Who Will Write Our History
In November 1940, days after the Nazis sealed 450,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, a secret band of journalists, scholars and activists known by the code name Oyneg Shabes, vowed to defeat Nazi lies and propaganda not with guns or fists but with the ultimate weapon – the truth. Who Will Write Our History tells the story of this courageous group of spiritual resisters – people who risked everything so that their archive would survive the war, even if they did not.
Screening of film is followed by a moderated post-film conversation with Director Roberta Grossman, Executive Producer Nancy Spielberg, Committee to Protect Journalists Executive Director Joel Simon and USC Shoah Foundation Executive Director Stephen D. Smith.
Roberta Grossman, Director/Producer
An award-winning filmmaker, Roberta Grossman has written, directed and produced more than 40 hours of film and television. Grossman wrote, produced and directed Who Will Write Our History. She co-directed and produced the Netflix Original Seeing Allred, about women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred which premiered in competition at Sundance in 2018. In 2014, Grossman directed Above and Beyond and Hava Nagila (The Movie) in 2012. Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh (2008) was shortlisted for an Academy Award, aired on PBS/Independent Lens and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy. Grossman produced Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning, which aired on PBS/American Masters in 2014, and was the series producer and co-writer of 500 Nations, the eight-hour CBS series on Native American history. Her film Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action, aired on PBS in 2005.
Nancy Spielberg, Executive Producer
Producer Nancy Spielberg grew up immersed in filmmaking, working on her brother's early films as cast and crew. She attended Arizona State University and UCLA and, after moving to New York in 1978, studied film at Sarah Lawrence College and the New School. An accomplished businesswoman and philanthropist, she has turned her energy and talents to producing documentary and feature films. She produced Above and Beyond, winner of the audience award at more than twenty film festivals. She is executive producer of Who Will Write Our History.
Joel Simon, Executive Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists
Joel Simon has been executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists since 2006. Simon has led the organization through a period of expansion, growing CPJ's network of global correspondents, creating a new North America program focused on press freedom advocacy in the United States, and helping to develop an Emergency Response Team focused on safety and direct assistance to journalists in crisis around the world. Under his leadership, CPJ has been honored with numerous awards, including the Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights, a News & Documentary Emmy, and the 2018 Chatham House Prize, given for the most significant contribution to the improvement of international relations. Simon has written widely on press freedom for publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal. Simon has appeared on CNN, the BBC, NPR, FOX News, and Al Jazeera.
Stephen D. Smith, Finci-Viterbi Executive Director, USC Shoah Foundation
Dr. Stephen D. Smith is the Finci -Viterbi Executive Director of USC Shoah Foundation, and holds the UNESCO Chair on Genocide Education. Smith founded the UK Holocaust Centre in Nottinghamshire, England and cofounded the Aegis Trust for the prevention of crimes against humanity and genocide. Smith has served as a producer on a number of film and new media projects, including Dimensions in Testimony, and the VR project The Last Goodbye. In recognition of his work, Smith has become a member of the Order of the British Empire and received the Interfaith Gold Medallion. He also holds two honorary doctorates, and lectures widely on issues relating to the history and collective response to the Holocaust, genocide, and crimes against humanity.