Stories of survival from one of history’s darkest chapters will be brought to life in a new project which is designed to educate more than entertain.
Proof-of-concept short Fading Numbers features eight real-life recollections of the Holocaust, with characters based on those that have shared their personal experiences.
The various stages of the genocide are witnessed through the protagonist Irene, whose interactions shine a light on other stories from the time.
The short has wrapped filming in WA, where it was shot predominately in Mandurah across seven days.
At the helm is 20-year-old writer/director Aron Attiwell, who has been working on the project for the better part of two years.
He said the inspiration for the film came from a visit to the Holocaust Institute of WA during his final year of high school.
“Hearing the stories of survivors really struck a nerve with me and made me want to share them to an Australian market,” he told IF.
“I felt there was a need to further develop Holocaust education in Australia, not just among students, but with society as a whole.
“There are events happening around us that are comparable to those that happened 75 years ago, so that was part of my ambition.”
After approaching the Institute, Attiwell began getting in touch with survivors, some of whom he discovered through online testimonies.
His internet research also led to the discovery of a script that aligned with his ideas, leading him to reach out to its author, UK screenwriter Sean Ryan.
The pair would go on to collaborate on the final version of the story, with Ryan’s initial 30-page draft cut down to suit the short film format.
The film is being produced by Attiwell and Hereen Kumar, with Jordan Prince-Wright onboard as executive producer.
A crowd-funding campaign for the film has also raised more than $10,000.
The final version of Fading Numbers is scheduled to completed by October, at which point it will be shown at the Holocaust Institute of WA as well as the Jewish Holocaust Centre in Melbourne.
Attiwell said there were plans for a “wide variety” of screenings.
“We are in talks with the state’s education department as to how we can distribute the film in schools,” he said.
“We’re also trying to get it shown at a Holocaust centre in the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, which said it would love to see the film once it is finished.
“We’ve also got our eye on festivals such Cannes, Tribeca and Toronto because they are what is going to get this story out there.
“All the big European festivals are what we’re targeting at the moment.”