WRITER/PRODUCER/DIRECTOR

Sara has worked in all phases of film making, from casting through post production, and has bolstered her creative and business skills working on soap operas, movies-of-the-week, reality shows, scripted programming, music videos, commercials, shorts, and feature films. Her career behind the camera began on NBC's Kings in post-production, and Sara has been constantly working since then, casting seasons 6 and 7 of Food Network's Chopped, and working in production on Disney's The Last Song and Paramount's Mean Girls 2. She has worked on TV shows for E! Entertainment, MTV, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and more. In 2014, Sara won Best Original Concept at the Williamsburg International Film Festival for her web series Echo Helix. Beyond her career in the US, Sara has worked on a number of commercials, shorts, and films in Austria and produced feature films in France including The Assignment 1.0 and Killing Uncle Roman.

A partial credit list can be seen here.

          MARIAN GREEN, PRODUCER

As an independent producer, Marian teams with her husband Cinematographer Michael Hofstein to create movies for the U.S. and European market. They recently completed the political thriller LEngagement 1.0, are in post production on the French/American co-production Killing Uncle Roman, and are in development on The Assignment 2.0.

As a professional Hollywood stunt woman and stunt coordinator, Marian has performed stunts on over 130 films and TV shows, including The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Mockingjay Part 2, Anchorman 2, Reservoir Dogs, Terminator, Basic Instinct, Pearl Harbor, Batman Returns, The Nutty Professor, and many more.

A partial credit list can be seen here and her stunt reel can be viewed here.

          MICHAEL HOFSTEIN, CINEMATOGRAPHER

Michael Hofstein has worked as a producer, director, and cinematographer for over 35 years in Hollywood and internationally in China, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Switzerland, and France. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America, the Visual Effects Society, The Cinematographers Guild, and is the North American President of the French Producers Guild, AFPF – Association Française des Producteurs de Films.

His feature credits include The Learning Curve, Le Septieme MensongeBram Stoker’s DraculaRush Hour, and The Mask of Zorro. Television credits include:  Mork and Mindy, Laverne and ShirleyHappy Days, and M.A.S.H. Other series include: Star Trek: VoyagerThe Fall GuyThe Paper ChaseThe A Team and many other series filmed during the 1980s.

A partial credit list can be seen here and his cinematography reel can be viewed here.

THE LOCATIONS

Vienna is central to this story. The locations will be used as backdrops to convey the ever-present shadow that the Holocaust casts over Jewish and European history. We plan to use locations that existed before the war, such as the Stadttempel, structures that were built during the war, such as the flak towers at Augarten and Esterhazypark, and places that were built as a result of the war, such as the Holocaust memorial at Judenplatz.

            

                                                   The flak tower at Augarten

                         

                             The flak tower at Esterhazypark, now an aquarium

                  

                                                      The Holocaust Memorial

      

The Stadttempel ("City Temple"), the only synagogue to survive WWII in Vienna

GIVING BACK

In order to bring more attention to the plight of Syrian refugees, we will be filming their stories and releasing them for all to see, just as Holocaust survivor stories have been recorded over the years. We are currently seeking out assistance from organizations to put us in contact with refugees in Vienna, Austria and translators to help with the interviews.


THE FUNDING

We are planning a 5 day shoot in Vienna, Austria. Below is a breakdown of our budget; any money we make over the goal will go directly into the production value and be used to help offset further post-production costs.

THE PERKS

Please check out our very exciting perks for our contributors! We will be adding secret perks along the way, which we will announce through our social media channels. As a hint at what's to come: Hunger Games fans should especially appreciate these rewards!

We will be updating this page with more footage, news, and other fun stuff, so check back often.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!


