UPDATE: CIFF44 CANCELLED

While we are saddened that our film loving audience will not have the opportunity to experience CIFF44's amazing films and talented filmmakers, we understand the City's obligation to protect the health and safety of all residents. We regret not having the opportunity to celebrate our three decades at Tower City Center. But we look forward to presenting CIFF45, April 7-18, 2021, at our new and permanent home in Playhouse Square.

While we are saddened that our film loving audience will not have the opportunity to experience CIFF44's amazing films and talented filmmakers, we understand the City's obligation to protect the health and safety of all residents. We regret not having the opportunity to celebrate our three decades at Tower City Center. But we look forward to presenting CIFF45, April 7-18, 2021, at our new and permanent home in Playhouse Square.

While we are saddened that our film loving audience will not have the opportunity to experience CIFF44's amazing films and talented filmmakers, we understand the City's obligation to protect the health and safety of all residents. We regret not having the opportunity to celebrate our three decades at Tower City Center. But we look forward to presenting CIFF45, April 7-18, 2021, at our new and permanent home in Playhouse Square.

While we are saddened that our film loving audience will not have the opportunity to experience CIFF44's amazing films and talented filmmakers, we understand the City's obligation to protect the health and safety of all residents. We regret not having the opportunity to celebrate our three decades at Tower City Center. But we look forward to presenting CIFF45, April 7-18, 2021, at our new and permanent home in Playhouse Square.

While we are saddened that our film loving audience will not have the opportunity to experience CIFF44's amazing films and talented filmmakers, we understand the City's obligation to protect the health and safety of all residents. We regret not having the opportunity to celebrate our three decades at Tower City Center. But we look forward to presenting CIFF45, April 7-18, 2021, at our new and permanent home in Playhouse Square.

Cleveland International Film Festival } March 25 – April 7, 2020 } See Beyond

BIG SONIA

 

Year: 2016
Country: USA
Run Time: 93 minutes

BIG SONIA
BIG SONIA
BIG SONIA
BIG SONIA

Six days a week, 90-year-old Sonia Warshawski climbs into her oversized Oldsmobile and heads for the only store still open in a decrepit Kansas City shopping mall. Long after Macy’s and The Limited were boarded up, John’s Tailoring still stands. Sonia, under five feet tall, is herself a survivor—of the Holocaust. Deported from Mi?dzyrzec, Poland at age 13, she lived through Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. Now her work at John’s helps her to not think about the “dark spot.” BIG SONIA is a heartfelt labor of love by her granddaughter Leah Warshawski. Sonia is upbeat and decidedly old school, always made up and coiffed, fresh flowers on the shop counter. She greets customers of 30 years by name. Even Vernon, the lone mall security guard, comes around to check on her. Now Sonia’s most important work are her talks in schools and prisons, where her story brings middle schoolers and hardened criminals to tears. We’re going backwards, she tells them: hate is still growing in the world. But no matter what you’ve been through, you can choose who to be in the future. Everybody better listen to BIG SONIA. —B.B.

CIFF41 Screenings

Tower City Cinemas

Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 6:15 PM

Friday, March 31, 2017 at 1:55 PM

Sunday, April 09, 2017 at 2:50 PM

Sidebars
JEWISH AND ISRAELI VISIONS
WOMEN OF THE WORLD

Genre
Recommended for High School Students +

Competitions
ReelWomenDirect Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman
Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Competition

Director
Leah Warshawski, Todd Soliday

Leah Warshawski produces documentaries, television productions, commercials, and branded entertainment in remote parts of the world. Todd Soliday is a jack-of-all-trades with 25 years' experience in production and post. He specializes in documentary storytelling and adventure films.

Filmography
BIG SONIA (2016)

Producer
Leah Warshawski

Cinematography
Todd Soliday

Editing
Todd Soliday, Eric Frith, Doug Loviska

This film is presented with the generous support of TED and SUSAN.

Film Sponsors

Kiwanis Foundation of Cleveland

Community Partners

Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

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