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LOS ANGELES, CA, NOVEMBER 2 – The Museum of Tolerance has announced its lineup of films for the first Museum of Tolerance International Film Festival (MOTIFF) taking place November 13-18, 2010 in Los Angeles, it was announced today by Museum officials.

The opening night film will be "The Way Back," directed by six-time Academy Award® nominee Peter Weir who is scheduled to attend the opening night and lead the Q&A following the screening. Inspired by Slavomir Rawicz's acclaimed novel, The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom as well as other real life accounts, "The Way Back" is a remarkable adventure story chronicling the escape of a small group of multi-national prisoners from a Siberian gulag in 1940 and their epic life affirming journey over thousands of miles across five hostile countries. The film stars Ed Harris, Colin Farrell, Jim Sturgess, and Saoirse Ronan, and it is Weir's first film since 2003’s "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World." Newmarket Films and Wrekin Hill Entertainment will release the film in theaters January 21st, 2011.

"We are proud that the MOTIFF Film Festival will open with 'The Way Back,' a timeless story of man’s eternal struggle for freedom,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founding Director of the MOTIFF and Founder and Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and its acclaimed Museum of Tolerance.

The MOTIFF will be screening films from around the globe that shine a light on human rights issues both past and present at the Museum’s three theatres including the 300-seat state-of-the-art Peltz Theatre. Intertwined with classic films that bolster the Museum of Tolerance’s mission, the festival will offer moviegoers six days of education, understanding and culture.

Among the more than 22 films to be presented at the festival, whose motto is "Great stories are all around us," are "Made in Dagenham," an upcoming release starring Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins, Miranda Richardson, Geraldine James and Rosamund Pike; the documentary feature "100 Voices: A Journey Home," about the journey of 100 great cantors to Poland; a Special Presentation of "Boys Don't Cry," Kimberly Peirce's film about the persecution of a transgender teen; a Special Presentation of "To Kill a Mockingbird"; and "Iron Cross," which stars the late Roy Scheider as a child of Holocaust survivors.

The lineup also includes “Change in the Wind,” “Down For Life,” “Ingelore,” “From Philadelphia to The Front,” “Goodbye Mothers,” “Out of Infamy: Michi Nishiura Weglyn,” “Rainbow Town,” “Reconciliation: Mandela’s Miracle,” “Strangers No More,” “The Bang Bang Club,” “The Calling,” “Voices Unbound: The Story of The Freedom Writers,” “Winston Churchill: Walking with Destiny,” “When We Leave,” “With Honors Denied,” and “The Chicago 8.”

The Museum of Tolerance International Film Festival Gala, honoring acclaimed filmmaker Clint Eastwood, whose feature film "Gran Torino," will receive a Special Presentation at the festival will take place on Sunday evening, November 14.  George Lopez will MC and Eli Wallach is a special guest.

The Museum has named Craig Prater as Executive Director of the festival. Prater, who has been active in the film industry for over 15 years, has served as Executive Director of the Palm Springs International Film Festival and the Bangkok International Film Festival. His company currently directs The Coachella Valley Latino International Film Festival, Southeast Premieres Film Events of Tampa, Florida and Grande International in Belgrade, Serbia.

“There is no better place for a film festival dedicated to human dignity and mutual respect than the Museum of Tolerance, where every day, people from diverse backgrounds and religions come to learn the consequences of man’s inhumanity to man and the desperate need for a more tolerant society,” said Rabbi Hier. “Cinema leaves a lasting impression on its audiences and is a valuable way to instill the museum’s vision in a new audience.”

For more information, film details and Gala tickets: www.museumoftolerance/motiff. The MOTIFF office phone number is 310-772-2408.

The educational arm of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Museum of Tolerance, founded in 1993, challenges visitors to confront bigotry and racism, and to understand the Holocaust in both historic and contemporary contexts.  It hosts almost half a million visitors annually including 110,000 students. Because of the success of the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, the Center also opened the Museum of Tolerance New York in midtown Manhattan.




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