Perks
$300
USD
THE STUNTWOMAN
Do you love action films and TV shows, such as The Hunger Games, Reservoir Dogs, Magnum, P.I., Sleepy Hollow, 24, or The Terminator? Then this is the perfect package for you! You will receive an hour-long Skype session with MARIAN GREEN, a leading stuntwoman and the film's producer, at a time to be agreed upon. You can ask her questions about her stunt career, secrets from the sets she's worked on, or anything else about her time in film! You will also receive the Fan Package.
0 out of 5 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Get this perk
$5
USD
Esterhazyperk
You will receive our eternal gratitude, thanks on our production website, and a digital still from the set.
3 claimed
Estimated September 2016
Estimated September 2016
Get this perk
$10
USD
Resselperk
You will receive a shout out on Facebook and Twitter, plus the $5 level.
3 claimed
Estimated September 2016
Estimated September 2016
Get this perk
$25
USD
Stadtperk
You will receive a digital copy of the script, plus the $10 level.
3 claimed
Estimated September 2016
Estimated September 2016
Get this perk
$50
USD
THE DIGITAL PACKAGE
You will receive digital copies of the movie, the script, the poster, and a still, plus a shout out on Facebook and Twitter, and thanks on the website.
5 claimed
Estimated February 2017
Estimated February 2017
Get this perk
$60
USD
+ Shipping
Liechtensteinperk
You will receive a signed copy of the official poster and the Digital Package.
1 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated February 2017
Estimated February 2017
Get this perk
$75
USD
+ Shipping
Schillerperk
You will receive a signed poster, the film on DVD with bonus features, and the Digital Package.
1 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated February 2017
Estimated February 2017
Get this perk
$100
USD
+ Shipping
THE FAN PACKAGE
You will receive thanks in the credits, a poster signed by the cast and crew, a DVD with bonus features, the final shooting script, and the Digital Package.
3 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated February 2017
Estimated February 2017
Get this perk
$100
USD
+ Shipping
CATCHING FIRE Signed Photo!
You will receive a photo from the set of THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE signed by Marian Green, REFUGE's producer and the District 9 tribute in the Quarter Quell. As part of this perk, you will also receive the DIGITAL PACKAGE.
0 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated February 2017
Estimated February 2017
Get this perk
$150
USD
+ Shipping
THE CREW
Get our production-exclusive swag! You will receive our official Refuge crew t-shirt, an autographed script, the cast and crew photo from the final day of production, and the Fan Package.
0 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated February 2017
Estimated February 2017
Get this perk
$200
USD
+ Shipping
Rudolfsperk
Come hang out with us! You will have the opportunity to visit the set in Vienna, Austria where you can meet with the cast and crew, and you will also receive the Fan Package. Filming tentatively set for July; travel and lodging not included.
0 out of 10 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Get this perk
$250
USD
THE CINEMATOGRAPHER
Do you love visual effects or the cinematography of M.A.S.H., RUSH HOUR, STAR TREK, DRACULA, or THE FALL GUY? Then this is a perfect opportunity for the future cinematographer! You will receive a one hour Skype session with MICHAEL HOFSTEIN, the film's DP, where you can ask questions such as how he got into the business, for a critique of your work, or anything else related to film. The Skype session will be set at an agreed-upon time. You will also receive the Fan Package.
0 out of 5 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Get this perk
$350
USD
Donauperk
You and a guest will be one of the first people to see the completed film! You will receive a private screening of REFUGE with MICHAEL HOFSTEIN and MARIAN GREEN in Atlanta, GA, at a time to be agreed upon. You will also receive the Fan Package. Travel and lodging not included.
0 out of 5 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Get this perk
$400
USD
Schlossperk
Party with us! You will have the opportunity to visit the set in Vienna, Austria, and receive two (2) tickets to the film's premiere and party (to be held in Vienna, Austria and/or Atlanta, Georgia) as well as the Fan Package. Travel and lodging not included.
0 out of 5 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Get this perk
$500
USD
THE ACTOR
Make your on-screen debut and join us on set as an extra! Because you are a member of our production, you will receive the Crew Package and you will be credited as an actor on the film and on IMDb! You will also receive two tickets to the premiere and party (to be held in Vienna, Austria and/or Atlanta, Georgia). Filming tentatively set for July; travel and lodging not included.
1 out of 10 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Get this perk
$1000
USD
THE ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Have you ever wanted to be a film producer? Here's your chance! Learn what it takes to create a film. We will keep you updated on the process and you'll get one-on-one time with the filmmakers. You'll receive AP credit on the film and on IMDb. Join us on set, and bring a guest to the film's premiere and party! As an official member of our production, you will also receive the Crew Package. Filming tentatively set for July in Vienna, Austria; travel and lodging not included.
1 out of 4 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Get this perk
$2000
USD
THE CO-PRODUCER
You are the big schnitzel, as they say in Austria (just kidding! They don't say that). We will keep you continuously updated on the production's status, pre through post. Join us on set and receive a private first look at the film, as well as ten invites to the premiere and party, and receive a co-producer credit on the film and on IMDb. As a member of our production team, you will receive the Crew package. Filming tentatively set for July in Vienna, Austria; travel and lodging not included.
0 out of 3 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Get this perk
Perks
$300
USD
THE STUNTWOMAN
