Documentary on Holocaust survivor’s journey to be screened at LP film fest

LAKE PLACID — The documentary film “Return to Auschwitz: The Survival of Vladimir Munk,” based on retired SUNY Plattsburgh professor and Holocaust survivor Vladimir Munk’s return to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp, is part of this year’s Lake Placid Film Festival. Vladimir and filmmaker Paul Frederick will be present for the Q&A after the film.

In January of 2020, a film crew followed Munk as he attended the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in Poland. Munk was one of 120 survivors of the camp in a survivor’s delegation who attended the event and walked the camp where they were imprisoned 75 years ago. Of the 1.3 million people sent to Auschwitz, 1.1 million died. The documentary had its premiere showing in September 2021 at the Strand Center for the Arts in Plattsburgh.

The survivor’s delegation in 2020 was the first time Munk had returned to Poland since he was liberated in 1945. Now a resident of Plattsburgh, Munk was born in Pardubice, Czech Republic. At the age of 17, Munk was deported first to Terezin concentration camp and then to Auschwitz in October of 1944. Munk lost both his parents and many other family members at Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps. He met his wife, Kitty, in Terezin. They were married after the war.

Prior to the trip, Munk said: “It will be like going to a cemetery.” The film includes interviews with family and friends as the then-94-year-old embarked on a transatlantic journey to a place that lives on in infamy.

The Lake Placid Film Festival is slated Thursday, Oct. 21 to Sunday, Oct. 24. The festival will present more than 30 feature and 40 short films, as well as educational programs on film production, marketing and the law. In addition, the 40th anniversary of the acclaimed Asbury Shorts USA, New York City’s longest running non-competitive short film exhibition and travel show, will take place during the festival. The four days of events kick off with an opening party trailer party on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 and ends with the Film Shorts Award Ceremony on Oct. 24.

A full festival schedule, which is still being updated, can be found at www.adirondackfilm.org/event/lake-placid-film-festival. In order to keep the film community safe, the festival is requesting that all participants provide proof of vaccination, photo ID and don a mask at all indoor venues.

“With your help, we’ll keep our film community safe,” said Adirondack Film Chair Gary Smith.


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