Oscar winner returning to St. John's with trophy, films
An Academy Award-winning producer with ties to Newfoundland and Labrador is making his way back to the province on Monday with his new Oscar for a film screening.
Jon Kitzen is the co-producer of The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life, which won best documentary short at the 2014 Academy Awards.
Kitzen said he has close ties to the island.
"I was one of those guys flying on Sept. 11, and I ended up diverting to St. John's for a six-day vacation," he said.
"I ended up deciding that I was going to come back and live there, and I did."
Kitzen returned to St. John's in 2003, bought a house, and moved there full-time a couple of years later.
"My kids were born there, so I have two Newfoundlanders," he said.
While Kitzen said he still has a house in St. John's and loves the city, he now lives out west.
"I'm just in Vancouver now because it's certainly an easier commute," he said.
Kitzen will return to the province on Monday for a special screening of his award-winning movie.
The Lady in Number 6 is about Alice Herz-Sommer, who was believed to be the world's oldest Holocaust survivor, before her death two weeks ago. She was 110.
Herz-Sommer was a pianist, who was part of a feeder camp to Auschwitz, where prisoners held shows for entertainment. Kitzen said she gave more than 100 performances during her time there.
"It's more about the act of forgiveness, the act of moving forward and leaving behind that which affects you or might drag you back.
Kitzen said Herz-Sommer had a great influence on the path that the film took.
"She created this story in many different ways, but also created this message of hope and redemption," he said.
At the screening, Kitzen and his team will also show a new project about World War I called Soldiers' Stories.
"It's the world's oldest 3-D film, and it's actually in the large format, IMAX format, 3-D, and it uses original 3-D images from World War I — what most people don't realize is that they shot 3-D back then, in the trenches," he said.
"This is the first time it's coming to the big screen."
Kitzen said it's not about the war as a whole, but more so about the perspective of soldiers, who narrate the film with their own personal experiences.
The films will be screened at the Johnson Geo Centre on March 13 at 6:30 p.m.