Sponsored by the Dweck Family.

The WJFF’s Annual Visionary Award recognizes creativity and insight in presenting the full diversity of the Jewish experience through moving image. The 2018 honoree is Roberta Grossman, who will join us for a special extended Q&A and Award ceremony. The award will be presented alongside a special preview of clip excerpts from her forthcoming film, Who Will Write our History.

Event Details

Saturday, May 5, 8:30 PM
AFI Silver Theatre
8633 Colesville Road
Silver Spring, MD

WJFF Visionary Award Honoree

WJFF Visionary Award Honoree

Roberta Grossman is an award-winning filmmaker who has written, directed, and produced more than 40 hours of film and television. Grossman’s 2012 Hava Nagila (The Movie) uses the song “Hava Nagila” as a portal into 150 years of Jewish history, culture, and spirituality. Hannah Senesh: Blessed Is the Match, Grossman’s 2008 film, was shortlisted for an Academy Award, aired on PBS, and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy.

In 2014, Grossman completed Above and Beyond with producer Nancy Spielberg, about the Jewish- American WWII pilots who volunteered to fight in Israel’s War of Independence. Most recently, Grossman teamed with Sophie Sartain to co-direct the Netflix documentary Seeing Allred, which premiered to great acclaim at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

She also produced Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning500 Nations, and Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action.

About the Film

Preview Clips presented as part of WJFF Visionary Award
Who Will Write Our History tells the story of Emanuel Ringelblum and the Oyneg Shabes
Archive, the secret archive he created and led in the Warsaw Ghetto. With 30,000
pages of writing, photographs, posters, and more, the Oyneg Shabes Archive is the most
important cache of in-the-moment, eyewitness accounts from the Holocaust. It documents
not only how the Jews of the ghetto died, but how they lived. The film is based on the book
of the same name by historian Samuel Kassow.

Festival films by Roberta Grossman


Dir. Sophie Sartain and Roberta Grossman
96 min | USA | 2018 | Documentary

Followed by a discussion with filmmakers Roberta Grossman and Sophie Sartain on the #MeToo movement.

To some, Gloria Allred is a money-grubbing, shrill feminist prone to tawdry theatrics; to others she’s the most effective and fearless women’s rights attorney in America. In this intimate, wartsand- all documentary, one thing is certain: Allred’s 40-year devotion to asserting, protecting, and expanding the rights of women is unwavering and her influence unassailable.

Whether fighting gender discrimination in toy stores, spousal abuse in the O.J. trial, or sexual harassment by Donald Trump, every case is personal and an opportunity to amplify the cause. Her special brand of advocacy often calls for creative solutions. When the statute of limitations prevented her clients from pressing charges against Bill Cosby, she led them in a battle to eliminate the statute for the benefit of future victims. At 75, like an unstoppable superhero with a rolling suitcase and no time to lose, she crisscrosses the country arguing cases, marching for justice, and delivering impromptu speeches on the Lincoln Memorial steps. And as the #MeToo movement gathers steam and powerful men fall, Allred knowingly, stoically declares, “The fight has only just begun.”

-Note adapted from Sundance Film Festival


Dir. Roberta Grossman
86 min | USA | 2008 | Documentary

Special 10th Anniversary Screening, with introduction by Roberta Grossman.

In 1944, 22-year-old Hannah Senesh parachuted into Nazi-occupied Europe with a small group of Jewish volunteers from Palestine. Theirs was the only military rescue mission for Jews that occurred in World War II.

Narrated by Academy Award®-winner Joan Allen, the multi-award-winning film follows the remarkable journey of this young Hungarian poet and diarist, paratrooper, and resistance fighter.