Do you love action films and TV shows, such as The Hunger Games, Reservoir Dogs, Magnum, P.I., Sleepy Hollow, 24, or The Terminator? Then this is the perfect package for you! You will receive an hour-long Skype session with MARIAN GREEN, a leading stuntwoman and the film's producer, at a time to be agreed upon. You can ask her questions about her stunt career, secrets from the sets she's worked on, or anything else about her time in film! You will also receive the Fan Package.
0 out of 5 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Get this perk
$5
USD
Esterhazyperk
You will receive our eternal gratitude, thanks on our production website, and a digital still from the set.
3 claimed
Estimated September 2016
Estimated September 2016
Get this perk
$10
USD
Resselperk
You will receive a shout out on Facebook and Twitter, plus the $5 level.
3 claimed
Estimated September 2016
Estimated September 2016
Get this perk
$25
USD
Stadtperk
You will receive a digital copy of the script, plus the $10 level.
3 claimed
Estimated September 2016
Estimated September 2016
Get this perk
$50
USD
THE DIGITAL PACKAGE
You will receive digital copies of the movie, the script, the poster, and a still, plus a shout out on Facebook and Twitter, and thanks on the website.
5 claimed
Estimated February 2017
Estimated February 2017
Get this perk
$60
USD
+ Shipping
Liechtensteinperk
You will receive a signed copy of the official poster and the Digital Package.
1 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated February 2017
Estimated February 2017
Get this perk
$75
USD
+ Shipping
Schillerperk
You will receive a signed poster, the film on DVD with bonus features, and the Digital Package.
1 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated February 2017
Estimated February 2017
Get this perk
$100
USD
+ Shipping
THE FAN PACKAGE
You will receive thanks in the credits, a poster signed by the cast and crew, a DVD with bonus features, the final shooting script, and the Digital Package.
3 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated February 2017
Estimated February 2017
Get this perk
$100
USD
+ Shipping
CATCHING FIRE Signed Photo!
You will receive a photo from the set of THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE signed by Marian Green, REFUGE's producer and the District 9 tribute in the Quarter Quell. As part of this perk, you will also receive the DIGITAL PACKAGE.
0 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated February 2017
Estimated February 2017
Get this perk
$150
USD
+ Shipping
THE CREW
Get our production-exclusive swag! You will receive our official Refuge crew t-shirt, an autographed script, the cast and crew photo from the final day of production, and the Fan Package.
0 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated February 2017
Estimated February 2017
Get this perk
$200
USD
+ Shipping
Rudolfsperk
Come hang out with us! You will have the opportunity to visit the set in Vienna, Austria where you can meet with the cast and crew, and you will also receive the Fan Package. Filming tentatively set for July; travel and lodging not included.
0 out of 10 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Get this perk
$250
USD
THE CINEMATOGRAPHER
Do you love visual effects or the cinematography of M.A.S.H., RUSH HOUR, STAR TREK, DRACULA, or THE FALL GUY? Then this is a perfect opportunity for the future cinematographer! You will receive a one hour Skype session with MICHAEL HOFSTEIN, the film's DP, where you can ask questions such as how he got into the business, for a critique of your work, or anything else related to film. The Skype session will be set at an agreed-upon time. You will also receive the Fan Package.
0 out of 5 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Get this perk
$350
USD
Donauperk
You and a guest will be one of the first people to see the completed film! You will receive a private screening of REFUGE with MICHAEL HOFSTEIN and MARIAN GREEN in Atlanta, GA, at a time to be agreed upon. You will also receive the Fan Package. Travel and lodging not included.
0 out of 5 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Get this perk
$400
USD
Schlossperk
Party with us! You will have the opportunity to visit the set in Vienna, Austria, and receive two (2) tickets to the film's premiere and party (to be held in Vienna, Austria and/or Atlanta, Georgia) as well as the Fan Package. Travel and lodging not included.
0 out of 5 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Get this perk
$500
USD
THE ACTOR
Make your on-screen debut and join us on set as an extra! Because you are a member of our production, you will receive the Crew Package and you will be credited as an actor on the film and on IMDb! You will also receive two tickets to the premiere and party (to be held in Vienna, Austria and/or Atlanta, Georgia). Filming tentatively set for July; travel and lodging not included.
1 out of 10 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Get this perk
$1000
USD
THE ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Have you ever wanted to be a film producer? Here's your chance! Learn what it takes to create a film. We will keep you updated on the process and you'll get one-on-one time with the filmmakers. You'll receive AP credit on the film and on IMDb. Join us on set, and bring a guest to the film's premiere and party! As an official member of our production, you will also receive the Crew Package. Filming tentatively set for July in Vienna, Austria; travel and lodging not included.
1 out of 4 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Get this perk
$2000
USD
THE CO-PRODUCER
You are the big schnitzel, as they say in Austria (just kidding! They don't say that). We will keep you continuously updated on the production's status, pre through post. Join us on set and receive a private first look at the film, as well as ten invites to the premiere and party, and receive a co-producer credit on the film and on IMDb. As a member of our production team, you will receive the Crew package. Filming tentatively set for July in Vienna, Austria; travel and lodging not included.
0 out of 3 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Get this perk
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